Alabama Basketball Preview: Tide vs. Coastal Carolina

The Alabama basketball team kicks off its second season under coach Avery Johnson on Friday night, as the Crimson Tide welcomes Coastal Carolina to Coleman Coliseum as part of the Las Vegas Main Event.

The Alabama basketball team kicks off its second season under coach Avery Johnson on Friday night, as the Crimson Tide welcomes Coastal Carolina to Coleman Coliseum as part of the Las Vegas Main Event.

Alabama, which played their only exhibition game last Thursday, defeating Faulkner University 91-71. will look for a crucial first win before facing Dayton on Nov. 15.. Exhibition games are normally fairly meaningless, but it’s still nice to see the team play well before beginning regular-season play. If the Crimson Tide can even come close to the 40 percent 3-point mark and 54 percent shooting overall it recorded in that win, it could be an offensive force to reckon with all season.

Although Coastal Carolina isn’t an elite opponent, Alabama will still need to play well to win. The Chanticleers made the NCAA Tournament in 2014 and 2015, and finished with a regular season record of 18-10 in 2016. Playing at home will help the Tide, but this is a game that should not be taken lightly.

While the first game of the season is filled with things to watch, rebounding and 3-point shooting will be areas to pay especially close attention to. These two elements, as well as the overall pace of play, will be very important in determining this team’s ceiling this year. In addition, getting an opening win would be a huge boost with a very talented Dayton Flyers team next on the schedule.

In terms of specific players, Dazon Ingram and Bola Olaniyan will be important to pay attention to. Ingram only played seven games last season, but has the talent to be a key contributor this year. Olaniyan is a graduate transfer, and Alabama basketball is clearly expecting him to make an immediate impact in the 2016-17 season.

March is several months away, but Alabama’s hopes at a successful season start Friday night. Avery Johnson is trying to make Alabama basketball a consistently successful program, and will be looking to build on the significant improvements since his arrival last year.

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