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Alabama Women's Basketball: What Kristy Curry and Tide Players Said After Tuesday Practice

Women's basketball coach Kristy Curry and senior guards Megan Abrams and Hannah Barber answered questions about the Crimson Tide's upcoming season.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — With November 4 not too far away, Alabama women's basketball has just over two weeks until its season opener at home against Alabama-Huntsville.

Its first official practice was September 28, but after the Crimson Tide's Tuesday practice both head coach Kristy Curry and senior guards Megan Abrams and Hannah Barber answered questions from reporters inside Coleman Coliseum.

Abrams, the veteran point guard who was the team's fourth leading scorer, and Barber, the fifth leading scorer, are to be counted on more by the coaching staff in terms of production and leadership of a group which looks to return to the NCAA Tournament after snapping its 22-year drought last postseason.

Most revolved around how Alabama plans to integrate six new players into the program while also replacing production from its three leading scorers who departed after last season. 

Curry's thoughts entering the regular season:

"We're just really excited about the momentum we have heading into the year. Some of the points I really want to me is, we have six new faces, we have four transfers and two freshman that I think are really, really going to impact us. And then we have a core group of returnees, again that had a great experience last season, and they come back and they're improved as well."

"Secondly, I think we have some of the best team chemistry with this group of kids. With this many new faces, it's a little unusual but I think our staff really spent a lot of time this summer. From our book club to our retreat that we took in the fall, working on culture of grit, love and gratitude, to a week and a half ago spent some time in Montgomery at the Legacy Museum. We've spent a lot of time together away from the court."

Curry on added rim protection:

"I love the leadership that Meg and Hannah are providing, along Brittany Davis and Allie Craig-Cruce. And I'm really excited with our post presence. We feel like we have a completely different dynamic inside. Ruth Koang is back from her ACL that happened a year ago. And then to add Jada Rice, an NC State transfer who brings three straight NCAA Tournaments. To add Khla Wade-Warren, a Texas Tech transfer at 6'4, we go 6'5, 6'5 and 6'4, and then our freshman."

Curry on how Alabama replaces its three leading scorers:

"The thing with that is, it's going to come by committee. I think it's our deepest, most talented team and I think you'll have new faces step up. To me, that's the joy of college athletics, when someone graduates and someone finishes it's somebody else's turn."

"We won't make any adjustments. We're going to continue with the system in place. We shot the second most [three-point field goals] a year ago in the SEC, and we're excited about this group because we feel like we've recruited to that. And we have recruited more depth, especially in the post position."

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Abrams on what's needed from newcomers to replace production:

"Overall, I think we're playing really well. As far as skillset, this is a new team and a new season, so ultimately it goes back to team chemistry and how we play with each other. There's five people on the court at a time, so just moving the ball and playing within the system and playing together is ultimately what's going to get the job done."

"Ultimately, it's about getting one percent better each day. So, kind of like I said, whether it's hanging out off the floor, the retreat, and just doing the little things that will help us get better off the court."

Barber on how well the team has performed this offseason:

"I would say that we have progressed very well. Obviously we knew it was going to take some time, with six new people, so we were ready for that challenge. But I think that we all embraced it, and just coming in every single day and giving it everything that we have has given us some good results so far."

"We're definitely excited to see it all come together in the next couple weeks in our first game. And even then, we'll have room to improve and we're just excited to attack that every single day in whatever it is that we need to improve on."

Abrams on individual development in the offseason:

"Strength and conditioning, since we want to have that fast pace we have to be able to be in shape to do that. And just getting in the gym and getting shots up, really. We do a lot of dribble-drive action, so we have to be able to knock down shots and, personally, that's what I've been working on."

"And honestly, [it is] also being a leader. Being a senior now and having to step into that leadership role, and using our voices to lead the team to where we can get to, which is ultimately the [NCAA] Tournament. Cohesion is one of our team values this year, so I really believe that we're able to do that."

Barber on team chemistry compared to last year:

"I would say that it's way more together. One of our core values that we're really focusing on is cohesion and unity, and we're really working on that. I think we've been really intentional about building team chemistry this year, so I would say that's the biggest difference to me."

One more note: Before the regular season begins, Alabama has its last closed scrimmage, then participates in Tide Tipoff this Friday at Foster Auditorium. The preseason event begins at 7:30 p.m. CT.