Bama Beats Jacksonville State in Season Opener
After a long offseason full of excitement and questions, the Alabama Crimson Tide men’s basketball team hit the hardwood for the first time in the 2020-21 season. The Crimson Tide welcomed in-state opponent Jacksonville State for the hope opener and sent the Gamecocks home with a 81-57 defeat.
The Tide was led by three its three talented guards offensively, Jahvon Quinerly, Jaden Shackelford and John Petty Jr. On his 22nd birthday, Quinerly led the way with 18 points and three assists. Quinerly shot 58 % from the field in his first game for Alabama after sitting out all last season due to NCAA transfer rules.
"I was really happy with his game. I thought, you know, obviously his first game, starting in his first game, playing significant minutes in a long time. I thought he was good, I didn't think he forced anything. I thought he took what the defense gave him, you know, he got into the paint and finished at the rim and shot threes. He's been shooting the ball great for us," said Alabama head coach Nate Oats.
Quinerly was aided offensively by Jaden Shackelford, the special sophomore pitched in with 18 points of his own and 11 rebounds for the first Crimson Tide double-double of his career. He scored 15 of his points in the second half to help the Tide cruise to an opening game win. First team All-SEC selection John Petty scored 14 points but was 2-for-8 shooting beyond the 3-point arc, he had six rebounds after leading the team in rebounding last season.
Alabama ended up all 12 healthy scholarship players getting playing time as the depth on the roster is seen as one of the team’s strengths.
Herb Jones scored 12 points, with seven rebounds as well as two blocks and a steal. He helped the Crimson Tide set a record in "Hard Hat" points as well. Jones chipped in for 35 while the team racked up 151 points for the game.
Junior James Rojas came off the bench and pitched in with eight points, he entered the game and utilized his 6-foot-8, 220-pound frame to get active in the paint. Rojas displayed a healthy confidence in his first game action since tearing his ACL last September.
The rest of Alabama's contributors on offense were Josh Primo, 5, Jordan Bruner, 4, and Darius Miles, 2, Keon Ellis, Alex Reese, Keon Ambrose-Hylton and Juwan Gary did not score.
The Gamecocks were led offensively by junior guard Demaree King with 15 points.
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