Alabama’s Best Basketball Players: Alabama’s All-Time Starting 5

There is no denying that the University of Alabama is first and foremost a football school. Bear Bryant started the program over 60 years ago and Nick Saban built perhaps the greatest dynasty in sports history. You could say the Alabama Crimson Tide had some success on the grill and few would argue with that.

But once the football season is over, Alabama fans turn their attention to the hardwood. Comparing the basketball program to football is unfair. In fact, comparing just about any basketball program to Alabama’s football program is unfair. That doesn’t mean Crimson Tide fans are any less passionate about their hoops.

Over the years, Alabama has had some great performances, like CM Newton’s teams winning three consecutive SEC regular-season championships from 1974-76. Or upsetting No. 1 seed Stanford at the tournament. NCAA 2004 and reached the Elite Eight. Now, head coach Nate Oats has the tide in the right direction and looks set to be an SEC title contender for years to come.

From the days of Newton to David Hobbs to Avery Johnson and Oats, several basketball greats have played their hearts out at Coleman Coliseum. If we took players from all those eras and put together a team of players, they could give anyone a hard time.

Let’s take a look at Alabama’s all-time starting five.

Alabama Basketball’s All-Time Starting 5

Guard: Colin Sexton (2017-18)

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Colin Sexton has only played a season in Tuscaloosa, but the “Young Bull” has made its mark. In his only college basketball campaign, Sexton’s 19.2 points per game led the team in scoring. His best performance was a 27-point outing against Texas A&M in the SEC tournament that was capped by a buzzer-beating floater.

The 2018 SEC freshman was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the eighth overall pick in that year’s NBA draft. He’s had a solid pro career so far averaging 20 net points per contest across four Seasons.

Along with his scoring ability, Sexton has the toughness and competitive edge you want in a ground general. I am a big fan.

Guard: Latrell Sprewell (1990-92)

Latrell Sprewell takes on the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2004 Western Conference Finals.
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Latrell Sprewell turned into a highly prized NBA prospect in his final season at Alabama. The shooter, along with Robert Horry and James Robinson, carried the Tide to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 1992. For the yearhe averaged 17.8 points and 5.2 rebounds.

In the NBA, Sprewell quickly became one of the best young players in the league, earning an All-NBA First Team nod in the second season. However, his career was derailed because he, uh, smothered in the big moments. But at his peak, Sprewell was among the best hoopers on the planet.

Striker: Robert Horry (1988-92)

Robert Horry attacks the rim during an NBA playoff game against the Denver Nuggets.
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RELATED: The Legend of ‘Big Shot Bob’ Began in Alabama

Speaking of the early 90s, we can’t leave out “Big Shot Bob”.

Horry was an absolute stalwart for the Tide during his four years on campus. Sure, he could shoot, but he was a swat fiend and he’s still the block program all-time leader nowadays.

Of course, Horry earned a notorious reputation in the NBA as a member of seven (!) title teams with the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, and San Antonio Spurs. Put the stone in that man’s hand with the game on the line and you won’t be disappointed.

Forward: Reggie King (1975-79)

the all-time leader in Alabama program history, Reggie “The Mule” King was the driving force behind The Tide’s three conference titles in the mid-1970s. all-time Alabama, Eddie Philips. He also had 10.8 rebounds per game.

The king did not spend six seasons in the NBA with the Kansas City Kings and Seattle SuperSonics and was out of professional basketball at age 29. Still, “The Mule” has a solid record as Crimson Tide’s best hoop of all time.

Center: Leon Douglas (1972-76)

Leon Douglas is one of the greatest centers in Alabama basketball history.
Sports Zoom/Getty Images

Another essential contributor to the successful ’70s Bama teams, Leon Douglas was a force to be reckoned with. Douglas did the All-SEC team in each of its four years on campuswinning the SEC Player of the Year twice, as well as two All-American honors.

Douglas is third on the all time score list and is tied for second in career rebounds with King. In his senior year, he averaged 20.6 points and 12.4 rebounds per game — the kind of production any coach would kill for.

The big man was the Detroit Pistons’ fourth overall pick in the 1976 NBA draft, but he only spent seven years in the league before embarking on a professional career in Europe. The tandem of Douglas and King was lethal.

off the bench

  • Eddie Phillips (1978-82)
  • Jerry Harper (1952-56)
  • Buck Johnson (1982-86)
  • James Robinson (1990-93)
  • Trevor Releford (2010-14)

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