The University of Alabama’s men and women’s basketball team hosted the annual Tide Tipoff on Monday night.
Prizes and competitive basketball action kept an energetic crowd going all night in Coleman Coliseum. Fans got a chance to get their first look at the Tide’s Women and Men Basketball teams for the 2018 season.
The Tide’s Women Basketball team started off the night with players and coaches’ introductions followed by a one-quarter scrimmage. The scrimmage pitted a mostly experienced Crimson team against a White team, which consisted mostly of the teams’ new faces. The Crimson team took the scrimmage with relative ease by a score of 22-6 as the white’s team inexperience showed. Alabama’s Women’s Head basketball coach, Kristy Curry, did like what she saw in the scrimmage.
“I think we played great,” Curry said. “I love the depth and the energy that we had.”
Junior guard, Jordan Lewis, was able to show off her range during the scrimmage as she hit two threes. Senior guard, Shaquera Ward, was also able to show a glimpse of what she can do as she drove and scored multiple times. The Tide will have to lean on both this season as they have a very young team.
They are coming off a season where they went 20-14 overall and 7-9 in the SEC. They welcome multiple new faces to their 2018 squad, which means that the team will have to grow up fast to compete in the competitive SEC. Curry has faith that the young members of her squad will put their best foot forward.
“I want them to have fun,” Curry said. “Them doing the best that they can do is always going to be good enough for us,”
Alabama Women’s Basketball open their season with an exhibition game against Falkner University on Sunday in Coleman Coliseum. Curry feels that fan support is going to be vital this upcoming season.
“Please come out to support us,” Curry said. “We both need you.”
The crowd’s energy continued throughout night well onto the Tide’s Men’s basketball team took the court.
In similar fashion, the men’s basketball team started the night off with players and coaches’ introductions, which was followed by two 15-minute halves. The scrimmage highlighted what the Tide is bringing back this season as well as gave a glimpse at what the Tide have been working on. There was the occasional Alex Reece three, John Petty’s multiple threes, the Herbert Jones’ steal and fast-break dunk and the Donte’ Hall rim-rattling dunk, which were all facets of Alabama’s men basketball team last season.
Tide fans also got a chance to see the highly anticipated freshmen, Kira Lewis, in an Alabama jersey for the first time. Lewis entered the court with a loud ovation from the crowd. He showed that he can score in multiple ways during the scrimmage and got a welcome to college basketball moment as his shot was blocked while driving down the lane. Alabama guard and Texas transfer, Tevin Mack, got a chance to show that he could be a scoring option for the Tide this season and Junior center, Daniel Giddens, showed he has improved down low on the block.
Alabama’s men basketball coach, Avery Johnson, was mic’d up for the entire scrimmage and put a large emphasis on pushing the ball. He got frustrated during the scrimmage when his team failed to push the ball down the court and stop the entire scrimmage. He broke down the team’s goal, to push the ball this season, to the crowd with the pause in the action.
“We want to play fast and furious this year,” Johnson said. “We played too much on the sideline last year. We want to play in the middle of the floor, that’s why you see us giving the ball to the big man on the elbow.”
Johnson kept the crowd engaged in the scrimmage by breaking down what the team was during with pauses in the action and even got Alabama quarterback, Jalen Hurts, in on the action as he participated in one of the many shooting contests.
Alabama Men’s Basketball opens their season against Southern University on Nov. 6 in Coleman Coliseum.