Alabama Men’s Basketball Honors 2017-18 Team with Annual Postseason Banquet
The 2017-18 University of Alabama men's basketball team was honored at its annual awards banquet on Monday evening at the Bryant Conference Center. More than 500 fans packed the venue as the Crimson Tide student-athletes, staff and managers were recognized for their efforts on and off the court during what was a memorable season.
There was good reason to celebrate for Alabama, which earned its first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 2012 and won its first tournament game since 2006, defeating Virginia Tech 86-83 in the opening round. It marked the 20th NCAA Tournament appearance in program history and was the third consecutive postseason appearance for head coach Avery Johnson.
In addition, the Crimson Tide reached the SEC Tournament semifinals for the second straight year – the first time that’s been accomplished in 23 years dating back to the 1994 and 1995 campaigns. Alabama finished the season with a 20-16 overall record and reached the 20-win plateau for the first time since the 2012-13 campaign.
The team was joined by members of the Tuscaloosa Tip-Off Club and Tide Pride. Following dinner, local radio and television personality and Alabama graduate Jim Dunaway, who served as master of ceremonies on the evening, introduced UA Senior Associate Athletics Director Jeff Purinton, who addressed the crowd to thank them for their support.
Johnson then presented individual awards to members of the 2017-18 squad.
The Alabama freshmen class highlighted the honorees on Monday evening. Freshman Collin Sexton was named the Outstanding Offensive Player and shared the Outstanding Freshman Award with guard John Petty. Sexton led the Tide with 19.2 points and 3.6 assists per game, while Petty averaged 10.2 points and topped the team in threes made (90) and attempted (242). Both rookies captured new school records by a freshman, with Sexton setting the bar in total points (632) and Petty in three-pointers made.
Freshman Herbert Jones and junior Donta Hall shared the Outstanding Defensive Player award. Jones topped Alabama in steals (44), while his 23 charges taken set a new school record. Hall led the Tide with 68 blocked shots on the year, ranking among the conference leaders in the category.
Hall led the team with a new school record of 72.6 percent from the floor while his 10.6 points per game ranked second to earn the Most Improved Player award. Jones was the recipient of the Coach Avery Award, given in recognition of attitude and effort throughout the course of the season.
Tyler Barnes, Landon Fuller, Avery Johnson Jr., Herbert Jones Riley Norris, Alex Reese and Collin Sexton were awarded the Academic Achievement award, with each player maintaining a 3.0 or higher on the year. Barnes, Jones and Sexton each finished with a 4.0 GPA.
Jones and Sexton were also honored with the Commitment to Service award, recognizing their achievements in the community, while Johnson Jr., was voted by the media to receive the Media Appreciation award.