From the Sideline — Early Impressions of Alabama Basketball
It's rather fitting that Alabama's Men's Basketball team is headed to Orlando to play a tournament in the shadows of one of the world's most famous amusement parks.
That's because this season is likely to be a roller coaster ride itself.
We've already experienced that in the first three games: nice start, followed by a huge drop, then a quick upward climb.
I don't expect that to change any time soon. Just like a roller coaster, you THINK you know what's coming, but you're never really sure until you've been through it.
The next few weeks could be a lot like that, with a very challenging field in the AdvoCare Invitational (the opener with Xavier, and a 2nd day matchup with either USC or Wichita State), followed by four winnable - yet also losable - match ups in the month of December.
Two starters exemplify what Avery Johnson is up against in his first season at Alabama.
Dazon Ingram is a tremendous talent out of Theodore, and the state's reigning Mr. Basketball. He's already shown dazzling potential, but he's also just a freshman.
Arthur Edwards is a 5th-year graduate transfer from New Mexico. He arrived in Tuscaloosa with much-less fanfare, but his strong preseason camp - and the team's desperate need for veteran leadership - has thrust him into a starting role.
Two first-year players, in a program with a new head coach. Everybody is trying to figure out their roles, and what the expectations are from the new staff.
Some days (as it was in Dayton), they may not be able to throw it in the ocean.
But hopefully there will be more nights like last Friday (105 points against Louisiana), when the basket had to look as wide as the Gulf itself.
It's all part of the process. It's all part of the ride.