By Chris DePew
Aug. 2, 2017
Approximately 2000 fans found their way inside Coleman Coliseum Wednesday evening for a first glance at how Alabama’s most heralded basketball recruiting class would blend with its returning core of players.
After an hour of watching the Crimson Tide work out, curiosity bloomed into a full-fledged summer crush.
Bama’s newcomers generated most of the buzz during the open practice, which served as a sendoff for the team ahead of a 10-day, 3-game offseason trip to Canada.And it wasn’t just high school All-Americans Collin Sexton and John Petty creating all the buzz. Freshman Galin Smith and Ohio State transfer Daniel Giddens turned in solid work in the paint, and Alex Reese got into the mix as well. Lanky guard Herb Jones got lauded more than once by coach Avery Johnson for sharp passes. Alex Reese had the most raw showing of the freshmen but still had promising moments and wasn’t afraid to step up in offensive drills.
The high point though was clearly the Sexton vs. Petty duel in the only extended 5-on-5 segment. Both players were unafraid to take quick, decisive 3-point attempts and both hit time and again to the growing cheers of an excited crowd.
Really the only downbeat note was the absence of Dazon Ingram, who was held out as a precaution against aggravating a foot injury. Per Cecil Hurt of the Tuscaloosa News, he may not play during the Canadian tour, which begins with a Monday evening game at Montreal’s McGill University.
Notes: Giddens and Donta Hall played together on the White team during 5-on-5, joining Sexton, Jones and Riley Norris. The Crimson squad featured Petty, Reese and Smith with veterans Braxton Key and Avery Johnson, Jr. … A late drill featured players needing to combine for seven straight made free throws in two minutes. In four separate tries, they never made it to the goal. … Texas transfer Tevin Mack, who will sit out the upcoming season, participated in drills. … The McGill game (6 p.m.) and next Thursday’s game at the University of Ottawa (5:30 p.m.) will both be streamed on rolltide.com.
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