Bama Hoops Hype

2017-18 Season Preview: Non-Conference Schedule

Photo by Joe Habshey - Bama Hoops Hype

The Alabama Men’s Basketball team is finally ready to tip off. After all the hype of the offseason, the season’s opening game is right around the corner. As our 2017-18 season preview continues, we breakdown the Tide’s non-conference opponents for this year.

Veterans Classic – vs. Memphis (11/10); Lipscomb (11/14)

The beginning of the grind. This is where the Tide will hope to get the wheels moving on what they hope will be a monumental season in the history of Bama Hoops. Avery Johnson’s squad will first travel to Maryland for a game against Memphis before coming back home to play Lipscomb. These teams are perfect opposition to begin the campaign as they will offer challenging and diverse looks, but nothing that the Tide shouldn’t be able to overcome. This should allow the team to get its feet wet and work out whatever kinks might still be in the system.

Barclays Center Classic – Alabama A&M (11/17); UT Arlington (11/21)

Much like the first set, this slate of games allows the Tide to do some experimentation. The goal will be getting guys minutes and making sure everyone is fully acclimated to the journey that lies ahead. Alabama A&M will be a very athletic team, which will put the Tide’s poise under pressure to the test. UT Arlington looks to be a quality matchup that might challenge Johnson’s men in the paint, testing the team’s toughness and focus to get the little things done.

Barclays Center Classic (Brooklyn, N.Y.) – BYU (11/24); 15 Minnesota (11/25)

BYU will look to be the Tide’s first real test of the 2017-18 season. A team that in the past has been built upon quality shooting from the perimeter should definitely stretch the defense of the Crimson Tide out and allow us to see what each player is capable of defensively. Minnesota is an all around team this season and the first ranked opponent the Tide will take on this season. They two should matchup well with one another and allow a first look at which players will be stepping up and making a difference for this Tide team. With all of the youth on this roster, someone is going to need to take charge, and this game will be where that person can make the team theirs.

Louisiana Tech (11/29)

After the tough stretch against BYU and Minnesota, the Tide will look to catch their breath against a Lousiana Tech team that, given a quality outfit, should not be able to challenge the Tide’s talent on the perimeter, allowing a smooth win.

UCF (12/3)

Normally an above average side, UCF could present a few issues for the Tide, but just as easily could also be a rout should Alabama come sprinting out of the gates and assert their presence early.

Rhode Island (12/6)

A trap game if I have ever seen one. Everyone associated with Alabama basketball knows what’s next on the schedule and should the Tide start getting pumped to early, could easily see a Rhode Island team light it up and end them quick.

at 3 Arizona (12/9)

Quite possible the biggest game of the Crimson Tide’s season, this game is not necessarily about getting the win. This game is set to show to the nation that this team can compete with the best teams in the country. Though they will certainly be looking to challenge the Wildcats, Avery Johnson will just be praying for a quality performance that his boys can be proud of.

vs. Mercer – in Hunstville, Ala. (12/19)

This Mercer game will probably be the most unpredictable game of the season. No one will be able to tell how the team will come out of their performance against Arizona plus finals week. They could ride the wave of a win throughout the year, or lay an egg and get beat by 20. A fire could be lit underneath them with a loss to Arizona that fuels their campaign, or they could mope their way to two losses in a row. Nothing is guaranteed in this one.

vs. Texas – in Birmingham, Ala. (12/22)

The last of the non-conference games before the real battles begin, and a matchup that should really get the guys ready to play. This Texas team should be incredibly physical and really get the team ready for the grind that comes with conference play.

SEC/BIG 12 Challenge – Oklahoma (1/27)

In the midst of Conference play, this inter-conference challenge game will come down to how Avery Johnson chooses to pursue it. Should the game be merely a chance to rest his stars will be addressed as the time arrives. But should he put his best foot forward in this one, then I believe that there is every chance that the Crimson Tide could be walking away with this one.

Johnathan Anderson covers Alabama basketball for Bama Hoops Hype. You can follow him on Twitter for coverage and analysis.

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