Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Women’s basketball prepares for 2023-24 season

CW / Natalie Teat
Alabama women’s basketball player Loyal McQueen (#0) preparing to shoot a free throw against South Carolina on Jan. 29, 2023 at Coleman Coliseum.

The Alabama women’s basketball team had its first practice of the 2023-24 season this Monday as the program prepares for its season opener at home against Alabama State on Nov. 6.  

 Last season’s team, which had 20 regular-season wins for the first time since 1997, graduated many seniors, meaning this year returns only five veterans and welcomes six newcomers. 

 Fortunately for the Crimson Tide, an opportunity for a foreign tour this summer meant this team has already gotten to start playing with each other for the first time. 

 “Anytime you have the opportunity to see another part of the world together, it’s such an educational, team-building experience,” head coach Kristy Curry said. “So I think it really gave us a step ahead with our chemistry and also installing our system.” 

 The 10-day, three-game trip means this Alabama team has a head start both on and off the court. 

 “This team is definitely the closest team that I’ve been a part of,” guard Loyal McQueen said.  

 McQueen is one of the four seniors on this season’s Crimson Tide squad, yet none of the players has spent more than two seasons with Alabama. Nonetheless, Curry said the Georgia Tech transfer has been a vocal leader. McQueen said becoming a leader is one of her challenges this season.  

 “I’ve taken on a leadership role this year, so just continuing to be vocal,” McQueen said. “Consistency has been my biggest challenge this year, so just trying to be the same person every day and team-wise, just getting better every day.” 

 Another veteran on the team is guard Aaliyah Nye, who had the second-best 3-point field goal percentage (45.1%) in the SEC last year. Nye finished only behind former Crimson Tide teammate Hannah Barber, who left Alabama with a large hole in its offense.  

 Senior Sarah Ashlee Barker, though, said the newcomers have been putting in the work to fill that hole. 

 “They come in, they work hard, they’re always in the gym,” Barker said. “You gain a level of respect for them when you always see them in the gym, right off the bat when they transfer here or when they come in as freshmen. It’s very hard when you come to a new school, just because you have to get acclimated to the system.” 

 As for the schedule, the Crimson Tide has a challenging slate in front of it, including a visit to Katy, Texas, where Alabama will face Louisville, Gonzaga and Liberty in the Betty Chancellor Classic from Nov. 24-26.  

 That’s followed by the ACC/SEC Challenge against Syracuse before Alabama jumps into a seven-game home stretch in December that will end with the SEC opener against Ole Miss on Jan. 4. 

 Right now, though, Curry said her team is focusing on staying consistent with its culture to be ready for its first exhibition match. 

 “We talk every single day as far as grit, love and gratitude in the classroom, court and community,” Curry said. 

 The Crimson Tide’s exhibition match will be at home on Nov. 1 at 6 p.m. CT against University of Alabama in Huntsville.

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