PHOTOS: Alabama Men’s Basketball Continues Preparations for Canada
The Alabama men’s basketball team is nearing the halfway mark of its 10 NCAA-sanctioned team practices before departing on a trip Canada in early August. The Crimson Tide finished the team’s fourth practice on Monday afternoon, with the final six coming over the next 10 days prior to the team heading north of the border.
Alabama head coach Avery Johnson is pleased with what he has seen in the four practices thus far when it comes to meshing the newcomers with the returning players from last year’s team.
“Overall, practices have been going very good,” Johnson said. “We’ve had a lot of positive energy in our practices. Part of that has been our returning players who have wanted to do something special and work on getting better, and another part has been our fusion of our newcomers – all five freshmen and the addition of Daniel Giddens being eligible to play this year. We’ve seen guys diving on the floor for 50/50 balls, rebounding the basketball, making the extra pass. I’m seeing an infusion of positive energy that I am really hoping will carry over into our Canadian trip on both ends of the floor.”
Alabama, which is ranked No. 22 in the nation in USA Today's preseason top-25 poll, welcomes back four starters and seven letterwinners from last season's team that reached the National Invitation Tournament. In addition to the returning firepower, Johnson welcomes a heralded signing class, ranked as high as No. 5 nationally, that will be on full display for the first time when the team takes the floor in Canada.
“The newcomers are all talented but these practices have been a bit of a shock for them in some ways,” Johnson said. “A lot of things they got away with in high school or AAU ball, moves that would get them an open jumper or a dunk, they don’t get away with here. We were one of the top rebounding and defensive teams in the SEC last season, so our veterans are tough to go against.”
The team is slated for practices five and six on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, respectively, with the final four practices coming next week. The highlight of the practice sessions will be on Wednesday, Aug. 2, from 6-7 p.m. CT when the Tide will host an open practice to the public. Fans will be allowed inside Coleman Coliseum free of charge in order to get their first glimpse of the 2017-18 squad. Further details and promotions surrounding the event will be announced at a later time.
Alabama will depart Tuscaloosa for its trip on Friday, Aug. 4 where it will spend a total of eight days and play three games against Canadian Universities throughout its time in Montreal and Ottawa. The first game will be played on Aug. 7 against McGill University at 7 p.m. ET (6 p.m. CT) in Montreal. The Tide will then play a pair of games in Ottawa, beginning with a contest on Aug. 9 at Carleton University at 7 p.m. ET (6 p.m. CT) followed by facing the University of Ottawa on Aug. 10 at 6:30 p.m. ET (5:30 p.m. CT).
Deposits for 2017-18 men’s basketball season tickets are currently being accepted by The University of Alabama TIDE PRIDE/Ticket Office. Fans can click HERE for more information or to make their deposit today.