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Avery Johnson's third team at Alabama is already drawing attention in a resurgent SEC.

Alabama basketball: Hype building during early practices of Avery Johnson’s third year

Welcome to The Rammer Jammer, SEC Country’s daily Alabama athletics recap. Today, we look at the early signs out of the basketball program’s first practices. 

Buckle up

Four practices into its ‘season,’ Avery Johnson’s basketball team is already buzzing. According to Cecil Hurt, the team is already far beyond its predecessors on a chemistry level. It’ll need all the x-factors it can get to contend in an SEC on the rise.

There’s a paywall to subscribe past, but Charlie Potter’s basketball practice report is as good a look at the on-court goings-on as you’ll get. For another angle, there’s this video from BamaOnline’s Travis Reier:

Countdown to kickoff

Monday marked 40 days until Alabama kicks off against Florida State on Sept. 2 in Atlanta. To mark the occasion, BamaOnline named a bulldozing running back its eighth-most important player of the season, and took an extremely early look at Mississippi State. 

Other headlines from Alabama sports:

Built by Bama

Alex Avila continues to thrive for the Detroit Tigers, who lost 5-3 in 12 innings against the Royals on Monday night. Avila went 1-5 with a single and 2 RBI. The catcher, who is hitting .280, could soon be plying his trade for the Cubs:

In the New England Collegiate Baseball League, Alabama sophomore Sonny Potter tossed a no-hitter for his Mystic Schooners against the Bay Sox.

Around the Capstone

Three Alabama-related swimmers competed for their national teams at the FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. Of note, three-time NCAA national champion Kristian Gkolomeev finished 20th in the 50 freestyle and led his team to an 11th place finish in the 400 freestyle relay.