University of Alabama basketball coach Avery Johnson said Monday that freshman guard Collin Sexton would not only be available for Tuesday night’s game against Lipscomb — but that he would see action immediately.
“Collin will be in the starting lineup,” Johnson said. “We don’t want anybody to feel there’s an enormous amount of pressure to be a one-man band and lead us to victory.
“But Collin has handled this whole thing very well. Not many student-athletes can go through what he’s been through and still have the type of attitude. It’s all about the team.”
Sexton, a 2017 McDonald’s All-American and a consensus Top 10 prospect in the nation last season, sat out Alabama’s season-opening win over Memphis last Friday due to a one-game suspension from the NCAA. The suspension was related to a former UA athletic administrator and was revealed as part of a current FBI probe into college basketball corruption.
While Sexton will return to the lineup, two veteran players will continue to sit out due to injury. Johnson was, however, more optimistic in his outlook for senior forward Riley Norris.
“Riley is making some progress,” Johnson said. “He will be available to start practicing this week. We will see what is availability is, either in Brooklyn (where Alabama will play during Thanksgiving in the Barclay’s Classic) or in the game before Brooklyn (against UT-Arlington.) He’s ahead of schedule. Ar’Mond (Davis, out with a knee injury) is not healing at the same rate, and we will have an update next week on his status.”
Lipscomb, the Crimson Tide’s Tuesday opponent, is 2-0 this season with wins over Emory and Morehead State.
Johnson, however, said he is focused on improving some of the Crimson Tide’s sloppy play against Memphis.
“In reviewing the video, we are a long way from a finished product,” Johnson said. “At times, we looked like we had never been in a defensive drill in our lives. We looked poorly coached, but the players were attentive in the video review so we can learn from it. We still have some areas we have to clean up. That’s my job.”