Thursday, May 19, 2011

Anthony Grant runs a picket fence around the Yellowhammer State

Sign, Sealed, Delivered.

Alabama Basketball has taken a major step towards regaining national prominence when Anthony Grant was able to land in state, high school hoops legend & two time Mr. Basketball, Trevor Lacey from Butler High in Huntsville to sign his letter of intent to Alabama.

This is Big Time because Alabama beat out John Calipari & Kentucky along with Bill Self and Kansas for Lacey's signature. With all due respect to Tony Barbee and his unsigned contract at Auburn, they never had a chance.

No more will a Eric Bledsoe or Demarcus Cousins slip up to Lexington and onto the NBA or a Stanley Robinson head to UConn. That highway has hit a detour and runs directly through Tuscaloosa.

Lacey's signature caps a superb recruiting class that also brings in the highly touted Levi Randolph from 6A Bob Jones and Rodney Cooper from 5A Russell County. All three of these guys can defend the perimeter and shoot the rock, something Alabama could not do well last year. Add in a 6'8 power forward from suburban Atlanta & and a 7 foot JUCO transfer, Anthony Grant will be set to run his full court, hard nosed defense for an entire game instead of in spurts.

On the court, this signals the end of double teams on Jaymichael Green, allows Tony Mitchell to be a slash player & the ungardable Trevor Releford to be the mistro on a nightly masterpiece in Coleman Coliseum. No more having to stop the pressure due to a lack of depth. No more is the best offense a missed shot leading to an offensive rebound.

Off the court, it signals the end to instate plucking from the Kentucky's North Carolina's, UConn's etc. for the states top talent. Grant has basically sealed off the state to the outside and shown if he wants a player, he can get him. Tony Barbee is on the way to possibly to doing the same thing in Auburn.

This might be Alabama's biggest recruiting coup since Antonio McDyess in 1993, even though Alabama landed a Ronald Steele in 2005 & a Richard Hendrix in 2006 or the one and done year of Gerald Wallace in 2001. Its definently the best class since Erwin Dudley, Rod Grizzard, Terrence Meade & Kenny Walker became the backbone of Mark Gottfried's 2002 SEC Championship team.

The news of Lacey's signing also brings some much needed good news to the area in the wake of the tragic tornadoes from April 27th. The football and gymnastics teams have won national championships in the last 2 years and softball is currently the # 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. People are not thinking it can happen but believing that the same kind of sustained success on the hardwood will happen for the Tide.

All I know is I can't wait for my basketball season ticket renewal form to come in the mail and for December 1st to get here when Alabama will lay a beat down on Georgetown in Coleman.

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