Anthony Grant received one of the best birthday gifts a basketball coach can wish for as the first…
Alabama Basketball Signs Two Guards
"We are very excited to have Ricky and Algie join our program," Alabama Coach Anthony Grant said. "They both have the character, work ethic and talent that we look for in our student-athletes. What also impressed me about these young men is they really wanted to be a part of what we are building here at the University of Alabama. They will be a great addition to our basketball program and university community."
Ricky Tarrant will come to Tuscaloosa after two successful seasons with the Green Wave, as the Pleasant Grove native earned Conference USA Freshman of the Year and First Team honors in 2012 and second team all-conference accolades this past season. He will have to sit out the 2013-14 campaign due to NCAA transfer rules and will have two years of eligibility remaining with the Crimson Tide beginning with the 2014-15 campaign.
As a sophomore at Tulane, Tarrant started all 35 contests and averaged 15.7 points, 3.6 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 35.3 minutes per game. He led the team in assists, steals and free throw percentage (81.1 percent) and ranked second on the team in scoring, threes made (71), field goals made (156) and attempted (419) and total points scored (550).
The 6-2, 190 pound combo guard burst onto the college basketball scene during the 2011-12 season when he started all 31 contests as a true freshman and averaged 14.9 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.7 steals a game.
During his two seasons in New Orleans, Tarrant started all 66 games and combined to account for 1,013 points, 51 double-figure scoring games, 20 career 20-plus point games and scored 30 or more points on three occasions.
"Ricky brings experience and a proven track record of success," Grant said. "His speed, strength and play-making ability make him a very difficult match-up from the guard spot. Ricky comes to Alabama with an understanding of what it takes to be a successful college basketball player. He will have to sit out this season due to transfer rules so he will have the opportunity to learn our system while preparing our team for the season ahead."
Algie Key is a 6-4, 175 pound guard who will have two years remaining after playing the past two seasons at Barton (Kan.) Community College under Coach Craig Fletchall. While with the Cougars, the Decatur, Ga., native became the second player in program history to earn back-to-back National Junior College Association of America (NJCAA) All-America honors (third team in 2012 and 2013). He was also tabbed the Jayhawk West Division Freshman of the Year in 2012 and was a first team All-Jayhawk Conference and All-Region VI performer as a freshman and sophomore.
During his sophomore season in 2013, Key averaged 17.6 points, 6.2 rebounds and 4.4 assists a game, helping the Cougars to a 28-6 record and a spot on the Region VI Tournament championship game. Along with his other accolades, Key earned a spot on the Region VI All-Tournament team this past season.
Key leaves Barton CC as the program's all-time leader in free throws attempted (536) and made (371). He also owns the top two spots in single season free throws attempted (280 in 2012, 256 in 2013) and is third and fourth in single season free throw made (189 in 2012, 182 in 2013).
Playing in 67 games in his two-year career, making 66 starts, Key helped lead the Cougars to a 54-13 record and finished his career fourth on the school's all-time list in scoring (1214 points) and assists (315). He compiled 27 games of 20-plus points, six games of 30-plus points, 13 double-doubles and one triple-double.
"Algie will also bring a level of experience and maturity to our basketball team," Grant said. "His versatility is probably his greatest strength, with the ability to play multiple positions on the perimeter. Algie's speed, decision making and ability to create scoring opportunities will be a great asset to our team. Algie also comes from one of the premier junior college teams in the country at Barton CC so he understands what it takes to be successful."
The duo joins early signees Jimmie Taylor (Greensboro High School) and Shannon Hale (Johnson City, Tenn./Christ School) as the newest members of the Alabama men's basketball team.