Interesting Circumstances Lead to Renewed Anticipation for 2012 Class
Special to CrimsonConfidential.com
Imagine going on a hunting trip in rural Alabama, searching for the perfect deer, but there’s a catch: you only have one bullet. A lot of thought would be put into which buck was the right one, causing you to miss out on some quality options in the process, and possibly leaving you with nothing because you told yourself, “A better one will come along.”
For most of the 2012 recruiting period, this is how Anthony Grant and Alabama had to operate.
Going into last July, Alabama had one scholarship to recruit with as JaMychal Green was the Tide’s only senior. There were plenty of options for Grant and Co. to pursue (Marcus Hunt, Willie Caulie, Gavin Ware) but none stood out more than Devonta Pollard. The five-star small forward from Porterville, Mississippi became the target Alabama settled on after no commitments broke their way in the early signing period.
So the wait continued through a tumultuous season, one full of frustrations, suspensions, and ultimately resulting in the departure of Tony Mitchell, leaving the Tide without a viable option at the four position for 2012-13 and a total of three available scholarships. At that point, Pollard went from a want to a need as Alabama’s only target…
Until Tuesday, when former Virginia Tech signee Montrezl Harrell, released from his LOI by the Hokies after the sudden firing of Seth Greenberg, listed Alabama among his final four schools. The four-star power forward out of Tarboro, North Carolina is now interested in the Tide and could fit perfectly into Alabama’s plans for next season and beyond.
Now, Bama fans can expect a double dose of anxious anticipation.
Pollard, after taking visits to Tuscaloosa and Georgetown in April, has bypassed two announcement dates, barely making a peep as each “deadline” passed, and on through the spring signing period. With Missouri and Texas still in play, as well, Pollard has not only been silent about a leader, he has gone totally mum on when to expect a decision, leaving four schools hanging in the balance.
Harrell, with a visit to Louisville already booked for next weekend, is similarly in no hurry to decide. With the revelation that he won’t go into Team USA Trials committed to a school, Harrell has assured his recruitment will go well into June. The question is: can Alabama get him to campus with Florida and Cincinnati in the fight for his two remaining visits.
Both of these players can be adequate replacements for a departed, electric Tony Mitchell. Both players can play above the rim. Pollard can not only play down low while slightly undersized, but he can hit the outside shot, leading to defenses to sag and allowing him to use his quickness to get to the rim. Harrell is a workhorse on the glass, something Alabama can really use, and athletic enough to run the floor in an Anthony Grant scheme.
If Anthony Grant gets both of these players, all ill will from a 12-month commitment drought will vanish, and the Tide should be ready to roll to another NCAA Tournament.
Get one, and a season will be salvaged before it even begins.
Lose out on both and Alabama will be facing yet another season with a depleted front court.
May the hunt begin.
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