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Sports >  NCAA basketball

Gonzaga-Alabama tip time set for 5 p.m. in Seattle

UPDATED: Mon., Oct. 4, 2021

Alabama's Jahvon Quinerly (13) plays against Maryland during the first half of a college basketball game in the second round of the NCAA tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis Monday, March 22, 2021.   (Associated Press)
Alabama's Jahvon Quinerly (13) plays against Maryland during the first half of a college basketball game in the second round of the NCAA tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis Monday, March 22, 2021.  (Associated Press)

Gonzaga’s showdown against Alabama at the Battle in Seattle will tip off at 5 p.m. on Dec. 4, GU announced Monday.

The contest will be televised on ESPN2.

The Zags, a strong candidate for the No. 1 ranking in the AP preseason poll, and the Crimson Tide, on the rise under third-year coach Nate Oats, will tangle at Climate Pledge Arena, the newly renovated home of the NHL expansion Seattle Kraken and WNBA Seattle Storm.

The Battle in Seattle is back on Gonzaga’s schedule for the first time since a 13-year run ended in 2015 when the Zags were having problems lining up marquee opponents annually.

Alabama certainly fits the bill as a quality foe. The Crimson Tide last year won their first SEC regular-season title since 2002 and their first SEC Tournament championship since 1991. Alabama lost to UCLA in overtime in the Sweet 16 to finish 26-7.

The Crimson Tide lost guard Joshua Primo and Herbert Jones to the NBA. Primo went to San Antonio with the 12th overall pick and Jones was selected early in the second round by New Orleans.

Alabama still boasts a strong roster, led by guards Jaden Shackelford, Jahvon Quinerly and five-star recruit JD Davison. The 6-foot-3 Shackelford explored his options in the offseason, but ultimately withdrew from the NBA Draft and decided to return to Alabama after putting his name in the transfer portal. He paced the team in scoring at 14.0 while earning All-SEC second-team honors last season.

Quinerly was second on the team in scoring (12.9) and assists (3.2), and first in 3-point percentage (43.3).

The 6-3 Davison was ranked 15th by ESPN and 16th by 247sports in the 2021 class after averaging 32.4 points, 10.9 rebounds and 4.7 assists as a senior at Calhoun High School in Letohatchee, Alabama. He’s joined by four-star center Charles Bediako and four-star wing Jusaun Holt in Alabama’s 2021 class.

The Crimson Tide also added transfers Noah Gurley (Furman) and Nimari Burnett (Texas Tech). Gurley, a 6-8, 215-pound forward, scored 1,118 career points and had 405 rebounds while earning All-SoCon honors in each of his three seasons at Furman. The 6-4 Burnett will miss the season with a knee injury.

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