In case you missed it with the minor matter of Alabama's football team beginning fall practice (and receiving a high profile commit of its own), Coach Grant's basketball team received a huge boost with the announcement that Albertville's Riley Norris will play for the Crimson Tide beginning in 2014. Matt Scalici has a nice write-up about it here, and you can also read more at NBCSports.com. There's another article with a nice little video on him here.
Norris is a 6'7" forward who averaged 23 points and 12 rebounds for Albertville High as a junior. He can make plays around the rim, but he is also know for his strong range as a shooter. He's ranked 99th overall in the nation. Perhaps the strongest recommendation I can give Norris is that Billy Donovan was interested in him as well.
Along with Justin Coleman's recent announcement, this gives the Tide two of Alabama's so-called 'Fab Five' (the top five high school basketball players in the state), with two others yet to announce. Combine that fact with the transfers of Michael Kessens and Ricky Tarrant, and Coach Grant appears to have all the ingredients he needs to move the program forward after Trevor Releford finishes his tenure as one of Bama's best point guards.
We're all justifiably giddy right now about Alabama's upcoming bid for a three-peat in football, so just file this away in your memory banks until you're ready to concentrate on our other major revenue sport. If Releford and Coach Grant can guide the talented (if thin) 2013-14 roster through the upcoming season with even moderate success (i.e., and NCAA Tournament bid), then there should be plenty of excitement building for the seasons to come.
Hope for the best. Roll Tide.