Friday, September 15, 2017

Alabama Schedules Exhibition Game With Alabama-Huntsville

The final piece of the 2017-18 schedule has been added. This evening, Alabama announced that the University of Alabama-Huntsville will come to Tuscaloosa for an exhibition game on November 6th. It's another strong addition to the schedule. The Chargers have been one of the best programs in Division II in recent years. Last season, they finished with a 26-8 record, a conference tournament championship, and were a 1 seed in the D-II tournament before falling in the Sweet Sixteen. It's a good addition to the schedule. If you're going to play an exhibition against a D-II or NAIA school, you might as well play a good one.

In other news: Jeff Goodman at ESPN announced via Twitter that Alabama will hold a pro day on October 10th. For those that don't know, a pro day is an event in which NBA scouts can visit the school and observe players take part in different workouts. Alabama has several current players on the roster with legitimate pro aspirations so this makes sense.

In other other news: the staff is currently out on the road visiting recruits for the 18 and 19 classes. The 2019 class in particular looks like the next big class for the evolution of the Alabama program under Avery. Here's a rundown of who they have visited over the past week. If I leave anyone out, please let me know in the comments section.

D.J. Jeffries - F - 6'7 - 185 lbs - Olive Branch, MS: Jeffries is one of several priority recruits for Alabama in the 2019 class. He is currently rated as a top 15, 4-star recruit at 247 Sports, and the top-rated recruit in the state of Mississippi.

Austin Crowley - G - 6'6 - 175 lbs - West Point, MS: Crowley is currently rated as a 4-star recruit, and the 2nd-rated recruit in the state of Mississippi for 2019. Like the majority of the guards that Avery and the staff have pursued, Crowley has length, and is capable of playing up to three different spots on the floor.

Trendon Watford - F - 6'8 - 215 lbs - Birmingham, AL: If there is a recruiting wish list for Alabama in the 2019 class, Watford has to occupy the top spot. He should be the top recruit in the state once his high school career wraps up, and he's a possible McDonald's All-American. If you're someone (ahem) who puts too much of your own self-worth into Alabama basketball (ahem), the decision of Watford will go a long way toward determining your peace of mind for the 2019-20 season.

Jared Butler - G - 6'2 - 180 lbs - Reserve, LA: The staff traveled to Louisiana to visit Butler this past week, who took an official visit to Tuscaloosa last weekend. He appears to have become a priority recruit for Alabama for the 2018 class. Butler has other official visits planned so it could be a while before he makes a final decision.

Kira Lewis - G - 6'3 - 155 lbs - Hazel Green, AL: Another priority recruit in the state for the 2019 class (the Alabama class of 2019 overall looks strong as of right now), Kira, currently rated a 4-star prospect, will likely be no worse than a top 3 recruit in the state once his high school career wraps up. Lewis recently took an unofficial visit to Tuscaloosa, and I suspect that Alabama will be there until the very end.

James Wiseman - F - 6'11 - 210 lbs - Memphis, TN: Wiseman is currently ranked 2nd nationally by 247 in the 2019 class. John Calipari was in Memphis yesterday to offer Wiseman, which tells you the type of attention this young man will be receiving over the next two seasons. There is some controversy surrounding Wiseman after he transferred from Ensworth School in Nashville to East High School in Memphis. Why is that controversial? Well, Wiseman played for Team Penny this past summer, the AAU program founded by Penny Hardaway. The same Penny Hardaway that is currently an assistant coach at East High School. The TSSAA (Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association) could rule Wiseman ineligible this upcoming season if they believe that transfer rules were broken, specifically if they determine that an "athletic coaching link" led to the student transferring to the new school. Technically, Hardaway is not a coach for the Team Penny squad, but he remains active in the organization that carries his name. If you want to read more about this story, I recommend this article from the The Commercial Appeal.

Javian Fleming - C - 6'9 - 230 lbs - Canton, MS: The coaches paid a visit to Fleming, who has a visit to Tuscaloosa scheduled for September 29-31, reaffirming their interest in him. I'm very interested to follow Fleming's senior season. He went from an unranked recruit a year ago to receiving a lot of interest from the likes of Georgetown, Iowa State and TCU over the past year. Alabama was recruiting him early, which hopefully gives them a leg up in the process. They were also early scouting Jared Butler when he too was an unranked recruit. Same goes for Collin Sexton, who Alabama identified early as a legit recruit before the rest of the country knew it. That's a credit to the staff's ability to scout players. The hope is that, like Sexton, building those early relationships will pay off in the long run.

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