#17 Alabama Men's Basketball 2017-2018 Preview

Alabama Crimson Tide
2017-2018 Overall Rank: #17
Conference Rank: #3 SEC
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Avery Johnson has the Crimson Tide in position to make their first trip to the NCAA Tournament since the 2011-12 season. Alabama returns their top three scorers from last year’s team that won 10 SEC games. Johnson has also added some talented new pieces, most notably top-ten prospect Collin Sexton. The SEC should be more competitive all-around, so winning conference games won’t come easy, but Alabama has the talent to be a top-3 team in the league.
2016-17 Record: 19-15, 10-8
2016-17 Postseason:
Avery Johnson
Coach Record:
37-30 at Alabama, 37-30 overall
Who’s Out:
Alabama will be without four contributors who started a combined 51 games last season. The production lost won’t hurt the Crimson Tide as much as the lost experience will. Corban Collins has graduated after spending one season with the Tide as a grad transfer. Collins made 14 starts and finished second on the team in made threes with 45. Collins averaged 7.0 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists. Jimmie Taylor has also graduated after a four-year career at Alabama. Taylor started 14 games as a senior and averaged 5.1 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.4 blocks on the season. Bola Olaniyan also spent just one year at Alabama as a grad transfer. Olaniyan started 22 games and led the team in rebounding. Olaniyan averaged 3.1 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. Shannon Hale played in 21 games as a senior, but was suspended for the season in February, ending his Alabama career.
Who’s In:
Collin Sexton leads the way as a consensus top-ten recruit in the nation. Sexton played a key role for Team USA at the U17 World Championship, leading the team in scoring and assists. Sexton is a one-and-done talent who instantly changes the dynamic surrounding Alabama basketball. John Petty is another top recruit ranked as a four-star recruit just outside the top-30 in the nation. Petty, a 6-5 guard, was the top ranked player in Alabama, winning Mr. Basketball in the state each of the last two years. Alex Reese is another four-star prospect joining the Tide. Reese is a 6-9 forward who was ranked just inside the top-100 nationally. Herb Jones and Galin Smith round out the incoming freshmen at Alabama. Jones is a three-star, 6-7 guard who was a top-5 player in the state of Alabama. Smith is a three-star center and is a top-5 player out of Mississippi. Lastly, Daniel Giddens will be eligible this season after transferring in from Ohio State a year ago. Giddens averaged 3.8 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks as a freshman at Ohio State. Giddens, a 6-11 center, was a top-50 player coming out of high school and adds talent and experience to the Crimson Tide.
Who to Watch:
The Crimson Tide return six of their top seven scorers from last year. Braxton Key led the team in scoring as a freshman. Key made the SEC All-Freshman team behind 12.0 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. Dazon Ingram had a big season as a redshirt freshman. Ingram started all 34 games, averaging 10.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and a team-high 3.3 assists. Ingram also shot 42.9% from three and led the team in steals. Riley Norris and Ar’Mond Davis will be relied on as the only two seniors on the team. Norris started 27 games last season and averaged 9.0 points while shooting 33.3% from three. Davis is more of a role player as he averaged 6.0 points in 13.8 minutes per game as a junior. Donta Hall is a player who could take a big step forward as a junior. Hall started 20 games as a sophomore, averaging 6.0 points and 5.5 rebounds in 19.7 minutes per game. Hall led the team in field goal percentage (65.8%) and blocks (48). Avery Johnson, Jr. had a solid debut season at Alabama, averaging 6.9 points and 1.4 assists. Johnson, Jr. should be an important scorer off the bench for the Tide.
Final Projection:
Alabama projects as a top-25 caliber team for 2017-18. The Crimson Tide were competitive enough to win 10 SEC games last season, but lacked the wins necessary to get into the NCAA Tournament. This year, Alabama returns six of their top seven scorers while also adding several talented pieces. Collin Sexton comes to the Tide as a top-ten recruit who brings a new level of excitement to the team. With a strong mix of experience and talent, Avery Johnson looks primed to make his NCAA Tournament debut.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA Tournament
Projected Starting Five:
Collin Sexton, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season

Dazon Ingram, Sophomore, Guard, 10.6 points per game
Riley Norris, Senior, Guard, 9.0 points per game
Braxton Key, Sophomore, Forward, 12.0 points per game
Donta Hall, Junior, Center, 6.0 points per game
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 68.5 (280th in nation, 14th in conference)

Scoring Defense: 64.7 (28, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.4 (272, 10)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.5 (25, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.6 (241, 9)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 31.7 (315, 13)
Free-Throw Percentage: 65.3 (318, 13)
Rebound Margin: 5.6 (31, 1)
Assists Per Game: 11.5 (292, 14)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.9 (263, 11)
Madness 2018 NBA Draft Rankings:
#12 Collin Sexton
Madness 2017 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#6 Collin Sexton
#28 John Petty
#95 Alex Reese
#122 Herb Jones