Monday, February 13, 2012

Great Expectations turns too Major Disappointment

Its happened again.

It can be used to A). describe the second spree of suspensions for the Alabama Basketball team in less then a week for Trevor Releford, JayMichael Green and Andrew Steele. Of course, Tony Mitchell was suspended prior to the shellacking of Auburn.

B) another suspension of Jaymicahel Green, who was missing for the early part of last season and then returned to finish the last 25+ games of the year

C) typical Alabama Basketball failing to live up to the preseason hype, just like in 1991, 2003, 2007 and we can now add 2012 unless something drastically changes ASAP.

D) All of the above.

Of course, the correct answer is D. I feel bad for Anthony Grant. What could have transpired to force him to suspend his 3 best, remaining players prior to a winnable road game at LSU? Whatever was the problem, you could hear the disappointment in his statements and his voice in the post game interview Saturday night in Baton Rouge.

His team leaders, the upper class man, have let him, his team, his program and its supporters down for whatever transgressions took place. Coach Grant I'm sure is doing what he has to do for the best interest of the program. While he may suffer short term, which ultimately might cost his team a 2012 NCAA Tournament Berth, it may be more beneficial in the long run for the program. Time will bear that out.

Of course, for Green, this is a replay of 2010-11 when he was suspended after the Tide's disastrous trip to the Paradise Jam Tournament. That resulted in 'Bama dropping several early season games, including a blowout loss at Purdue which hindered Alabama come selection Sunday. Now we're seeing a replay of the same situation, only this time its coming in the heart of SEC play and again is hindering 'Bama's chances for an NCAA Tournament berth.

As for 'Bama's great expectations, this is just a constant scenario for Alabama Basketball in underachieving in the last 20 years. 1991 saw Alabama return the likes of Robert Horry with the additions of James Robinson and Latrell Sprewell and watched the Tide rise to a pre season top 10 ranking, only to struggle out of the gate before ultimately being disposed of by Arkansas in the Sweet 16. The 2003 edition sprinted out to a # 1 ranking, only dropping 1 game pre SEC, but then falter to a 7-9 record in SEC play, somehow sneaking into the NCAA's only to get bounced by a bad Indiana team in the 1st round. 2007 watched Alabama rise to # 4 in the country only to suffer injuries to Ronald Steele and fall all the way down to the NIT in a colossal disaster. It was so bad that Kentucky and Alabama played a Thursday, noon tip off game in the SEC Torunament.

So now one has to wonder will any of these four be dressed for Tuesday's ESPN game against Florida? How will the crowd react if any of them show back up or will fan apathy be bad for this team? Its already a Valentine's Night tip off and its early at 6 pm local time, so with the 'Bama Basketball boat taking on water, how is everyone going to react?

Time will again tell the answer to this story and unfortunately at this point, its hard to see this ship getting righted for the remainder of the 2012 season.

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