Oct. 2, 2015
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The 2015-16 Alabama men’s basketball season officially began on Friday with the first practice of the season at the Coleman Coliseum Practice Gym.
Head coach Avery Johnson enters his first year at the helm of the Crimson Tide program this season after spending seven years coaching in the NBA. Johnson said he was as excited as his players to get things officially started on Friday.
“We started off by getting the boys up early this morning for a one hour practice and now we are going again this afternoon,” Johnson said. “We are so excited to get things started. We have a lot of young players who need time on the court because they haven’t spent a lot of time playing together. We also have coaches who haven’t coached together before. The more time we can get on the court and prepare, the better off we will be. We have been pleased with what we’ve seen to this point, but now it’s time to get after it and that’s what we intend to do.”
NCAA rules that were implemented prior to the start of the 2013-14 campaign moved the start of team practice earlier in the fall – from 30 days prior to the first game of the season to 42 days. The Crimson Tide’s first game will be on Nov. 13 vs. Kennesaw State at Coleman Coliseum.
Alabama returns three starters, six letterwinners and welcomes five newcomers for the upcoming season.
Senior Retin Obasohan leads the list of returnees entering the new year. Obasohan’s numbers improved significantly throughout last season after dealing with an injury during the non-conference portion of the schedule. Over his final 13 games, Obasohan averaged 12.2 ppg, which ranked second on the team during the span. In addition, Obasohan had just one double-figure game in his first 20 contests, compared to 12 double-figure scoring contests over the final 13 games.
Junior Shannon Hale returns as the team’s top scorer after averaging 8.2 ppg last season. Hale was playing some of his best basketball of the year prior to being sidelined the final six games with a broken foot. Other top returnees include junior forwards Michael Kessens (5.9 ppg) and Jimmie Taylor (5.5 ppg), who both look to be key pieces for this year’s Alabama team.
Alabama will open the season with an exhibition game vs. Trevecca Nazarene on Nov. 6. The regular season will begin on Nov. 13 with a double header. The women’s team will host Alabama A&M at 4:30 p.m. CT, followed by the men facing Kennesaw State at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are currently on sale and can be purchased online at RollTide.com/Tickets or by calling 1-877-TIDETIX (843-3849). Fans can also purchase tickets in advance at the Alabama Ticket Office, located in the lobby of Coleman Coliseum.
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