The Alabama Crimson Tide will have a solid team in the 2013-14 college basketball season and they should make the NCAA tournament (remember that should is not a guarantee). Does that make the Crimson Tide contenders or pretenders in the SEC, though?
Alabama will definitely have the talent to win some big games in conference play and it very well could finish in the top five in the conference standings. Unfortunately, Florida and Kentucky play in the SEC.
I hope Alabama proves me wrong, but I doubt that it can compete for a conference title with the Wildcats and the Gators. This seems to be a two-man conference when it comes to winning the regular season title or that is at least the case over the last couple of years.
It may seem a bit odd to not call the Crimson Tide a contender, but that is how good Florida and Kentucky will be in the 2013-14 season. So I do not know what to call Alabama or most of the teams in this conference when it comes to the contender/pretender game.
The Crimson Tide will be returning their leading scorer in Trevor Releford, though. He managed to average 14.9 points per game last season.
I hate counting teams out before the season even starts, so I will say that Alabama is a contender.
Here is why.
Florida may have the talent to make a fourth straight Elite Eight, but it is losing its top three leading scorers. Kentucky was supposed to be the best team in college hoops last year, but did not even make the dance. It will have a completely new team in the upcoming season and although it could have the most talent in the nation, it has not won anything yet. Alabama finished two games back in the conference standings last season (tied for second place).