SI.com is doing the usual “it’s the slow part of the sports season, so we’re making up lists on a daily basis” thing. The latest list concens the Top 20 NBA free agents. How does this concern you? Well, there are two former Alabama players in the top 5.
This is a good and bad for Coach Gottfried. It is a positive for his recruiting when he can go on official visits and claim that he has recruited and coached two of the top players in the game today. He could even have the two players talk with recruits while on official visits during a ball game (even though I don’t think Wallace has been back since his drafting). Seeing that kind of talent around Alabama always looks good to a high school talent.
It is a negative when you consider not only what Gottfried did with these players while they played, but how long they actually stayed under his tutelage. With the talent that he had, Gottfried won only 1 NCAA tournament game during their combined three years (he did win the SEC regular season title in 2002 though). Will recruits want to play for a coach that rarely gets out of the 2nd round with the amount of talent he’s had?
So far, Gottfried’s recruiting has been pretty good. His 2007 class looks very promising. His 2008 class seems to be starting out well after landing Tony Mitchell (**** on Rivals & Scout).
However, many fans are still left with an uncomfortable feeling after the promotion of Baker and last year’s record. With Lebo and the rest of the lower level SEC teams continually improving, Alabama seems to be spinning its wheels after 2007. This could be a make or break year for Mark Gottfried.