No basketball team likes to be without its leading rebounder and shot blocker and the University of Alabama is no different as it awaits the return of 6-foot-10 junior Donta Hall to its lineup.
Hall suffered a hairline fracture to his right wrist in the first half of Alabama’s win over South Carolina last Tuesday, although he managed to finish the game. There was significant swelling in his right hand on Wednesday and after further examination, the break was detected and surgery to insert a pin to facilitate healing was performed on Friday. Hall did not play in Alabama’s 74-66 win against LSU on Saturday and is expected to miss this week’s UA home games against Auburn and Mississippi State.
Hall, who is sixth in the nation in field goal percentage at 75.0 percent (78 of 104) is averaging 11.5 points per game, 7.2 rebounds and 2.4 blocks. His absence at LSU meant increased minutes for freshmen Alex Reese and Galen Smith. With Hall out and Riley Norris sidelined for the season by a hip injury, the Crimson Tide currently has nine available scholarship players.
“We could have used Donta’s situation as an excuse (at LSU), but we did not,” Alabama head coach Avery Johnson said following the UA win.
The road win at LSU boosted Alabama’s RPI, with the Crimson Tide coming in at No. 39 in Monday’s RealTime RPI ratings
Alabama was also one of the “Last Four In” selections by ESPN’s Joe Lunardi in his Monday “Bracketology” selection of the projected NCAA Tournament field. Lunardi has Alabama as a No. 11 seed in the East Regional, facing West Virginia in the opening round.