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Points in the Paint: 2023 SEC Basketball schedule kicks Alabama square in the teeth

And, of course, the Kentucky game is scheduled during the CFP

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament First Round San Diego Practice Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

We finally have a completed schedule for the 2022-2023 Alabama Crimson Tide Basketball team. And, we’ll get to that in a second. But, there were two other hoops-related tidbits we need to to cover while we’ve got your attention.

Crootin’

The first is the official visit of one of Alabama’s priority players for the 2023 NSD class, 4-star shooter Davin Cosby. Cosby is a 6’5” scorer — that’s his game, that’s what he does. And, with the loss of Jaden Shackelford (and almost certainly Brandon Miller next Spring), that’s going to be a must-have for the Tide’s future offense:

“[The visit] was great. It was a good experience, a great environment,” Cosby told BamaCentral. “It really felt like a family over there.”

One of Cosby’s biggest strengths is his scoring ability, and the Alabama coaching staff sees that in him as well.

“[They see me] being that dog, that scorer,” Cosby said. “In this 2023 recruiting class they have Sam [Walters] and RJ [Johnson], so they’ve got a guard, they’ve got a forward, they need that scorer. I could come in and fulfill that because I can shoot the ball very well. I can also drive and create for others.”

For now, Cosby’s offers have primarily been from ACC programs and others up the Atlantic seaboard. But, some other SEC teams have come sniffing around lately (Aggie, Vandy). But Alabama was in earliest and is the only team to have secured an official visit from Cosby.

Davin is a solid spot-up shooter with decent range, who’s comfortable from taking shots almost anywhere on the perimeter — he’s got a very nifty baseline jumper that would suit ‘Bama’s offense perfectly. Even a defender’s hand in his face doesn’t seem to bother his stroke. This is niche pure perimeter-shooter Alabama’s offense needs

Quitter Hole Changes

Equally important was the passage of new Portal rules. We’ve discussed the impact of the Quitter Hole before, and it seems as though the NCAA has finally struck a decent balance between transfers and eligibility.

  • Under the new rules, there are both windows and restrictions on immediate eligibility:
  • The fall sports transfer (football) must be done within 45 days of bowl game pairings, or from May 1-15 in order to be eligible to play the following season.
  • For winter sports (basketball), the transfer must be done within 60 days of announcing the NCAA tournament field in order to be eligible to play the following season.
  • For the spring sports (baseball, softball), the transfer must be done within 45 days of announcing the NCAA tournament field in order to be eligible to play the following season.
  • Of equal relevance is that the NCAA rejected a model that would permit players to transfer multiple times and retain immediate eligibility. Instead, the new rules allow players one free bite at the apple without penalty: You get one transfer without having to sit. Subsequent transfers will require a player sit for a year (barring a waiver from the NCAA). And, with scholarship eligibility generally capped at five years, that will makes multiple transfers a rarer occurrence.

The portal window rules will help bring some certainty to the roster and help with recruiting. But it is the eligibility rule that likely looms the largest. It was a must that the NCAA get this one right: in the era of NIL, penalty-free multiple transfers were an invitation to tampering and a de facto free agency.

2022-2023 Basketball Schedule

Back in June, we broke down the Tide’s leaked opponents, and props to the leaker: they nailed Alabama’s opponents, and the number of time we get each. All in all, it seemed a forgiving schedule for a change. But, yesterday, the league office released the finalized schedule and as always, the devil is in the details, because it turns out to be bit more difficult than initially envisioned.

Alabama begins by hitting the road to Starkville, then it hosts Ole Miss. So far so good.

But the next five games are brutal: Kentucky comes to town, then ‘Bama immediately heads to Arkansas, hosts LSU, then has a two-game road trip at two gyms it has struggled at: Vandy, Mizzou.

Late January is a bit more forgiving, with a road trip to Norman wedged between visits by Vandy and Mississippi State. But then, February arrives and it’s here to put a baseball bat into the Tide’s face: at LSU, vs. Florida, at Auburn, at Tennessee.

There is a bit of a break, with a visit by UGA and a trip to South Carolina. But the schedule-makers decided to once again end ‘Bama’s season with another brutal stretch: Arkansas, Auburn, and for the second year in a row, closing out the season on the road, at A&M.


When this schedule dropped, we thought that it looked a bit gentler than in years past. Of course, we noted, that it would depend on how the SEC decided to stack the games. And, we regret to say, for the deck that was given to the Tide, ‘Bama drew a very poor hand.

  • Sure, Alabama may only get Kentucky once, but it’s wedged in a three-game swing with LSU and Arkansas.
  • Sure, Alabama may not have to head to Florida this year, but the Gators are thrown in there almost as an afterthought, as part of a four-game span where ‘Bama also plays LSU, Auburn, and Tennessee — all on the road.
  • Sure, the Tide may have drawn Vandy and Mizzou...but they’re back-to-back, on the road.

So, no, we were wrong. This is not a softer landing than usual for the Tide.

In fact, given how the schedule was designed, it’s almost as though the SEC was setting ‘Bama up for a couple of nice SEC losing streaks.

Coach Nate Oats is going to need to especially prepare his team for some brutal stretches this spring. While he’s not one to back down from the challenge, Alabama is going to earn everything it gets this season

But, hey, at least the out-of-conference schedule is tough as hell too!

Poll

How would you grade the degree of difficulty for Alabama’s 2022-2023 SEC schedule?

This poll is closed

  • 21%
    This is so difficult, that it is absurd at times. Bama has a lot of work ahead of it this season.
    (72 votes)
  • 52%
    It’s a tough schedule, but Bama can handle it.
    (173 votes)
  • 22%
    About on par with other schedules; the conference has gotten harder
    (75 votes)
  • 2%
    This is a cakewalk, filled with rent-a-wins against poverty programs
    (9 votes)
329 votes total Vote Now