The Alabama Crimson Tide basketball team has a European Tour scheduled for August 5th through August 15th. Consequently Coach Nate Oats and staff were allowed 10 practice days to prepare. The Tide will play one game during a four day stay in Barcelona, Spain and play two games while in Paris, France for four days. The team held an open practice and scrimmage on Saturday in Coleman Coliseum.
With only five players returning from last season’s squad the open period gave fans a chance to see the new talent up close and personal. Noah Gurley, Darius Miles, Charles Bediako, the injured Jahvon Quinerly, and Nimari Burnett- who missed all of last season with a knee injury, are the returning team members. The highly touted recruiting class boosts four freshmen, two transfers, and one JUCO player. The group is considered a top three class for the 2022-23 season. The freshman are led by 6’9” forward Brandon Miller, 6’3” guard Jaden Bradley, 6’5” guard Rylan Griffin, and 6”10” forward Noah Clowney. The transfers are 6”1” guard Mark Sears from Ohio University and 6”5” guard Dom Welch from St Bonaventure. The JUCO newcomer is 6”9” forward Nick Pringle.
The scrimmage was a typical Oats game plan of playing fast, hoisting threes, and playing tough defense. The Crimson and White squads played four 10 minute quarters very evenly until the 4th period when the White pulled away for a 97-77 win.
Early on Clowney stepped out and hit a couple of threes to help the White take a lead of 21-19 after one. In the second quarter Miller showed his myriad of skills, hitting a couple of deep threes and making several plays in the paint while scoring 14 points. At the half the game was tied at 42 and Miller had scored 16 points.
Sears made a basket at the third quarter buzzer to tie the game with a score of 62-62. Griffin and Burnett hit three pointers as the fourth quarter began to give the White a six point lead. Miller continued to dazzle and hit a three with about three minutes left to notch 30 points. The White continued to push it out and when walk-on Kai Spears hit a three at the buzzer the White claimed the 97-77 win.
Miller’s 30 points led the Crimson, and all scorers. Bradly added 19 and Gurley 16 for the losers. Burnett and Clowney both had 21 for the winning side, followed by Griffin with 20, Sears with 16, and Miles with 12.
Miller wowed the crowd all day with his scoring, ball handling, passing, and defense. At one point Miller chased down Miles on a breakaway and blocked a dunk attempt, and soon after blocked Miles from behind on another attempt at the rim. Bradley consistently got in the paint and scored at the rim, as well as knocking down some outside shots. Burnett showed the potential of what last years team really needed, more size at guard and a consistent jump shot. Sears flashed a nasty step back jump shot on several three point attempts and controlled the tempo while running the White team. Griffin shot a high percentage from three point range and Clowney was deadly outside and inside during the scrimmage. Gurley was a beast down low on the boards and scoring at close range, but missed all of the many ( six I think) three points shots he attempted. Bediako is noticeable bigger and stronger but did little of note during the scrimmage. Miles showed his athleticism and seems to have become much more of a vocal leader for the team. Welch had a few good plays and has the size to be a physical guard for the Tide. Pringle played well down low as well as hitting a few three point baskets. Quinerly watched from the sidelines in sweats as he recovers from his knee surgery from March.
The 2022-2023 version of the Tide looks more like the 2020-2021 group in size and length. Last season when Burnett was lost for the season, Oats was left with four guards with Keon Ellis being the only one with those characteristics. This team can play more like Oats prefers the game to be played.
The team leaves on Friday, August 5th and will arrive in Barcelona around 9 a.m. local time. At this time we don't have any information of how (or if we can) watch the games. If Bama can avoid the injury bug this looks to be an exciting team that can make noise in the SEC and nationally this season.
Summer European tour schedule:
- Aug. 5 - Depart for Barcelona
- Aug. 8 - vs. Spain Select Team (Barcelona)
- Aug. 11 - vs. Lithuania Men’s B Team (Barcelona)
- Aug. 12 - vs. Chinese National Team (Paris)
- Aug. 14 - Depart from Paris
Roll Tide Roll