The University of Alabama is a basketball school. With a long history of players making the leap to the NBA, and as the team approaches a new era with blue chip recruits flocking to Tuscaloosa, there is no better way to honor the Crimson Tide's contributions to both college and professional basketball than to assemble a roster of the team's most prominent, impactful, and talented players over the years. We'll break down a full 13-man roster and analyze each player's contribution to a team playing under current head coach Nate Oats' scheme, and we'll try to factor in exceptional performances throughout both college and the NBA as we build a squad of Alabama's best and brightest.
Terry Coner (1983-1987)
Stats: 10.1 ppg, 5.5 apg, 1.5 spg
Coner is a classic floor general, boasting three of the program's ten highest-assisting seasons, and holds the record for the most by any player in Crimson Tide history. At 6'3", he has length on the perimeter that the team has been seeking from players like Collin Sexton, Kira Lewis, and the recently committed JD Davison, and his contributions as a distributor on offense will allow him to direct more of his energy to the defensive half of the court. Given that his first three seasons came before the advent of the college three-point line, it's difficult to judge his shooting on its own. However, by surrounding him with strong offensive contributors, Coner could absolutely lead a fast-paced, perimeter-focused offense.
Latrell Sprewell (1990-1992)
Stats: 13.5 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 39.9 3P%
Sprewell is another player who can absolutely make contributions on both sides of the ball. A prolific scorer in his time in the NBA, Spree also boasted an appearance on the NBA's All-Defensive Second Team as well as being named to the SEC All-Defensive Team in his final year in Tuscaloosa. A creative scorer from both inside and outside, it'll be important to get him going in games against tougher competition, but Sprewell absolutely has a chance alongside Terry Coner to flourish as a scoring threat.
John Petty (2017-present)
Stats: 11.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 38.6 3P%
John Petty has been one of the most impactful players for Alabama over the past decade, and he will be one of the team's main shooters in this lineup. As the team's leading rebounder in the 2019-2020 season, Petty puts in work on the glass and can provide quite a bit of assistance to the team's front court in that respect. Most of all, his ability to take over a game offensively is clear, as Petty has scored at least 20 points 14 times, surpassing the 30-point mark four times. Petty has already created a legacy at the University of Alabama, and he is a natural fit to start on the Crimson Tide's all-time team.
Robert Horry (1988-1992)
Stats: 11.9 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 37.1 3P%
If Latrell Sprewell is an offensive focus player, Big Shot Bob is the offensive focus. A stretch forward with a long championship pedigree, Horry will see the floor as both a starter and a closer. Averaging almost 16 points per game as a senior, he can contribute on the perimeter and on the glass, offering a skill set comparable to that of incoming transfer Jordan Bruner. Working with Latrell Sprewell and John Petty to space the floor, it won't be surprising to see Horry generate a lot of points and keep the paint clear for Sprewell or Coner to cut and drive toward the basket.
Wendell Hudson (1970-1973)
Stats: 19.2 ppg, 12.0 rpg, 1.8 apg
Wendell Hudson, the Crimson Tide's first black scholarship athlete and first retired number in the program's history, will fill up the paint and play as more of a traditional interior center. Hudson might generate some issues with spacing, especially considering Oats' scheme, but his impact on the boards and ability to score on the inside is too much to overlook. Listed at only 6'6", he's undersized to be maintaining the paint, but given that John Petty and Herbert Jones led the team in rebounds at 6'5" and 6'7", Oats has made it clear that he's less concerned with size than ability to perform on the court. Hudson is probably not a perfect fit for Oats' scheme among starters, but he'll be able to bring an impact on both ends of the court when paired up next to Horry on the perimeter.
Collin Sexton (2017-2018)
Stats: 19.2 ppg, 3.6 apg, 3.8 rpg
Sexton is more of a combo guard, with a score-first mentality, but he shares a fast-paced, electric style of play that is necessary to lead Nate Oats' offense. It was tempting to place Sexton as the starting point guard, but his energy and ability to create his own shot will be massive to the team's success on the bench, although it may be necessary to shield him on defense. Pairing Sexton with a strong perimeter defender at shooting guard will give Sexton the chance to focus more energy to creating fast breaks and moving the ball on offense.
Mo Williams (2001-2003)
Stats: 13.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.5 spg
Mo Williams, a natural point guard and a bit undersized to play shooting guard, will likely serve as a secondary ball handler alongside Sexton. Williams has shown an ability to explode on offense, as evidenced by his iconic 52-point game with the Minnesota Timberwolves and three straight seasons averaging at least 17 points per game. As Sexton has room to improve from behind the arc, Williams will be given freedom to both create his own shot from behind the arc and work off the ball to find chances to shoot. Defensively, Williams brings strong contributions on the wing, and he'll be able to take some pressure off of Sexton in defending teams' best guards on the court.
Gerald Wallace (2000-2001)
Stats: 9.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.2 steals/blocks per game
Wallace only spent one season at Alabama, but he was named the Naismith Prep Player of the year and made a quick exodus to the NBA, going 25th overall. Wallace will serve as the team's primary wing defender, with an appearance on the NBA's All-Defensive First Team as well as a Defensive Win Share total that ranks him above players like former Defensive Player of the Year Joakim Noah. While he isn't a strong threat from behind the arc, shooting under 20% in college and narrowly surpassing 30% on his NBA career, he can contribute points inside the paint and his ability to anchor the defense is unmatched.
Reggie King (1975-1979)
Stats: 18.4 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 55.6 FG%
Reggie King will help to fill out a front court which focuses on the interior, but his impact to the team is undeniable. Averaging almost 19 points and 11 rebounds per game, he'll be efficient as an interior scorer while also being able to contribute heavily on the glass. One of Alabama's greatest players ever, the only thing keeping him out of the starting lineup is the effort to encourage spacing and scheme fit among the first line. A two-time SEC Player of the Year, Reggie King could show flashes of players like Montrezl Harrell off the bench as a dominant bench big.
Antonio McDyess (1993-1995)
Stats: 12.8 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 1.8 bpg
Antonio McDyess will bring length as a rim protector, as he can make up for Reggie King's relative lack of height at power forward. With two blocks per game in his final college season, McDyess can remain in the paint and stop shots, aiding a team which finished in the top 50 among team blocks per game this past season. McDyess does not help the team's efforts to space the floor out, but when working with other lineups and with both Mo and Sexton managing the offense, "Swat" will have room to work on the block.
Guard: Trevor Releford (2010-2014)
Stats: 14.0 ppg, 2.0 spg, 35.9 3P%
Trevor Releford will be able to serve as a classic 3-and-D player on this team, having been a star on both ends of the perimeter as a four-year player for the Tide. In addition, he can take some pressure off of Sexton, Coner, and Williams as another ball handler to guide the offense.
Wing: Eric Washington (1993-1997)
Stats 13.7 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 38.6 3P%
Washington is the Tide's all-time leader in three-pointers made, and was fourth all-time in three-point percentage. As a solid perimeter defender, Washington can also fill in throughout the lineup as a 3-and-D player that brings both volume and precision from behind the arc.
Big: JaMychal Green (2008-2012)
Stats: 13.5 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 2.7 steals/blocks per game
Green brings many of the same things that players like Hudson, King, and McDyess do, and filling him in on the block for any of those players would bring quite a bit of depth. As a player who can produce defensively both on the perimeter and on the block, as well as bringing offensive strength down low, Green would fit right in with this squad.
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