Basketball season gets real for ‘deer in headlights’

Take a quick look at the primer for the 7 p.m. basketball season opener with North Florida in Coleman Coliseum:

TUSCALOOSA — Just a sophomore, Alabama basketball player Charles Hankerson is a veteran. Well, relatively speaking.

He was sure of that in the Crimson Tide’s 67-60 exhibition win over Division II Alabama-Huntsville on Monday. Now the games count, starting today with the 7 p.m., visit from North Florida in the regular-season opener for the 19th-ranked team in the country.

As one of six returning players, Hankerson is expected to come off the bench with freshman Levi Randolph and Rodney Cooper penciled in as starters. Those two, plus their three classmates who came off the bench learned a lesson about the pace of play at the next level.

“I saw, kinda like a deer in headlights a little bit,” Hankerson said. “But I think they still had a good performance. All of them played hard, and that’s the most important thing.”

In terms of scoring, the experienced players carried the load against the Chargers. Cooper had eight points, and Trevor Lacey added five as the only newcomers to score.

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