Bama Hoops Hype

2017-18 Season Preview: Dazon Ingram

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Dazon Ingram got a redo at his freshman year in Tuscaloosa. And he took advantage of it.

After coming back from a foot injury that sidelined him for most of the 2015-16 season, Ingram bounced back with an impressive year for Avery Johnson’s team. Ingram was named the team’s Offensive Player of the Year after scoring 10.6 points per game last season. The redshirt freshman added 4.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game.

Ingram was the only Crimson Tide player to start all 34 games last season and he has started all 41 games he has played in since getting to Tuscaloosa. It may be hard to tell how Ingram’s minutes will change with the new freshmen class but it may be hard to keep him on the bench.

If Ingram continues to show improvement in both shooting and ball handling, he may be running the offense a lot more than fans may think. Collin Sexton is great on the ball but freshman point guards have a tendency to turn the ball over a lot. Ingram’s turnover rate – estimate of turnovers per 100 possessions – went down from 33.6 percent in his first season to 22 percent in his second season. If he can cut that down once again, it’s likely that Ingram will still be meeting his 27 minutes per game from last season.

It was Ingram’s efficiency from the floor that became a big weapon for the Crimson Tide in conference play. Ingram shot 52 percent from the field and was the team’s best 3-point shooter at 42.9 percent. Ingram’s free throw shooting, as with the rest of the team, was frustrating at times but he made clear improvements at the end of the season. Over the team’s last 15 games, Ingram shot 75 percent from the charity stripe.

“Everybody is talking about the freshmen and I’m great with that, but it’s Riley Norris and Braxton Key and Avery Johnson Jr. and Dazon Ingram and Donta Hall. It’s their responsibility and we can’t forget about those guys. They have the experience but at the same time, with the way our freshmen are picking up things, even though it’s still early, they’ll have their opportunities.” – Avery Johnson

It’s been said over and over again but it continues to be true. It may be the freshman that bring excitement to Tuscaloosa but it will be the returning players that will determine the team’s success. If Ingram, along with the other returners, remain consistent and improve on their individual skills, this team could be going a long way in March.

Caleb Turrentine is the editor for Bama Hoops Hype. You can follow him on Twitter for in-game updates at @CalebTurrentine.

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