Although Alabama basketball losses one of the most exciting players in the country in Collin Sexton to the NBA, plenty of optimism remains concerning the direction for the Crimson Tide on the hardwood.

Avery Johnson's squad returns familiar faces such as Donta Hall, Riley Norris, John Petty, Herbert Jones and Daizon Ingram while seeing Texas transfer Tevin Mack become eligible after sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer rules.

During Thursday's edition of The Gary Harris Show, Crimson Tide Sports Network basketball color analyst Bryan Passink discussed a number of topics including Collin Sexton's future in the NBA, expectations for Alabama basketball following an NCAA Tournament appearance and a status report on CTSN basketball play-by-play voice Chris Stewart.

While comparing the paths of Collin Sexton and former Oklahoma guard Trae Young in professional basketball, Passink noted several intangibles that can help spark Sexton in his rookie campaign in Cleveland.

" I think he's going to have an immediate impact in the NBA because of his desire and work ethic and the competitiveness, his smarts. The guy's a 4.0 (GPA), super smart point guard. He has all the things that you want. I think he's going to be a great player." Passink said.

Earlier in the show, a discussion point arose concerning the overall expectations for the basketball program after making their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2012.

After describing how Avery Johnson shuns the concept of mediocrity for his program, the CTSN color analyst detailed his optimism about the upcoming season and why he feels that way.

"I feel better about this team coming into the season than I did last year." Passink said. "This team is going to be much more experienced. They've been to the NCAA. They've gotten that taste of it."

Catch The Gary Harris Show every weekday from 9-11 AM on Tide 102.9/100.9 and the Tide 102.9 app.