The Alabama Crimson Tide will not be the favorites to win the SEC title, but they will still compete. What really helps is the fact that this team will be eased into their SEC schedule in the 2013-14 college basketball season.
Alabama will tip-off SEC play against Vanderbilt. The Commodores have been a solid team in the conference over the years, but that was not the case last season. Vanderbilt finished with an 8-10 record. The Crimson Tide will then play Georgia and then Mississippi State. Mississippi State was 4-14 in conference play last season and Georgia was 9-9.
Alabama should start SEC play with a 3-0 record. The competition will get much tougher, though. The team will play Missouri, Florida and LSU in back-to-back-to-back games. The Gators are ranked No. 8 in the USA Today Coaches Poll and LSU and Missouri should compete in the SEC.
It does help that the Crimson Tide will be challenged in their non-conference schedule. They will partake in the NIT Season Tip-Off and will also play Oklahoma, Wichita State, Xavier and UCLA. This team will have the talent to win all of those games, though.
Leading scorer Trevor Releford will be back and he will be counted on a lot in the 2013-14 season.
This may not be the best Alabama team in recent memory, but it will still be a good one. Will the Crimson Tide win an SEC title? Probably not, but they could find themselves in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Whether the case, starting off conference play with three easier opponents will be very beneficial.