The University of Alabama men’s basketball team held its annual Tide Tip-off event on Monday night, providing a mixture of optimism and rust in a scrimmage won by the White team, 64-52, against the Crimson team.
“Obviously we are not a finished product but our objective was to get our team some quality reps in front of a live audience,” Alabama head coach Avery Johnson said after the event. “Hopefully, our fans realize we want to play fast and furious but we were also working on certain things in particular areas of the floor.”
Sophomore Herbert Jones led all scorers with an unofficial tally of 17 points although Johnson — who occasionally paused the scrimmage for instructional talks with the audience — said statistics were secondary.
“I thought we had some players who did well in playing their roles. Sometimes kids have identity crises. You have point guards who want to be centers, centers who want to be point guards.
“Daniel Giddens has done a good job of developing himself into a center. Alex Reese has lost 16 pounds and really improved his conditioning.
“Tevin (Mack, a 6-foot-7 transfer from Texas) has a really good body. We need that scoring punch he can give us. But he hasn’t played in a real game in a year-and-a-half. Kira Lewis is a freshman and is very talented, but he doesn’t have to come in to be the savior of Alabama basketball. He can take his time and develop.
“If we had to go 10 deep, I would feel comfortable with that because that ninth and 10th player are going to be very good,” Johnson said. “This is the first time since I have been here that we’ve had quality depth at all five positions.”
Sexton matter ‘dealt with’
Johnson was asked about former Crimson Tide guard Collin Sexton, whose name was mentioned at the federal trial of two Adidas representatives and an agent middleman in New York.
Johnson said that he had no comment, but then added that the matter “had been dealt with last year” when Sexton was suspended for one game and that Alabama was “not involved” in any current allegations.
The Alabama women’s team also had a brief scrimmage prior to the men. UA women’s coach Kristy Curry said the event was positive and fielded questions on former Shelton State star Cierra Johnson, who appeared to be the Crimson Tide’s most talented offensive player in the brief workout.
“She has a great attitude,” Curry said. “She signed with us but couldn’t come to school right away, but what matters most is the way she has responded to that.”
Reach Cecil Hurt at email@example.com or 205-722-0225.