The following is a press release from Alabama Athletics:
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama men's basketball team will begin the 2017-18 season ranked in the nation's top 25, as the USA Today Coaches Preseason Poll was released on Thursday afternoon. The Crimson Tide will open the campaign ranked No. 25 in the poll, which was voted on by Division I head coaches.
The Associated Press' top-25 preseason poll will be released at a later time. The last time the Tide entered the season ranked in the AP top-25 came prior to the 2006-07 campaign when it opened the season ranked No. 11 in the country.
The Crimson Tide was one of three SEC teams ranked in the USA Today top-25 poll, joining Kentucky (No. 4) and Florida (No. 7). Texas A&M was the first team out (No. 26, 76 votes) and were joined by Missouri (No. 29, 35 votes), Georgia (No. 43, 3 votes), Arkansas (No. 46, 2 votes) and South Carolina (No. 47, 1 vote) as other SEC teams receiving votes to be ranked.
Alabama returns four starters and seven of the team's top eight scorers from last season's 19-15 team that reached the National Invitation Tournament. The Crimson Tide will return approximately 73 percent of its total scoring output, 58 percent of its rebounding and 77 percent of its assist totals from a year ago.
In addition to the returnees, head coach Avery Johnson brought it the nation's seventh-ranked recruiting class according to Rivals.com. Sexton (No. 8) and John Petty (No. 28) were both rated by the site as two of the top-30 players in the country.
Alabama will open the season with an exhibition game vs. UAH on Nov. 6. The regular season will begin on Nov. 10 against the Memphis Tigers in the Veterans Classic in Annapolis, Md. That contest, which will be the first game of a doubleheader at the U.S. Naval Academy, will tip at 5:30 p.m. CT and will be televised on CBSSports.com. Navy will host Pittsburgh in the second game.
The third annual UA SupeStore Tide Tipoff event will be held Tuesday, Oct. 24. Doors open at 6 p.m. CT for autographs, and the event begins at 7 p.m. CT.
Tickets are currently on sale and can be purchased online at RollTide.com/Tickets or by calling 1-877-TIDETIX (843-3849). Fans can also purchase tickets in advance at the Alabama Ticket Office, located in the lobby of Coleman Coliseum.