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Alabama Opens 2016-17 Men’s Basketball Season Friday Night vs. Coastal Carolina...

on Thursday, November 10, 2016

Crimson Tide Sports:

Crimson Tide Men's Basketball:

The Alabama men's basketball team will play its first game of the 2016-17 campaign when it welcomes the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers to Coleman Coliseum on Friday, Nov. 11, at 8 p.m. CT.

Alabama returns two starters and eight letterwinners from last season's 18-15 team that reached the National Invitation Tournament. The Crimson Tide will have to find a way to replace three of its top four scorers and its top three assist leaders from the 2015-16 squad.

Part of that void will be filled with the return of redshirt freshman Dazon Ingram, who started each of the first seven games of the year before suffering a season-ending foot injury. At the time of his injury, Ingram was leading the team in assists and rebounds from his point guard position.

Head coach Avery Johnson also welcomes back senior forward Shannon Hale, who returns as the team's leading scorer at 10.8 points per game. 
Hale not only returns as the team's leading scorer, but he also tops all returnees in threes attempted (131) and free throw percentage (.747), while ranking second on the list in threes made (43) and minutes per game (24.6). Junior forward Riley Norris, who started 19 games a year ago, averaged 7.5 points and a team-leading 5.3 rebounds per contest as a sophomore.

Norris also led Alabama in threes made (45) and total offensive rebounds (54), while ranking second in three-point field goal percentage (.375) and steals (26). Meanwhile, Ingram was averaging 7.7 points, 5.9 rebounds and 3.3 assists through his first seven games before suffering a season-ending injury.

Alabama welcomes a pair of fifth-year graduate transfers in Corban Collins and Bola Olaniyan. Collins, who came to The Capstone from Morehead State, earned second team All-Ohio Valley Conference honors last season, while leading the team in scoring (11.0 ppg), three-point shooting (57-of-134/.425) and assist-to-turnover ratio (90 assists and 36 turnovers).

Olaniyan transferred to Alabama from Southern Illinois where he earned a spot on the Missouri Valley Conference Most Improved team. He ranked second in MVC in rebounds per game (8.8) and led the league in offensive rebounds per game (3.0) while adding 7.8 points per contest.

In addition to Collins and Olaniyan, Avery Johnson also welcomes to the lineup junior Nick King (Memphis) and sophomore Avery Johnson Jr. (Texas A&M), who each sat out the 2015-16 season due to NCAA transfer rules. Furthermore, forward/center Daniel Giddens transferred from Ohio State but will have to sit out the 2016-17 campaign.

Coastal Carolina head coach Cliff Ellis will make his return to Coleman Coliseum on Friday night. Ellis, who coached at Auburn University for 10 years (1994-2004), owns an all-time coaching record of 713-447 as he enters his 38th season as a head coach at the Division I level. Now in his 10th season at Coastal Carolina, Ellis owns a record of 179-110.

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