Monday, November 08, 2004
TUSCALOOSA – The University of Alabama men’s basketball team is ranked No. 18 in the Associated Press Preseason Top 25 poll which was released on Monday afternoon. Alabama is ranked No. 18 in the ESPN/USA Today Preseason Coaches’ poll as well.
“I think our being ranked has a lot to do with how we finished last season,” said Alabama head coach Mark Gottfried whose 2004 team finished 20-13 and in the NCAA tournament’s Elite Eight. “I don’t know that it will determine anything at all about this year other than the fact that we won’t be able to sneak up on anybody, so I don’t think I’m going to be too concerned with where we’re ranked because I know how far we have to go to be a good team.”
The last time Alabama opened the year in the preseason AP Top 25 was the 2001-02 season where it debuted at No. 24. Alabama went on to win the Southeastern Conference regular season championship and advanced to the NCAA tournament that season.
The Crimson Tide’s highest AP preseason ranking was No. 7 to begin the 1991 season, a year it advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16. Alabama has begun a season ranked in the preseason AP Top 25 fourteen times now, including 1974 (No. 18), 1975 (No. 9), 1976 (No. 12), 1977 (No. 13), 1978 (No. 15), 1979 (No. 19), 1982 (No. 20), 1983 (No. 12), 1987 (No. 13), 1991 (No. 7), 1992 (No. 17), 1995 (No. 18), 2002 (No. 24) and 2005 (No. 18).