October 25, 2006

Tide basketball ready to take on SEC

The Crimson Tide made its appearance Wednesday at the 2007 SEC Basketball Media Days in Birmingham and as usual, Alabama head coach Mark Gottfried took the opportunity to play down expectations for his team as much as possible.

"If we can get to five or ten wins, we'll be happy," Gottfried joked. "We're not very good this year."

In all seriousness, Gottfried knows his program will be one of the most hyped in the country along with fellow SEC powers Florida and LSU. Though high expectations can lead to pressure, Gottfried said he believes the extra attention is a positive for SEC basketball.

"I think the expectations for our league are great," Gottfried. "We've always felt like our league was one of the best in college basketball. How our league did overall in the NCAA tournament, especially with LSU and Florida making the Final Four, catapulted our league into the national spotlight and that's definitely a good thing for our players and coaches in this league."

Gottfried has high expectations for his team as well, but knows there is plenty of work to be done before his team is ready to compete for championships.

"Our team has a long way to go. We have a couple of guys who are pretty established. Out of our 12 scholarships, two have had more than one year of experience."

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