Three Things You Need to Know about Alabama Basketball’s 2018-2019 Season
As Alabama fans continue to revel in the football program's 29-0 shutout of third ranked LSU, Crimson Tide basketball sets sail on the program's 106th season Tuesday night against the Southern University Jaguars.
Alabama has an 84-21 record in season opening games including a 3-0 mark under Avery Johnson.
The Crimson Tide trounced Montevallo 82-40 in their only exhibition game of the preseason this past Tuesday.
Less than 36 hours before the regular season tipoff, the basketball program revealed that graduate student Riley Norris is week to week after undergoing a cardiac ablation procedure last week.
Before Alabama embarks on the regular season, find out the three things you need to know about their upcoming season.
Plenty of Experience Returns
Although the Tide lost one of college basketball's most exciting players of the 2017-2018 season in Collin Sexton, they return plenty of production and experience from a year ago.
Last year, Alabama had no seniors on the active roster but will have four seniors along with seven players who have graduated or will graduate during the course of the season.
The roster features 10 returning players including four starter from last season's NCAA Tournament squad. The 10 letterwinners combined for 69 percent of the team's scoring, 80 percent of the total rebounds, 93 percent of the total blocks, 76 percent of the total steals, 64 percent of the total assists, 74 percent of their three point baskets made, 71 percent of the total made field goals and 77 percent of the total minutes played.
Of the four returning starters, Donta Hall, John Petty and Dazon Ingram combined to average 30.5 points per game, 14.9 rebounds per game, 5.4 turnovers per game, 4.9 assists per game and 2.5 blocks per game.
As the season gets underway, Avery Johnson's squad will encounter plenty of challenges in an improving SEC and a rock solid non-conference slate.
The schedule features a minimum of 12 teams that made NCAA Tournament appearances with the potential to take on returning NCAA Tournament opponents in Virginia Tech, Purdue or Wichita State.
Five opponents including Arizona, Kentucky, Georgia State, Murray State and Stephen F. Austin earned automatic bids into the NCAA Tournament.
Alabama also plays NIT champion Penn State as their final non-conference home game and Colonial Athletic Association regular season champion Northeastern in their first game of the Charleston Classic.
In SEC play, the Tide plays eight of their 18 conference games against NCAA Tournament opponents from a season ago including two games against Auburn and Texas A&M.
Success vs. the Top 25
Since Avery Johnson's arrival in Tuscaloosa in 2015, Alabama has had their fair share of success against the best that the SEC and college basketball has to offer.
Under Avery Johnson, the Crimson Tide has won 11 of their 21 contests against teams ranked in the AP Top 25.
Last season, Alabama cemented their NCAA Tournament resume with a 6-3 mark against the AP Top 25.
Prior to Johnson's arrival, the Tide dropped 21 consecutive games against nationally ranked opponents.