Alabama Basketball Offseason Update: Coach Witherspoon and Recruiting Roundup

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Bama Hoops has seen some developments over the last few weeks

As the basketball offseason has been progressing, there have been quite a few developments off of the court for the Alabama basketball program. Anthony Grant and his staff have been hard at work with recruiting, and Coach Grant has also made some changes within his coaching staff. Tony Pujol, an assistant for Grant dating back to his VCU days, has been let go, though the reasoning for his departure is still somewhat unclear. However, it wasn't long before Grant made a move to replace Pujol.

Welcome Witherspoon

As you may have heard by now, Alabama has hired Reggie Witherspoon as a new assistant coach. Coach Witherspoon is most well known for his most recent stint as the head coach of the Buffalo Bulls. Witherspoon went a combined 198-225 over the course of fourteen seasons with the Bulls. The Bulls never won the MAC outright or played in the NCAA Tournament during his time there, but they did make the NIT in 2005 after a 23-10 season, which was a tremendous turnaround for a program that had been nothing short of dreadful for many years. They also appeared in the CBI tournament in 2009 after they tied for first in the MAC, and the CIT in 2011 and 2012.

Witherspoon took over at Buffalo during a terrible time for their program. The Bulls were a dreadful basketball team, and the previous coach committed multiple NCAA violations that put the program even further behind. Despite that, Witherspoon was able to win the MAC Coach of the Year award in 2004. He became the face of Buffalo basketball, and was able to climb up to a tie for second in Buffalo's all-time wins list. However, after a disappointing 2012-13 season, Witherspoon was let go. Many speculators believe that new Athletic Director Danny White wanted to make an impact on the program by bringing in his own guy. Bobby Hurley, White's eventual hire, did lead Buffalo to a 19-10 season this past year.

Early indications are that Coach Witherspoon will be mostly focused on player development and recruiting, so don't get your hopes up that he will turn around our offense this upcoming year. That will be on Coach Grant and the players to get right.

The guys over at Bull Run, SB Nation's blog for all things Buffalo Bulls, have a good article up on Witherspoon. They will know a lot more about him then I do, so head over there and ask them any questions about our new assistant basketball coach.

Recruiting Roundup

The other major developments in Bama Hoops are recruiting related. Firstly, Alabama wrapped up this year's recruiting class with one last signee, F Jeff Garrett. Garrett is a consensus three star product originally out of Gadsden, AL, though he played his senior season at Oldsmar Christian in Florida. At 6-7, 210 pounds, Anthony Grant will be getting a legitimate low post player, as Garrett averaged 18.3 PPG and 10.1 RPG this past season, good enough to place him third-team all-state. He was ranked as the 58th power forward in the country, and he should help add some depth in the post. He has already signed his LOI, and will be eligible for this upcoming season. He is probably looking at being one of the last guys off of the bench this season, as he still needs to improve his game and get some quality experience. However, the guy has great length and can really fly.

Anthony Grant did miss out on one of the top few players left in this year's recruiting class, as fellow three star F Jackson Davis signed with Butler over the Crimson Tide. Davis is another power forward with strong potential, and it would have been nice for Alabama to have grabbed a pair of post players with the late signing period, but this is still a very good recruiting class. The Tide currently sits at 24th in the country and 4th in the SEC according to 247sports.com's latest composite rankings.

Lastly, Grant was able to land a big commitment for the class of 2015, when four star F Donta' Hall gave his verbal commitment last week. Hall is a 6'8 shot blocking star out of Luverne, AL. During his junior season, Hall averaged 11.7 PPG, 10.1 RPG, and an astounding 6.7 BPG. Hall has tremendous length and could become a huge win for Grant in next year's class. He needs to bulk up, and his competition in Alabama's 2A classification isn't exactly stellar, but he has all the tools to be a staple in Alabama's frontcourt down the road. He joins three star G Brandon Austin as the second commit in the class of 2015.

As is clear from Grant's recent recruiting efforts, help is on the way in the post, which is an area that the Tide has struggled in recent years, especially on the offensive end. Garrett and Hall should be big for us down the road in building a strong frontcourt.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Roll 'Bama Roll

You must be a member of Roll 'Bama Roll to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Roll 'Bama Roll. You should read them.

Join Roll 'Bama Roll

You must be a member of Roll 'Bama Roll to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Roll 'Bama Roll. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker