The University of Alabama men’s basketball team has played in almost every state of the Union, including Alaska and Hawaii and in territories including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Crimson Tide has played in exhibition games from Canada to Japan to Italy. But in December, Alabama will be making a trip it has never made before — to Nacogdoches, Texas.
Alabama will play at Stephen F. Austin on December 30, the first time in the 94-history of SFA basketball that an SEC team will travel to the east Texas campus.
The game came about in part because of the relationship between Alabama coach Avery Johnson and SFA coach Kyle Keller, who was an assistant coach at Texas A&M when Avery Johnson, Jr., was a member of the Aggie team.
The Lumberjacks won the Southland Conference Tournament last season before falling to Texas Tech 70-60 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
A return game in the series will be played in Tuscaloosa in the 2019-20 season.
Alabama has not released its full 2018-19 non-conference schedule yet. Arizona has announced that it will play in Tuscaloosa on December 9, while Penn State of the Big Ten has been confirmed for a Dec. 21 game at Coleman Coliseum. The Crimson Tide is also expected to host Murray State in December although no venue (possibly Huntsville or Birmingham) or date has been announced.
The Crimson Tide will also play in the ESPN Charleston Classic in Charleston, S.C. beginning on Thursday, Nov. 15 against Northeastern University. The other game in Alabama’s side of the bracket will match Ball State against Virginia Tech, a team that Alabama eliminated from the 2018 NCAA Tournament. Purdue, Wichita State, Davidson and Appalachian State will make up the other half of the bracket.
Alabama will also participate in the SEC/Big XII Challenge in January, playing at Baylor in Waco, Texas.
Reach Cecil Hurt at email@example.com or 205-722-0225.