The University of Alabama men’s and women’s basketball teams will host the annual Tide Tip-Off on Monday night, an event that will seem like a reunion because of the number of familiar faces.

The men’s team will return nine players from last year’s NCAA Tournament team, as well as having senior forward Riley Norris coming back from hip surgery and a medical redshirt.

Three of the Crimson Tide’s top four scorers from the 2017-18 team are back — senior Donta Hall, junior Dazon Ingram and sophomore John Petty — and will form the nucleus for the Crimson Tide. There are also highly touted newcomers, including transfer Tevin Mack, the leading scorer at Texas two years ago, and Kira Lewis, a projected five-star 2019 recruit who chose to enroll early at Alabama.

Crimson Tide head coach Avery Johnson has expressed optimism about this team, which is expected to be picked somewhere in the middle of the SEC in preseason prognostications.

“We are excited about this year,” Johnson said in a UA release. “We think that with our talent and depth within all of our positions, we will be more of a balanced team.”

The women’s team has fewer returnees but does have experience in guard Shaquera Wade and shot-blocking specialist Ashley Knight. Junior college All-America Ciera Johnson, a transfer from Shelton State, will be making her public debut as a UA player.

Doors for tonight’s events open at 6 p.m. CT for autographs, and the on-court event begins at 7 p.m CT.

The Alabama men will open the season with an exhibition game vs. Montevallo on Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. CT. The regular season will begin with a home contest on Nov. 6 against Southern University, Johnson’s alma mater. The UA women will host Faulkner University in an exhibition game next Sunday.

Reach Cecil Hurt at cecil@tidesports.com or 205-722-0225.

 

 

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