TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The 2019-20 Alabama men’s basketball season officially began on Tuesday morning with the first practice of the season. The Crimson Tide practiced for approximately two-and-a-half hours on the practice court as it begins preparations for the home opener in exactly 42 days (Nov. 5 vs. Penn).
Head coach Nate Oats begins his first season at the helm of the Alabama program and welcomes back three starters and seven letterwinners from last season’s team. Also returning is Javian Davis, who redshirted the 2018-19 season.
Sophomore Kira Lewis Jr. and juniors John Petty Jr. and Herbert Jones highlight the returning letterwinners from a year ago. The trio are the top returning scorers, led by Lewis who topped last season’s team with 13.5 points per contest. Petty also averaged in double figures with 10.2 ppg, while Jones collected 6.4 ppg.
Lewis topped last year’s squad in assists (2.9 apg), minutes (31.6 mpg), field goals made (157) and attempted (363) and free throw percentage (.783). Meanwhile, Petty led UA in threes made (59) and attempted (171), was second in rebounding (4.2 rpg) and third in scoring. Jones was the team’s top defender and led the Tide in charges taken (17) and steals (32), while ranking second in blocked shots (20).
Other key returnees include juniors Alex Reese and Galin Smith. Reese average 6.3 points and 2.5 rebounds in 28 contests played, while his 37.5 percent shooting from beyond the arc led Alabama. Smith was a key contributor inside the paint, playing in 30 contests while making 10 starts and averaging 3.8 points and 2.2 rebounds per contest.
Along with a new head coach and staff, the 2019-20 Crimson Tide will have a new look to its team. This year’s roster features a total of seven newcomers, including four freshmen and three transfers.
The four freshmen include guards Jaylen Forbes and Jaden Shackelford, along with forwards Juwan Gary and Raymond Hawkins. The transfers consist of graduate student James “Beetle” Bolden (West Virginia), sophomore guard Jahvon Quinerly (Villanova) and junior forward James Rojas (Hutchinson CC).
The fifth annual UA Supe Store Tide Tipoff event will be held Oct. 18. Doors open at 6 p.m. CT for autographs, and the on-court event begins at 7 p.m CT.
The 2019-20 campaign officially tips off on Nov. 5 against Penn. Season tickets are currently on sale and can be purchased online at RollTide.com/Tickets or by calling 1-877-TIDETIX (843-3849). Fans can also purchase tickets in advance at the Alabama Ticket Office, located in the lobby of Coleman Coliseum.