Alabama Basketball: Nelson and Company light up Coleman Coliseum in opener

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The Alabama Basketball Team opened up its season with a match-up against last season’s OVC Champions in the Morehead State Eagles. The Alabama Basketball team jumped out to an early lead taking a 9-0 lead early and leading 17-5 at the first media timeout. Alabama Basketball cruised the rest of the way finishing the game 105-73.

North Dakota State transfer Grant Nelson led the way for the Alabama Basketball team scoring 24 points adding seven rebounds, a steal, and two blocks for the Crimson Tide. Grant Nelson threw down multiple dunks that caused everyone in Coleman Coliseum to erupt. The other big transfer for the Alabama Basketball team Aaron Estrada showed his ability scoring 16 points on 70% shooting.

Despite missing the two preseason scrimmages for Alabama Basketball, Mark Sears returned tonight playing 24 minutes and recording 13 points, five assists, and two steals. The veteran guard will play a vital role for this Alabama Basketball team filled with newcomers as the team continues to gel.

Another key contributor was freshman Jarin Stevenson who scored 12 points with five rebounds, and a steal in 21 minutes for the Crimson Tide. The other true freshmen making their debuts were Sam Walters and Mouhamed Dioubate who scored seven and five points for the Tide.

The Alabama offense appears to be gelling nicely scoring 105 points in its opening game of the season. The only concern for this Alabama team exiting its first game was rebounding. The Alabama Basketball team allowed Morehead State to bring in 13 offensive rebounds, a number they can get away with in a game like this but, a number that could cost you a game in conference play. Nate Oats was able to experiment with a multitude of lineups thanks to the big lead allowing 11 players to record ten or more minutes with 13 players seeing playing time.

Alabama Basketball: Newcomers playing massive roles this season.

This Offseason we all expected the Alabama Basketball team to lean heavily on transfers and true freshmen after losing four of its starters this offseason. The reliance however was seen in full effect tonight as three of the top five leaders in minutes played were newcomers. The newcomers for the Crimson Tide combined for 76 of the teams 105 points. As the team continues to gel I’d expect the reliance on newcomers to only grow especially as freshmen Sam Walters and Jarin Stevenson continue to gain experience playing at the college level.

Nate Oats was most frustrated with his team defense after allowing 73 points saying the following postgame.

"“We’ve got to get a lot better on defense. Some of these guys, if they don’t figure out how to guard, they’re not going to be playing against high-major teams.”"

The Alabama Basketball team will play again on Friday hosting Indiana State before hosting South Alabama on the 14th.

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Note: All Stats Via ESPN