John Petty and Herb Jones Names to Preseason All-SEC Team
The Southeastern Conference released its 2020-21 men's basketball coaches preseason All-SEC first and second teams this week, featuring two Alabama players. John Petty, named to the preseason first team, is coming into his senior year at Alabama after a junior season in which he played his best basketball for the Tide. Herb Jones, another senior, was selected to the second team, but is widely regarded as one of the top defenders in the conference.
John Petty, in his junior season at Alabama, found a an offensive rhythm under Nate Oats that was rarely seen under Avery Johnson. Petty averaged just over ten points per game his freshman and sophomore years, shooting around 35% from three, but in Nate Oats' system, Petty has thrived on the speed and spacing, upping his averages to 14.5 points per game on 44% from three.
This season should only see his numbers go up as he gets more and more comfortable in the faster offensive scheme. Expect to see Petty's name on this list at the end of the season as well. While Alabama has an explosive offensive weapon in Petty, Herb Jones is one of the best defenders in the nation.
Jones is coming off a 2019 season in which he was named to the All-SEC Defensive team and finished with a 98.9 defensive rating. Jones also had an average of 4.37 defensive stops per game, proving that he is a huge difference maker when he is out there. Last year saw Jones play through an injured wrist but continue to perform as a top tier defender, evidenced by his 17 rebound performance in a win against a then ranked LSU team.
Jones will continue to be a defensive force this season, but with him getting healthy again, will we see more offensive production? Jones' defensive ability alone is what put him on this list, but a season that sees his offensive production skyrocket could land him on the first team at the end of the year.
Alabama opens their season Nov. 25 against Jacksonville State at Coleman Coliseum.