Crimson Tide Top 5: Men's Basketball

Throughout the month of June, Bama Central writers will pick the best five players in each Alabama sport, and for each position group in football
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For a program that's never won a national title, Alabama basketball has produced quite a few stellar athletes over the years.

So many, in fact, that today's edition of the Crimson Tide Top 5 was one of this writer's most difficult to rank yet.

When thinking of Alabama basketball, many names come to mind. Outstanding players like Gerald Wallace, Leon Douglas and Kira Lewis Jr. are just some of the highlighted players that made a resounding impact on the program but were left off in today's Top 5.

Mo Williams was a key player in the Crimson Tide's return to national prominence during the Mark Gottfried era, but even he was left off of the list.

Even more recent players such as Alabama's all-time three-point leader John Petty Jr. and superb defenseman Herbert Jones didn't make the cut. Both players wrapped up the 2020-2021 season as key pieces that, like Williams, helped reignite the spark of national recognition for the team. This time, however, coach Nate Oats was at the helm.

And with that, here are the top 5 Alabama basketball players in program history:

5] Reggie King

Born in Birmingham, Ala. in 1957, Reggie King is considered one of the local greats. Even prior to his days with the Crimson Tide, King made waves across the state by being named Mr. Basketball in 1977.

Once joining Alabama, King took the court by storm. In back-to-back seasons in 1978 and 1979, King was named the SEC Player of the Year. In 1979, he was given an even greater honor by being dubbed the SEC Male Athlete of the Year.

A two-time second-team AP All-American, King took his talents to the NBA, where he played six seasons between the Kansas City Kings and the Seattle Supersonics.

4] Antonio McDyess

At 6-foot-9, McDyess was widely regarded as the best big man of the SEC during his two seasons with the Crimson Tide from 1993-1995.

During his sophomore season, McDyess led Alabama in both scoring with 13.6 points per game and rebounding with 10 per game. While he didn't earn any All-SEC honors, McDyess most likely would have had he remained with the Crimson Tide past his sophomore year.

However, McDyess did not, opting for the 1995 NBA Draft instead. Selected second overall by the Los Angeles Clippers, McDyess played for a total of six teams over 16 seasons. After his rookie season, he was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team in 1996.

In 2001 while playing for the Denver Nuggets, McDyess also played in his first and only NBA All-Star Game.

3] Collin Sexton

Despite only playing one season with the Crimson Tide in 2017-2018, Collin Sexton made the most of it.

Highlighted by a 40-point game against Minnesota, Sexton recorded 16 games where he scored 21 or more points. In the 2018 SEC Tournament, Sexton was named to the All-Tournament Team after averaging 26.3 points, three assists and five rebounds over the course of the Crimson Tide's three games.

At the season's conclusion, Sexton was named the SEC Freshman of the Year as well as second-team All-SEC. Sexton left Alabama after one season and was drafted in the 2018 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers, who he still plays for today as one of its cornerstone players on offense.

2] Latrell Sprewell

After two seasons spent at Three Rivers Community College in Poplar Bluff, Mo., Latrell Sprewell transferred to Alabama in 1990 to provide the icing on the cake for one of the most NBA talent-heavy Crimson Tide teams in program history.

After averaging only 8.9 points per game his first season in Tuscaloosa, Sprewell dramatically improved his senior season. In the 1991-1992 season, Sprewell averaged 17.8 points per game along with 2.1 assists and 5.2 rebounds per game. His efforts earned him a spot as second-team All-SEC as well as a place on the SEC All-Defensive Team.

In his NBA career that spanned 13 seasons between the Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks and Minnesota Timberwolves, Sprewell finished his career as a four-time NBA All-Star. He also totaled 16,712 points — an average of a remarkable 18.3 per game.

1] Robert Horry

When talking about Alabama basketball greats, the discussion can't go too far without mentioning 'Big Shot Rob.'

Robert Horry played for the Crimson Tide from 1988-1992 under coach Wimp Sanderson, where he started 108 of 133 games. During that time, he helped Alabama to a 98-36 record and led the team to three SEC titles. Along with setting the school record for career blocked shots with 282, Horry was named to the SEC All-Defensive Team.

Along with being named All-SEC, Horry also hit the books and was named to the SEC All-Academic Team.

Horry was drafted in the 1992 NBA Draft by the Houston Rockets. Over his 16 seasons between the Rockets, the Phoenix Suns, the Los Angeles Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs, Horry earned himself seven NBA titles — enough to tie him for fourth place all-time among NBA players.

After his NBA career came to a close, Horry returned to Alabama to finish his degree, graduating in the spring of 2021.

The Crimson Tide Top 5 will appear every day during the month of June on BamaCentral.

Crimson Tide Top 5: Introduction

Linebackers

Softball

Tight Ends

Women's Basketball

Specialists

Women's Golf

Offensive Line

Men's Golf

Quarterbacks

Baseball

Defensive Linemen

Women's Tennis

Men's Swimming

Wide Receivers

Women's Swimming

Nick Saban Assistant Coaches

Running Backs

Women's Track and Field, Cross Country

Men's Tennis

Coaches

Soccer