Avery Johnson Provides His Summer Progress Report on Alabama Basketball
Alabama men's basketball took an important step forward last season by making their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2012 and winning their first NCAA Tournament win since 2006.
Heading into the 2018-2019 campaign, the Crimson Tide returns most of the roster but will two key contributors including Collin Sexton.
Although the start of the basketball season is over four months away, one respected college basketball analyst thinks that the Alabama could still make some noise in the SEC.
CBS Sports college basketball insider Jon Rothstein listed Alabama as the SEC sleeper for the 2018-2019 season
On Wednesday's edition of Inside the Locker Room, Alabama men's basketball coach Avery Johnson provided his summer progress report for the upcoming season.
At the beginning of his conversation with Wimp and Barry Sanderson, Johnson detailed the steps that led Collin Sexton to being selected as the 8th overall pick in this year's NBA Draft.
Alabama's head coach reflected on the challenges he faced in his first three seasons including the importance of developing relationships with former Crimson Tide stars such as Robert Horry, Keith Askins, Jim Farmer and Mo Williams.
"I just think it's important to honor all of the guys from the past that have meant so much to our program that have led our programs to the second most wins in the SEC behind Kentucky." Johnson said.
The former NBA point guard explained how honoring figures from Alabama's past helps the program's current roster of players.
"I just think it's critically important that our players can see successful coaches like Coach Wimp (Sanderson), Coach C.M. (Newton), before he passed away. Successful players that have came to Alabama and that have gone to the NBA, and that was a great role model for guys like Collin Sexton." Johnson said.
Looking ahead to the season, Johnson highlighted what he expects to be a strong non-conference slate including games at home against Arizona, on the road at UCF and at Baylor as part of the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.
An important long-term issue for Alabama basketball is the future of Coleman Coliseum. Alabama's head basketball coach noted the initial discussions concerning the future of the facility and what he thinks will happen with the Crimson Tide's basketball home.
"I think something is going to happen at the appropriate time. Greg's (Byrne) going to announce it, and if it is a newly renovated, folks will not recognize the inside of it because I have an idea of what it would look like." Johnson said.
While declining to elaborate on specifics, Johnson reiterated the goals for an improved Coleman Coliseum.
"Something's going to happen. I'm really excited about what that's going to be because it's going to help our program take that next step in terms of having the right seating capacity, clubs, amenities, fan interaction, taking care of our students which I think is critical to the vibrancy of our program." Johnson said.
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