For a third consecutive time, the University of Alabama basketball team looks to an SEC opponent without being certain whether leading scorer Collin Sexton can play, or even dress out for Tuesday night’s game at Ole Miss.
Alabama coach Avery Johnson said at his Monday press conference that Sexton would be evaluated on Tuesday morning to determine whether an abdominal injury would continue to sideline Sexton, who sat out UA wins over Auburn and Mississippi State last week.
“We’re continuing to evaluate him daily so we will evaluate him in practice this afternoon,” Johnson said. “When he’s healthy enough, he’ll play. Right now, he’s not healthy enough.”
The news was better on Donta Hall. The 6-foot-10 forward, who has played in the last two games but was clearly affected by a broken wrist on his shooting hand, continues to improve, according to Johnson, and has been cleared for full contact this week.
“You deal with injuries,” Johnson said, “We have been doing a good job of ‘next man up.’ The next guy up has been doing the job for us.
“The key word is team, not individual.”
Johnson said a full team effort will be required against Ole Miss defensively.
While the Rebels aren’t among the NCAA leaders in volume of 3-point shots attempted, they are notable for the distribution of their long-distance shooting. Five different Rebels have tried at least 68 3-pointers this season. As a point of comparison, only one Alabama player, freshman guard John Petty, has more than 68 3-point attempts thus far.
While Terence Davis, a junior averaging 14 points per game, is probably the likeliest 3-point threat for the Rebels, Johnson noted that every Rebel has a green light with an open look.
“When we look at their roster, five guys who will take a 3 from anywhere at any time,” Johnson said. “They’ll shoot the early 3 in transition, (or) if the shot clock is down, they will take the late 3. Plus they use several different defenses, the first time our guys will have seen four different defenses from one team.”
The Rebels are 10-9 on the season but have suffered some particularly hard luck, losing three different non-conference home games in overtime and falling last week at Texas A&M when a potential game-winning 3-pointer rolled out at the buzzer.
Reach Cecil Hurt at email@example.com or 205-722-0225.