No one could be terribly surprised at the news that Alabama would lose two players beyond the graduated seniors from this year’s Crimson Tide basketball team. All-Southeastern Conference guard Retin Obasohan and fifth-year senior transfer guard Arthur Edwards completed their careers with Bama’s surprisingly successful season under first year coach Avery Johnson.
A third starter, Michael Kessens, will earn his degree in May, and many believed the forward from Nyon, Switzerland, would return to Europe to play basketball. Justin Coleman, a point guard who had big moments in a back-up role this season, was seen as not likely to move into a starting role at Alabama. Not only will Alabama have Dazon Ingram back from a season-ending injury – and Ingram had won the starting job at point before being injured – the Tide will also have Texas A&M transfer point guard Avery Johnson, Jr., eligible for play as a sophomore in 2016-17.
The announcement from Coach Avery Johnson confirmed those thoughts: Kessens and Coleman will transfer.
Kessens, who is set to graduate with a degree in business administration, played in 33 contests making 21 starts during the 2015-16 campaign. He averaged 3.7 points and 3.5 rebounds in 16.6 minutes per game.
“Mike is set to graduate this May with an undergraduate degree from The University of Alabama and will explore his options of either playing professionally in Europe or use his fifth year of eligibility at another school,” Johnson said. “I loved the energy he gave us throughout the season and he was a joy to coach. We certainly wish him the best in whatever career path he chooses.”
Coleman played in all 33 contests making seven starts during his sophomore season. The Birmingham native averaged 7.8 points per game, while leading the Tide in assists (3.3 apg) and free throw percentage (.890).
“Justin and I discussed his future with our program,” Johnson said. “After talking it over with his family, Justin felt it is in his best interest to transfer from The University of Alabama. Justin is a terrific young man and I wish we had the opportunity to work with him more. I would like to thank him for all the hard work he has put in during the past year and want to wish him the best of luck.”