The Crimson White

Alabama basketball team makes name for itself in 2012

Jasmine Cannon

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We’re a couple of weeks into basketball season and both the Alabama men’s and women’s basketball teams are undefeated. Has the time finally come for our basketball programs to be considered among the elite? Not yet, but we might just be on the way.

The men’s basketball team is sitting on a 4-0 record with impressive wins in New York City at the 2k Sports Classic. The Tide beat Oregon State and Villanova, who are considered among the better teams in the NCAA every year. The Tide beat Villanova in impressive fashion, 77-55, with help from sophomore Trevor Releford’s 25 points and sophomore Rodney Cooper’s 17 points.

It was also Cooper’s three-point basket with 13 seconds left that propelled the Tide over Oregon State, 65-62. In that game, sophomore Trevor Lacey scored 20 points.

It seems as if the Alabama men’s basketball team has developed stronger chemistry and everyone is playing at a high level. Players are sharing the basketball and everyone is contributing in some way. The Tide’s play has been recognized, and this week Releford was named the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week.

The women’s side has also hit a steady stride with its 3-0 record. This year’s team features a few transfers – two coming from Rutgers University – and a freshman class that is expected to contribute as well.

The Alabama women have something they haven’t had in a while and that is a lot of players that can contribute in a lot of different ways. Head coach Wendell Hudson has a new coaching staff and the culture of the team seems to have changed in a good way.

People around the conference have started to take notice of Alabama, who leads the SEC in a number of statistical categories. Like Releford, sophomore guard Daisha Simmons was named the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week.

It’s still early in the season and a lot of basketball has to be played, but it seems to be a bright day for Alabama’s teams.

The next game for the men will be at home against Charleston Southern, but we all know the real tests will come in January when conference play begins. The first SEC battle will be in Columbia, Mo., against a really good Missouri team and the schedule continues to heat up with the next few games being against Tennessee, Mississippi State, Texas A&M and the defending champion Kentucky Wildcats.

The women faced North Texas last night, and after a string of games against the likes of Virginia, Wisconsin and Wofford, they will head to Hawaii for the Bank of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine Invitational. Then SEC play will begin with the first matchup being against Texas A&M on Jan. 3.

It’s no secret that the SEC is one of the better leagues when it comes to women’s college basketball, and we will learn how the Tide sizes up against yearly contenders Tennessee, Georgia and Kentucky, whom the Tide shocked last year with a win.

Basketball season is still fresh and a lot of people are still thinking about football, but there’s no better time than right now for Alabama basketball to come into its own.

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Alabama basketball team makes name for itself in 2012