Men’s Basketball Practice Report: Tide Holds Final Practice Before Season-Opening Scrimmage [VIDEOS]
Now, it looks like it might be a trend.
For the second time this preseason Thursday, Alabama men's basketball allowed the media to watch a portion of the team's practice.
"Our team has made some pretty good strides in practice," coach Avery Johnson said. "We're still a significant work in progress, but I like the attitudes, they're mentally and physically tough."
On Thursday, the media was able to watch the first 20 minutes, where the team mostly went through warmup drills. The media's first open practice was held on Oct. 15, where it was able to watch several different drills, including 5-on-5 scrimmaging, during an hour-long period.
Under former coach Anthony Grant, reporters were unable to watch any portion of practice.
The Crimson Tide hosts Trevecca Nazarene in its lone exhibition game of the season Friday night at 7 p.m. Its season opener will take place next Friday, Nov. 13 at home against Kennesaw State, with tipoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
- While Johnson said prior to practice that he doesn't yet have a definitive lineup or rotation locked in place yet, it appears, based on Thursday's practice, that it will likely feature some familiar faces. Justin Coleman, Retin Obasohan, Riley Norris, Shannon Hale and Jimmie Taylor -- the White team -- were the first five up during practice when the team began going through full-court drills. (Avery Johnson Jr., who can't play this year due to NCAA transfer rules, and walk-on freshman Lawson Schaffer were the other two members of the White team.)
"I know who we're going to start tomorrow and figuring out a rotation after that," Johnson said. "We pretty much, right now, have one position that's decided (Taylor at center). The other four are still up for grabs."
The first five up for the Crimson team -- which looked like a probable second team in the rotation at least for now -- was Dazon Ingram, Brandon Austin, Arthur Edwards, Michael Kessens and Donta Hall. (Transfer Nick King, who also can't play this season due to NCAA transfer rules, and walk-on Christian Clark were the other two players on Crimson.)
- Collectively, Alabama should have better ball movement offensively this season, as that appeared to be a point of emphasis during the viewing period. (See the video below.)
- Of note, Edwards, a graduate transfer guard from New Mexico who is eligible to play this season, practiced Thursday. He did not practice on Oct. 15 due to an illness.
- Also, both Kessens and Hale practiced without limitations Thursday, which wasn't the case on Oct. 15. Kessens suffered a knee injury near the end of last season, while Hale fractured his foot in early March with only a few regular-season games remaining.
“Fortunately, we have all hands on deck,” Johnson said. “Shannon Hale and Michael Kessens have been battling injuries early on in training camp, but they’re ready to go now.”
- Assistant coach Bob Simon was present at Thursday's practice. He was not seen during the team's practice on Oct. 15, but that was likely due to a recruiting trip or something along those lines.
Watch videos from Thursday's practice below: