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By Chris DePew
Nov. 6, 2018
In a season opener defined as much by who didn’t play as who did, Alabama dismantled Southern 82-62 at Coleman Coliseum.
What did we learn today?: Depth never runs as deep as it seems in the offseason. Starting point guard Dazon Ingram missed the game with an ankle injury. Joining him in street clothes was veteran sixth man Riley Norris, who is considered “week to week” after undergoing a procedure to correct an irregular heart rhythm. Freshmen Javian Davis-Fleming and Diante Wood were also out as expected, leaving the Crimson Tide with just nine scholarship players.
Bama got the most out of its mix-and-match lineup, including a solid debut from freshman point guard Kira Lewis. The 17-year-old from Meridianville looked perfectly comfortable stepping up to the college game, delivering seven of Alabama’s 17 assists in 29 minutes. Donta Hall (20 points) and John Petty (17) delivered almost half the points, with Tevin Mack and Galin Smith adding 10 apiece.
Basketball is Back!
Thursday: Where does Alabama really stand entering a transition year?
Friday: Tide looks to thrive with old-school roster built from inside out
Monday: A closer look at the schedule and what’s in store for the SEC
TODAY: Preview and postgame wrapup from the season opener vs. Southern
What was the best part of the game?: Watching Petty’s shot fall. The sophomore from Huntsville went 5-for-8 from 3-point range, 6-for-11 overall and did not commit a foul or turnover while playing a team-high 30 minutes. It’s hard to read much into a blowout of the Jaguars, picked to finish in the bottom half of Division I’s worst conference. But the more times Petty can see the ball go through the net, the better for building and maintaining his confidence.
Who was the star?: Hard to go wrong with 20 points in 21 minutes for Hall. After a few curious possessions early where he wound up near the 3-point arc, Hall settled in to his usual low post game and converted eight of his nine field goal attempts.
What were the biggest concerns?: In a foul-plagued game that never settled into a comfortable rhythm, the Crimson Tide had an unsightly 20 turnovers. Five of those came from Mack, who had an ugly debut off the bench. The Texas transfer was 3-for-12 from the floor, including a ghastly 1-for-7 from long distance, and also committed four fouls. If there had been more backcourt options available, he might not have gotten enough minutes to grind out his 10 points.
What’s next?: Appalachian State visits Tuscaloosa for a rare Sunday evening game. Tipoff on the SEC Network is at 6 p.m.
Follow Chris DePew on Twitter @TideFansChris
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