Johnson and players unveil, discuss 2016 non-conference schedule

Johnson+and+players+unveil%2C+discuss+2016+non-conference+schedule

Avery Johnson wants the basketball team to be faster and more aggressive on offense. CW | Amellia Armstrong

Tyler Waldrep

The Alabama men’s basketball team officially unveiled its non-conference schedule for the upcoming season on Wednesday. 

Coach Avery Johnson said he felt good about the foundation his team laid for success last year, but in year two he will be looking for his team to take the next step. 

For Alabama, that means scheduling an even more difficult non-conference schedule this time around.

“We thought last year that we played a competitive schedule,” Johnson said. “We thought this year that we needed to take it one notch higher. That’s what we did.” 

The Crimson Tide will play three NCAA Tournament teams Dayton at home on Nov. 15, at Texas on Dec. 2 and at Oregon on Dec. 11.

Last season the Dayton Flyers handed the Crimson Tide it’s worst loss of the season when it beat Alabama 80-48 in Dayton. 

That isn’t the only loss Alabama will look to avenge in 2016. The Crimson Tide led the Oregon Ducks by double digits in Birmingham, Alabama before falling the eventual Final Four team 72-68. 

Other noteworthy games in the non-conference schedule include showdowns with fellow NIT team Valparaiso and a potential match up with BYU in the same tournament taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada Nov. 21-23. 

“That’s great, big time, having those type of guys, programs that are known for having good basketball teams,” Morehead State transfer Corban Collins said. “… [It’s] great for us as competitors to play against other good teams, good quality teams that are probably going to be in the [NCAA] Tournament, that’s just real exciting.”

Alabama will also continue its new tradition of hosting a quality opponent in Birmingham when the Clemson Tigers visit the state. Last season the Tigers lost to the Crimson Tide by a single point on its home court last year.

In addition to Birmingham, the men’s basketball team will also host an opponent, Arkansas State, in Huntsville, Alabama this season. 

“We think it’s very important,” Johnson said. “You know and it’s also a time during the year when we’re out from school that gives us a chance to have another packed house, in Huntsville, with a fan base that’s been starving to see Alabama and to see us with our new program and our new coaching staff.”

Complete Schedule

  • Nov. 3 Faulkner (exhibition)
  • Nov. 11 Coastal Carolina
  • Nov. 15 Dayton
  • Nov. 18 Ball State 
  • Nov. 21 Valparaiso (Las Vegas, Nevada)
  • Nov. 23 BYU/ St. Louis (Las Vegas, Nevada)
  • Nov. 29 Charleston Southern
  • Dec. 2 @Texas
  • Dec. 11 @Oregon
  • Dec. 15 USC Upstate
  • Dec. 18 Clemson (Birmingham, Alabama)
  • Dec. 21 Arkansas State (Huntsville, Alabama)
  • Dec. 29 Stetson