Avery Johnson Discusses His First Season in Tuscaloosa and Future of Alabama Basketball [Audio]
After his first season at The Capstone, head coach Avery Johnson joined Chris Stewart on Wednesday to discuss the season in review and preview how they're getting prepared for the 2016-2017 college basketball season.
The 2015-2016 season was a season of ups and downs for the Crimson Tide, as it ended with the Tide missing out on making the NCAA Tournament and losing in the first round of the NIT. However, the 18 wins on the season tied legendary Alabama coach Wimp Sanderson for the most wins in a coach's first season in Alabama basketball history.
While it was a tough ending to the season for the Tide, Coach Johnson feels like Alabama is making progress, slowly but surely getting to where they want to be.
"We are on the right track. We had some highlights this year that we're all aware about, beating some Top 25 teams... It also highlighted that next level that we need to go to in terms of developing our players, recruiting, just continue to improve across the board."
As is the case with many college basketball teams, Alabama has had a couple players making the decision to transfer over the past couple of weeks: Justin Coleman and Michael Kessens. Kessens played limited minutes throughout the season, but was one of the three big men that Johnson could play in the paint last season (Jimmie Taylor and Donta Hall as the others). Coleman saw a significant bump in playing time when freshman phenom Dazon Ingram went down for the season with a foot injury. Coach Johnson discussed these two players' decisions to continue their playing careers elsewhere.
"With Mike (Kessens), I kinda had in the back of my mind because he's an older kid, he'll try to go play overseas or he may try to go to school on the east coast, so I kinda expected that one.
"Justin was a little bit of a surprise, but understandable. We worked hard with Justin, he improved, he's a great kid. He made that decision and wanted to move on. He talked to his family about it and we couldn't talk him out of it."
You can listen to the entire interview below.