Auburn Preview-Capsule

October 24, 2018


Last season: Alabama made its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2012 and won its first tourney game since 2006 before losing to eventual champion Villanova in the second round.

Nickname: Crimson Tide.

Coach: Avery Johnson.

Conference: SEC.

Who's gone: PG Collin Sexton left after one season and was the No. 8 overall NBA draft pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers. He averaged 19.2 points, second in the SEC. F Braxton Key, who started 17 games, transferred to Virginia.

Who's back: F Donta Hall averaged 10.6 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. John Petty, one of the league's better 3-point shooters, scored 10.2 ppg as a freshman. Dazon Ingram (9.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg) is the likely front-runner to replace Sexton at point guard. G Herbert Jones is a top defender who could need to score more. F Riley Norris received a medical redshirt after getting hurt early last season.

Who's new: G Tevin Mack averaged 14.8 ppg two years ago for Texas but sat out last season after transferring. PG Kira Lewis Jr. was a five-star recruit who graduated early and reclassified to play this season, but the 6-foot-3, 160-pounder could need time to grow into a role and mature physically.

The Skinny: The Tide is picked to finish seventh in the SEC, and has a big offensive void to fill after Sexton's departure. Mack and Petty are candidates to fill the role of go-to scorer. Alabama has been strong defensively but ranked 12th in the league in scoring last season.

Expectations: Las Vegas oddsmakers have Alabama among a group of teams with 120-1 odds of winning the NCAA Tournament. That group includes Arizona, Arkansas, Mississippi State and Texas A&M.