Alabama Basketball: 5 Reasons to Turn Your Attention to Crimson Tide Hoops
The Alabama Crimson Tide have captured their 14th national championship and the college football season is over.
Wait for signing day and spring ball?
Hardly. How about turning your focus to Anthony Grant's version of the Crimson Tide.
For good measure, Alabama repeated its domination of LSU, but this time on the hardwood with a 69-53 victory Wednesday night.
Currently the Crimson Tide sits at 13-3 overall and 2-0 in the SEC.
Judging by the crowds in Coleman Coliseum most are already on board for the ride, but for those of you who are not, here are five reasons why you should be.
This Tide Team Plays Defense Too
Alabama fans love defense, and this Tide basketball team is built on stopping their opponents.
Currently Alabama is ranked 10th in the nation scoring defense, only yielding 55.9 points per game.
They rank eighth national in field-goal percentage defense, holding teams to 36.7 percent shooting.
If you like teams that work hard and expand their effort from one end to the next, then you'll love the suffocating nature Tony Mitchell and company provide.
Alabama is quickly building up a reputation of a team that people do not want to face, especially in Tuscaloosa.
The highlight is from last season when it seemed that every single game Tony Mitchell was just flying over defenders to throw it down.
Well, he's doing it again this season, and you never know when he'll leap into the air and bring the house down.
To make things even better, Mitchell has added a perimeter shooting game to his repertoire.
Mitchell is a high motor guy who gives a strong effort each and every night, but it's these types of highlights that make the price of admission alone worth it.
Heading into the season, the buzz was high around Alabama freshmen Levi Randolph and Trevor Lacey.
That buzz cooled a bit as the two struggled to find their way offensively for the Crimson Tide.
Well, the the hype is buzzing once again as both have found the ability to score for Alabama.
Lacey lit up the Bulldogs in the Tide's SEC opener at Georgia. He poured in 17 first half points en route to a career-best 19.
Randolph put in nine points in the win over LSU.
The ever-growing confidence of these two players is going to play a huge role in Alabama progressing as the season marches on.
Lacey's outside shooting threat will not allow Tide opponents to sit back in a zone as most have become accustomed to.
These are two exciting young players to watch.
Trevor Releford and JaMychal Green
Next to Tony Mitchell, Trevor Releford is arguably Alabama's most exciting player.
His ability to slash through defenses and find open players or lay the ball in is both fun to watch and perplexing to the Tide's foes.
Releford has really stepped up his scoring presence as of late with a 20-point performance against LSU for an average of 17.2 points per game over the last five contests.
Green, who is probably Alabama's best all-around player, has been hampered by a shoulder injury the past few weeks.
He has seen limited action after sitting out back-to-back games in late December, but prior to that was a difficult force for teams to deal with.
Green is savvy on the post, but can face defenders up and hit the jumper as well.
As Green builds his minutes back up, expect his scoring numbers to return to pre-injury levels which was over 15 points per game.
Simply Put, This Is a Good Basketball Team
The purest reason why you should be paying full attention to Tide basketball is because, well, this is a pretty good basketball team.
After a fast start and rise to No. 12 in the rankings, Alabama had a rough stretch where they lost three games to Georgetown, Dayton and Kansas State.
Since then, Alabama has rebounded nicely with five straight wins by an average of 18 points.
They're off to a 2-0 start in the SEC and could quite realistically compete for the top of the conference this season.
Anthony Grant has reshaped this program on hard work, defense and poise, three qualities that disappeared towards the end of the Mark Gottfried era.
We've all seen the effort given by Alabama's football team, now take a good look because you'll find the same effort coming from the Crimson Tide basketball team.