Last week Alabama fans were able to have a small taste of what they can expect this basketball season. On Friday, Alabama hosted its annual Tide Tipoff. While there was no scrimmage this year, the fans got the opportunity to witness a dunk contest and a three-point competition. Herbert Jones came away as the dunk contest champion by beating Alex Reese in the final. Jaylen Forbes’ team won the three-point competition by defeating teams led by Beetle Bolden, Jaden Shackelford and Jahvon Quinerly. While there was not a whole lot to take away from the tipoff event, it was nice for fans to get the chance to see the players have some fun and be on the court.
On Sunday, Alabama hosted Jacksonville State in a secret scrimmage where Alabama avenged their blowout scrimmage loss from last season with a 90-81 victory. Alabama shot 43.8% from the field, 25% from 3-point range, and 67.4% from the free throw line on 43 attempts. The low field goal and three-point percentage were expected since it is the team’s first time playing someone in a game format other than themselves and most teams come out cold in these scrimmages, so I wouldn’t look into it too much. The free throw percentage is what Alabama fans have come to accept and a percentage that must, and I believe, will improve. The low percentage could partially come from fatigue due to the fact that Alabama only had 8 available players in the team’s first game-type scenario. I don’t foresee Alabama shooting 47 free throws in any real game this season either as these scrimmages normally have sloppy play which leads to an abundance of free throws. This percentage has to improve for Alabama to be the team that many believe they can be. On to the positive side, Herbert Jones scored 17 points with 3 steals and 1 block while shooting 5-11 from the field and 7-11 from the free throw line. If Alabama can get this kind of production from Jones consistently throughout the season this team could be very special. Jones has had his fair share of offensive woes throughout his career and Alabama hopes to see a big jump from the forward. John Petty also poured in 17 points on 7-13 shooting and hitting two of his five three pointers. Petty is another player who has been a bit inconsistent throughout his career but hopes to have a breakout season this year for the Tide. Finally, Alabama was led by their star point guard Kira Lewis Jr. who scored 21 points on 8-16 shooting and also having 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Alabama hopes to see many similar games from Lewis throughout the season and expects their NBA prospect to have a huge year in this new fast-paced system.
In recruiting news, Alabama hosted Chance Moore out of Georgia for an official visit this weekend. Chance Moore is ranked top 45 nationally per the 247sports Composite Rankings. Moore is a guard who can score at will in a variety of ways. He can shoot the 3, pull-up mid-range or attack the basket with ease. He would be a great fit in Coach Nate Oats’ system. From what I heard the visit went well. Moore will be a name to watch in the 2021 class.
This Week At A Glance
Alabama has a huge weekend ahead headlined by 5-star visitor Isaiah Jackson and 4-star visitor Keon Ambrose-Hylton. These are two high profile visitors who could help shape the landscape of the Nate Oats era of Alabama basketball. Jackson would provide Alabama a rim protector who is also capable of pulling down any rebound and pushing to ball up the floor. He is a freakish athlete who would have an impact form day one on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor. Ambrose is a forward who is a capable scorer and has the ability to extend past the three-point line. He is also capable of pushing the pace and starting the break when he pulls down rebounds. With Coach Oats and his staff developing him, Ambrose has the potential to be an impact player for a few years if he decides to commit to Alabama. Both recruits are expected to announce their commitments in the early signing period. This will be the final official visit for each of these recruits barring any changes.
Along with the massive recruiting weekend, Alabama is slated to host Georgia Tech in a charity exhibition game Sunday afternoon. The game has a $5 entry fee so if you want to attend be sure to purchase your tickets in advance (http://bit.ly/2J8XapQ) as the game will not be televised. This will be Alabama’s first opportunity to play a game in front of the fan base before the regular season begins on November 5. Alabama looks to shoot better from the charity stripe as well as from 3 in this game. Georgia Tech is a team that has put up big scores in their exhibitions as they have not scored below 90. Take that for what it’s worth of course since it’s hard to gauge any team off of results from exhibitions and scrimmages. While Tech has done well in their scrimmages, as a team last season they only averaged 65.3 points per game. The Tide and Yellow Jackets will both have a better feel for where they stand heading into November 5 after Sunday. Georgia Tech is led by senior big man James Banks, junior guard Jose Alvarado, and sophomore guard Michael DeVoe among others. This will be a good test for Alabama on both ends of the ball to continue to see what needs improvement as the Tide prepares for year one of the Nate Oats era.
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