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Gearing Up for Basketball

Though football is the unofficial state religion of Alabama and unquestionably the #1 sport of devotion for the authors of, we also seriously dig on Tide basketball. I'm saddened that the football team hasn't brought us more joy this season (any joy actually), but am full of hope for the approaching hoops season.

To paraphrase a recent Birmingham News article, "At least there's one team in town with the possibility of winning a conference championship and making a splash on the national scene." It's shocking that there's more excitement about Alabama basketball this year than there is over the LSU and Auburn football games that remain, but I guess people have come to grips with the fact that the gridiron squad is almost assured to end the regular season with a disappointing .500 record.

Alabama comes into the '06-'07 season ranked #11 and with Ronald Steele as a preseason All-American. One must appreciate the humility displayed by Steele when asked about the honor:

"This is a team sport, and when any one person gets an honor, there's a whole team and coaching staff that helped that person earn it."

Jermareo Davidson made Dick Vitale's Third Team preseason All-American team and Yahoo sports had him listed as a candidate for All-American honors.

Tide hoops opened their preseason against Montevallo last Saturday and won 81-72 over the the team from the outskirts of Birmingham. The Falcons have two DII All-Americans on their squad and hung around for most of the game. Additionally, Ronald Steele didn't play due to a slight injury, so it was good to see the team win one without him. Jermareo Davidson and Richard Hendrix both turned in double double performances. I didn't go to the game (and it certainly wasn't on television), but it seems like things went well for the most part and that the season got off on the right foot.

Preseason All-American Ronald Steele

The season begins this Friday against Jackson State at Coleman Coliseum. Here's the season schedule. Home games of note include Oklahoma, Kentucky and LSU. There are big road games against Notre Dame, NC State, Florida, LSU and Tennessee.