TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Game day is finally here for the University of Alabama men's basketball team.
Year two of the Nate Oats-era will officially get underway at 7 p.m (CT) against Jacksonville State inside Coleman Coliseum and will be broadcasted on the SEC Network.
The Crimson Tide starts this season ranked No. 25 in the preseason coaches poll and No. 29 in the Associated Press poll. It is the first time since the 2017-2018 campaign that Alabama has been ranked to begin play.
Senior guard and Preseason All-SEC First Team selection John Petty Jr. (14.0 ppg) and sophomore guard Jaden Shackelford (15.0) are the SEC's top two returning scorers from a season ago.
Jacksonville State is coming off a 13-19 campaign in 2019-2020 and senior forward Kanye Henry, who averaged 10.9 points and 6.9 rebounds a game last year, returns to lead the Gamecocks.
Follow along here on Bama Central for live updates throughout tonight's contest:
- Alabama defeats Jacksonville State, 81-57. Quinerly and Shackelford both finished with 18 points and Jones led the team in rebounding with 12.
- Gary is going to see playing time tonight as he just checked in for Petty. Darius Miles has entered the game as well.
- Over the last six minutes of action, the Crimson Tide is on a 20-6 run.
- Bruner, the Yale transfer, is diving on the floor for loose balls up 27. That's the blue-collar hustle Oats has been looking for. He kicks it to Petty who makes his second three of the game. 3:42 left.
- Jones shows off his range with his last bucket, a three-pointer from the left wing and the Crimson Tide is up 27 with four minutes to play. He has 12 on the night to go along with 11 boards.
- Shackelford is now tied with Quinerly for a game-high 18 points.
- Alabama's defense is suffocating Jacksonville State as the Gamecocks have only made one of its last seven shots and missed five straight.
- Shackelford gets his twelfth rebound of the night and then proceeds to score a floater in the lane. At the under-8 minute media timeout, the Crimson Tide lead 66-42. Shackelford has 14 points giving him a double-double on the evening.
- Alabama is starting to run away with it now, going on a 17-3 run. Petty has a breakaway dunk, then a layup on the next possession and the lead is up to 20 for Alabama, 62-42.
- Jones is at the free-throw line and he makes both shots coming out of the break.
- At the under-12 minute media timeout, Alabama is up on Jacksonville State, 51-39.
- Quinerly continues to showcase his ability on the offensive end. He has scored five points on back-to-back possessions and he has 18 for the game on 7-of-11 shooting.
- Ellis and Primo are back on the floor.
- Jones stops the bleeding for Alabama with a put-back layup, moving the Crimson Tide's advantage back up to 12.
- The Gamecocks are now on an 8-0 run after back-to-back three-pointers.
- Reese and Rojas are the first two subs off the bench this half.
- Jacksonville State has missed its last five shots, while Alabama has only made one of its last seven. Slow start to the final period.
- Shackelford throws a lob up to Jones and he slams it home, giving the Crimson Tide an 18-point advantage at the first media timeout of the half. 15:58 left.
- We are back underway here at Coleman. Shackelford records a steal then goes all the way down the court for a layup, extending Alabama's lead to 14.
- Solid debuts from Quinery, who has 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting, and Rojas who has eight points on 3-of-4 shooting.
- Petty misses the front end of a one-and-one, but gets his own miss and scores a layup to give Alabama a 36-24 lead at the break.
- Jacksonville State has not scored over the last two minutes of action.
- Rojas buries a trey, then Jones is able to draw a charge. Alabama gaining momentum to close the period, up 34-24.
- Petty makes his first shot of the night, a three-pointer from the right wing, but Jacksonville State answers with a three from Pal.
- A Jacksonville State turnover takes us to the final media timeout of the half. Alabama holds a 27-19 lead. Quinerly has 11 points and has been the best player on the court.
- Primo just scored the first basket of his Alabama career with a nice dunk after recording a steal on the other end, going coast-to-coast. Crimson Tide leads 25-17 with 5:19 to go.
- Back-to-back turnovers for Reese on the last two offensive trips for the Crimson Tide.
- Alabama is only shooting 2-of-8 from beyond-the-arc, but 7-of-16 from two-point range.
- After the and-one by Henry, Quinerly strikes again with a smooth finish at the rim. Crimson Tide up 23-15 with 7:57 remaining.
- Ambrose-Hylton is fouled on the put-back attempt and he heads to the line. He misses both shots from the charity stripe.
- Shackelford just hit a three-pointer from NBA-range and Alabama has its biggest lead of the night -- nine.
- Freshman forward Keon Ambrose-Hylton checks in for Bruner. He is the 10th different player Oats has used so far.
- Out of the break, Bruner gets the ball down low and extends Alabama's lead to six with a layup and on the ensuing Gamecock possession, Petty forces the ball handler out of bounds. Alabama ball.
- The Crimson Tide defense forces a 24-second violation and we head to the under-12 minute timeout with Alabama leading 16-12. 11:45 left in the half. Jacksonville State is shooting 2-of-8 from three-point range.
- Alabama has made four of its last five shots from the field, including a three-pointer and layup from Quinerly. He has seven points right now.
- Martin Roub nails a three-pointer from the wing to give the Gamecocks an 9-7 advantage, but Rojas responds with a layup of his own to put Alabama back out in front.
- Alex Reese, Josh Primo, and James Rojas have now checked in.
- Keon Ellis is the first sub for the Crimson Tide, coming in for Jones.
- At the under-16 minute timeout, Alabama leads 7-5. Jones has three points and all have come from the free-throw line so far.
- Jacksonville State's starting five: Jalen Finch, Amanze Ngumezi, Henry, Darian Adams, and Brandon Huffman.
- Alabama's starting five: Quinerly, Petty, Shackelford, Herb Jones, and Jordan Bruner.
- On Tuesday, Oats mentioned that there was a chance that forward Juwan Gary could be cleared for game action in limited minutes against the Gamecocks and he has gone through warmups with the team tonight.
- Capacity in Coleman Coliseum will be roughly over 2,300, which is about 15 percent of its normal capacity.
- It's also point guard Jahvon Quinerly's birthday. He will be making his Alabama-debut tonight and it's the first collegiate game he has played in almost two years.
- Tonight's officials are Doug Shows, Mike Nance, and Garrick Shannon.
This story will be updated.