The Alabama men's basketball team released the 2016-17 non-conference schedule today. The schedule release was part of an event called the "Summer Tip-Off Event", held at the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Birmingham. The event was streamed live on the official site, and I was fortunate enough to have the free time to watch. From where I sat, the event was a tremendous success. The dialog was fun, informative, and really embraced those within the university and outside it that desperately want to see Alabama basketball become something great. If the official site reposts the video, I recommend checking it out for those who were unable to catch the live broadcast or attend in person.
Here is the schedule:
November 3rd - Faulkner [Exhibition]
November 11th - Coastal Carolina
November 15th - Dayton
November 18th - Ball State
November 21st - Valparaiso [Las Vegas]
November 23rd - BYU/Saint Louis [Las Vegas]
November 29th - Charleston Southern
December 2nd - at Texas
December 11th - at Oregon
December 15th - USC Upstate
December 18th - Clemson [Birmingham]
December 21st - Arkansas State [Huntsville]
December 29th - Stetson
Avery Johnson said they wanted to put together a balanced schedule, and I think this fits the bill. You've got some marquee basketball programs (Dayton, BYU, Texas, Oregon and Clemson) mixed with some solid mid-majors (Coastal Carolina and Ball State were 21-win postseason teams last season, while Valparaiso won 30 games, played in the NIT championship game, and have one of the top 50 players in college basketball returning in Alec Peters). The surprise of the schedule is Alabama traveling to the Von Braun center in Huntsville to play Arkansas State. One of our readers commented in a previous post that he wasn't crazy about these off-campus home games, and I understand his complaint, but I also understand how tough it is to create an atmosphere in Coleman Coliseum when the students are on their holiday break. I think both the Birmingham and Huntsville games were scheduled with the holiday break in mind, and Avery took it further today, explaining that their interest in playing around the state has a great deal to do with recruiting.
What do you guys think of the non-conference schedule? Is there one game in particular you can't wait to see? What road games, if any, will you be trekking to see? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.