Bama Hoops Hype

2017-18 Season Preview: Projected Rotation

Alabama Men's Basketball

With the college basketball season tipping off next week, we continue our season preview of the Alabama Crimson Tide by projecting Avery Johnson’s rotation. There is plenty of excitement surrounding the freshman class but now the biggest question is how Coach Johnson will use them.

(Each name is linked to our full player preview for this year. Minutes are averaged out from staff predictions.)

Starting Lineup

G – #12 Dazon Ingram: 26 minutes – Redshirt Sophomore, 6’5″, 207 lbs

2016-17 stats: 10.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.3 apg, 52% FG, 42% 3PT, 66% FT

With his experience and operation of the basketball, having Dazon Ingram on the court for an average of 30 minutes a game gives Alabama a voice on the court it can rely on. Ingram’s vision can impact matchups in a variety of ways, especially when it comes to late in games. His focus can lead to the Tide icing games away in the second
half. – Contributor Stephen Smith, gave Ingram 30 minutes

G – #2 Collin Sexton: 29 minutes – Freshman, 6’3″, 190 lbs

2017 HS stats: 32.6 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.7 spg and 2.5 apg

Sexton has already made an impact on the Alabama program but his impact on the court is still unknown. The freshman’s natural scoring ability will make him an easy starter from the beginning. If Sexton plays up to his potential, he’ll be starting all season long. However, with the talent of Alabama’s guards, don’t be surprised if a cold spell by Sexton leads him coming off the bench. – Managing Editor Caleb Turrentine, gave Sexton 30 minutes

G/F – #25 Braxton Key: 27 minutes – Sophomore, 6’8″, 225 lbs

2016-17 stats: 12.0 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.7 apg, 43% FG, 33% 3PT, 63% FT

Key started the final 30 games of the season last year. His ability to play multiple positions should keep him in the starting lineup until something drastic happens. Key will not have to deal with the pressure of being a primary ball handler or scoring option in this lineup so I expect to see improvements from him in year two. – CT, gave Key 30 minutes

F – #1 Riley Norris: 17 minutes – Senior, 6’7″, 210 lbs

2016-17 stats: 9.0 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 41% FG, 33% 3PT, 74% FT

A player that will surely provide veteran leadership amongst an incredibly young Crimson Tide side, Riley Norris will be responsible for providing key minutes for the Tide. Norris should start most games, giving the Tide not only another shooter – capable of spreading the floor with his range – but a very capable rebounder that will allow the Tide to play with a smaller, quicker line-up. Norris will be looking to leave a legacy as he begins the end of his career in Tuscaloosa. – Staff Writer Johnathan Anderson, gave Norris 21 minutes

C – #0 Donta Hall: 21 minutes – Junior, 6’9″, 232 lbs

2016-17 stats: 6.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.4 bpg, 66% FG, 60% FT

Donta Hall is set to be the Tide’s number one big man this season.  He is a force in the paint both offensively and defensively and will be key on the glass.  Daniel Giddens will certainly challenge Hall for minutes if the Tide continually play with a small lineup, but look for Hall to assert his dominance early on this year’s campaign. – JA, gave Hall 25 minutes

Role Players

G – #23 John Petty: 27 minutes – Freshman, 6’5″, 195 lbs

2016 HS Stats: 19.9 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 4.1 apg, 1.8 spg

Though all the hype surrounding this freshmen class is centered around Collin Sexton, Petty will likely be the star surfacing for the Tide this season.  His contributions on both sides of the floor will be what propel the Tide throughout the campaign.  The Tide will rise only as high as Petty this season, and a large weight of the offensive load will fall onto his shoulders. – JA, gave Petty 30 minutes

F – #4 Daniel Giddens: 13 minutes – Sophomore, 6’11”, 247 lbs

2015-16 stats with Ohio State: 3.8 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.5 bpg, 46% FG, 44% FT

It will be interesting to see how Coach Johnson uses Giddens this year. We know that the Tide will want to run with a smaller lineup most of the time so Giddens may not see a lot of time. However, if he can begin to outperform his teammates, it may not be long before Giddens gets into the starting lineup. – CT, gave Giddens 14 minutes

G – #5 Avery Johnson Jr.: 11 minutes – Junior, 5’11”, 187 lbs

Avery Johnson Jr. was a very stable talent for the Tide last season, but was far from spectacular statistically.  Johnson Jr. will look to have a bounce back year and provide the Tide with some veteran poise and leadership as he will have to fill in if Sexton has trouble adjusting to the speed and intensity of play at this level. – JA, gave Johnson 15 minutes

F – # 3 Alex Reese: 9 minutes – Freshman, 6’9″, 250 lbs

2016 HS stats: 25.4 ppg, 10.9 rpg, 1.0 bpg

Reese’s versatility should come in handy for the Crimson Tide. He can stretch the floor while playing as a power forward that will allow Alabama to play with a big lineup at times. The Pelham graduate will also be able to do the heavy work in the paint against other big men. Reese has plenty of potential and could be the biggest surprise of Johnson’s recruiting class. – CT, gave Reese 12 minutes

G – #22 Ar’Mond Davis: 9 minutes – Senior, 6’6″, 202 lbs

2016-17 stats: 6.0 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 33% FG, 27% 3PT, 82% FT

Ar’mond Davis will likely be finding himself as a role player for the Tide this season given the depth and talent of this loaded roster.  Davis is a talent in his own right, and will find his way into games when others are not performing, regularly receiving a small amount of minutes each game, but unless injuries greatly impact the Tide this season, don’t expect Davis to play the same dynamic role as in seasons past. – JA, gave Davis 10 minutes

Bench Players

G/F – #10 Herb Jones: 5 minutes – Freshman, 6’7″, 200 lbs

2016 HS stats: 15.7 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 3.1 apg and 2.9 spg

Herb Jones is the type of player that will maximize all efforts in a small amount of time. He’s played varsity basketball since he was in the seventh grade, and knows what it means to play with a sense of urgency. His championship pedigree from Sunshine and Hale County High Schools will not allow him to shy away from competition. Being able to hit clutch shots, defend quicker guards and put the ball on the floor will all be important, but Jones can adapt to those aspects. – SS, gave Jones 9 minutes

F – #30 Galin Smith: 4 minutes – Freshman, 6’9″, 235 lbs

2016 HS Stats: 21.7 ppg, 11.3 rpg, 5.1 bpg, 1.5 apg

Due to having Donta Hall and Daniel Giddens, Galin Smith will not see much action this season but can still provide an impact. Coming in under the tag of third-team center, Smith will log the majority of his minutes during lopsided games. Should he display energy, hustle and productivity off the bench, the Mississippian could see his time increase. – SS, gave Smith 7 minutes

G – #24 Lawson Schaffer: 2 minutes – Junior, 5’11”, 168 lbs

2016-17 stats: 16 points, 4 reb 4/10 FG, 4/8 3PT, 4/4 FT

Schaffer was four of eight last season from beyond the arc through 17 games, and in averaging six minutes a contest, that gives him time to free himself up and knock down clutch shots in key situations. It may be frustrating with a lot of guards ahead him on the depth chart; nonetheless, his skill set makes room for him in certain situations. – SS, gave Schaffer 6 minutes

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