Basketball Team Hits Floor on July 28

TUSCALOOSA -- Mark Gottfried will get a jump start on the 2003-04 basketball season compliments of its upcoming August trip to play some games in the Bahamas.

Ten of the 15 players on his roster will be allowed ten days of practice prior to the University of Alabama's trip. Returning players Evan Brock, Chuck Davis, Antoine Pettway, Reggie Rambo, Jason Reese, Earnest Shelton, Demetrius Smith, Emmett Thomas, Lucky Williams, and Kennedy Winston will makeup the Crimson Tide's squad on the tour.

By NCAA rules, Alabama's five newcomers to the team, freshmen Jemareo Davidson, Akini Adkins, Shawn Taylor, Justin Jonas and LaKory Daniels, may not practice or travel with the team to Nassau.

Five games will be played by the Crimson Tide at Nassau's Sir Kendall Isaac's Gym. Alabama opens the tour on Sunday, August 10 with a 7 p.m. CT game against the Bahamas' National Team. That game is preceded by the NIT All-Stars playing the Bahamian Junior National Team.

Alabama plays the Bahamian Junior National Team on Monday, August 11 at 5 p.m. CT.

On Wednesday, August 13 at 5:30 CT Alabama plays a club team from the Bahamas. It plays the Bahamian Junior National Team at 5:30 p.m. CT on Friday, August 15 and ends the tour on Saturday, August 16 with a 5:30 p.m. CT game against the Bahamian National Team.

"We've got a lot of questions as we go into this season," said Tide head coach Mark Gottfried who faces the upcoming season with the task of replacing four starters, including 2002 Southeastern Conference Player of the Year Erwin Dudley. "We've got some inexperienced guys who need to step up and play, play a lot and play well. So it's going to be an interesting year for us.

"This is a year where I feel like this tour will be really beneficial for us to have ten practice days and get some game competition.

"We're obviously going to be tremendously inexperienced, all over the floor. So for us we have a lot of questions to get answered, and hopefully it will help us a little bit more come November and December. Maybe we'll be a little bit more ready for the earlier games. We'll see."

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