Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

    SEC basketball coaches discuss summer rule changes, recruits

    Shannon Auvil

    The Southeastern Conference held its annual summer teleconference on Monday, and basketball coaches discussed topics ranging from new recruiting rules to incoming recruits.

    One of the main topics discussed by numerous coaches during the teleconference was the new rules implemented by the NCAA earlier this summer. The ability of coaches to have unlimited contact with recruits via texting and social media was met with enthusiasm by the coaches, including Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson.

    “These kids are gone a lot in the summer months,” Anderson said. “They’re gone. Maybe texting is the easiest way to stay in touch. I guess I talk to my own daughter with texting.”

    Another new rule change met with favor by the coaches was the ability for coaches to have two hours of basketball-related contact with players who are enrolled in summer school.

    Alabama head coach Anthony Grant’s main area of concern, however, was the roster for the upcoming season, where the Tide lost big contributors from the previous season: JaMychal Green to the NBA Draft, Tony Mitchell to a release and Charles Hankerson to a transfer. Still, Grant said he was confident his team could handle the losses.

    “I think we’ve got a good group of guys returning,” Grant said. “We’re losing some key pieces. …But I think the guys that will be returning are looking forward to the challenge.” Tide adds five-star small forward for class of 2012

    Devonta Pollard, ranked as the No. 22 overall player according to, will be joining the Tide this season.

    For Grant, who said he’d been recruiting him since his arrival at Alabama, Pollard can step in and make an immediate impact in a number of ways. Grant said Pollard could be one of the key pieces to building a successful program at Alabama, despite him being the Tide’s only signee of 2012.

    “The big thing for me in trying to build our program is trying to make sure that we get pieces that have an opportunity to come in and make significant contributions to our team,” Grant said. “Devonta certainly does that. I think he brings a variety of things to our team, from his skill set and his ability to score, dissect the game defensively, play multiple positions.” SEC will welcome five new coaches in 2012

    Pollard will not be the only new face in the SEC next year. Five new head coaches made appearances at the teleconference. Frank Martin, Johnny Jones and Rick Ray, of South Carolina, LSU and Mississippi State, respectively, made their appearance as new hires, while Frank Haith of Missouri and Billy Kennedy of Texas A&M also debuted for the first time as SEC members.

    For Grant, the addition of new faces and new schools in the conference signifies what could be a banner season for the SEC in basketball.

    “Obviously, it’ll be a new look with the addition of Missouri and Texas A&M coming to the league,” Grant said. “We’re playing 18 league games, so I think we’re excited about the future of the SEC. I think we’ve got some very good teams with big potential for this year to be one of the best in quite a while.”

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