With SEC football having a successful run of things despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it's finally time for another major college sport to join the fray with a delayed start.
Better late than never.
Men's basketball tips of this Wednesday in what is sure to be an unconventional yet no less exciting 2020-2021 season. While we won't see the teams of the SEC take on each other until late December, there's still a good month of non-conference action to keep fans' appetites at bay.
This year, Alabama is hanging right up there with the big boys of the conference. After finishing last season 16-15 overall and 8-10 in the SEC, the Crimson Tide put together an impressive signing class to rebuild.
Alabama loses star guard Kira Lewis Jr. to the NBA but returns four key starters from last season in John Petty Jr., Jaden Shackelford, Herbert Jones and Alex Reese. Combine the four returners with guard Jahvon Quinerly, who was ineligible last season due to waiver issues with the NCAA, and additions like Joshua Primo, Keon Ambrose-Hylton and Darius Miles, and the Crimson Tide is set to turn some heads this season.
Forward Alex Tchikou was also an excellent get for coach Nate Oats, but will be sidelined for the season due to an Achilles injury that required surgery. Fortunately, grad transfer forward Jordan Bruner from Yale has been impressing Oats and his staff in practice, so it looks like Alabama will be fine at forward this season.
All in all, it's looking like a solid year for the Crimson Tide. Expectations are high for Oats and his squad heading into the season, with fans and media alike predicting a return to the NCAA tournament this year. Only time will tell whether they can live up to the hype.
Here are the preseason SEC Men's Basketball Power Rankings. These will be updated every week throughout the season.
SEC Men's Basketball Power Rankings: Preseason
6. South Carolina
10. Texas A&M
11. Ole Miss
13. Mississippi State
Follow along at Bama Central every week throughout the season for updated power rankings.