PRACTICE REPORT: Observations from the first men's basketball practice open to media during the 2016-17 season

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 lost three players Retin Obasoahan, Arthur Edwards and Justin Coleman (transferred to Samford) that played a significant number of minutes for the Crimson Tide in 2015. The three players played 1,067, 945 and 866 minutes respectively to combine for over 43 percent of the team’s total minutes. 

The only player left on the roster who topped the 700-minute mark last season was Riley Norris who played 930 minutes for the team, but the Crimson Tide doesn’t look it will have a depth problem this season. Alabama gained two immediately elligible graduate transfers, Corban Collins (Morehead State) and Bola Olaniyan (Southern Illinois), over the offseason. After sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer rules coach Avery Johnson can now play Memphis transfer Nick King and Texas A&M transfer Avery Johnson Jr.

The team also added junior college transfer Ar’Mond Davis and freshman Braxton Key.

Practice Notes:

  • During different drills, King looked comfortable taking  a number of shots beyond the arc. Some of them looked good, and some of them were off target, but he looked good in practice last year and Johnson has repeatedly said he’d rather guys take shots that don’t work out than hold onto the ball too long. 
  • When the team divided into two groups the grey team originally consisted of Jimmie Taylor, Shannon Hale, Davis, Riley Norris and Collins. The Crimson team originally included Dazon Ingram, King, Key, and Donta Hall. 
  • Ingram looked fine in practice today after suffering a season-ending injury last year.
  • At the end of the media viewing period the team divided up into pairs to work on shooting. Taylor appeared to make roughly 60 percent or more of his uncontested shots inside the arc. He finished last season 38-of-65 (58.6 percent) from the field with no attempted 3-point shots last season. Taylor also seemed perfect when shooting at or near the free throw line after finishing last season 17-of-50 (34 percent).
  • Davis’ has already been praised by both Johnson and teammates as a confident, and accurate, long-distance shooter. He appeared to make a vast majority of his uncontested shots in practice. At one point he made 7-of-10 in the span of about a minute.