The University of Alabama Crimson Tide was the talk of college basketball after Saturday’s 5-on-3 finish against Minnesota on Saturday, but the UA players are now ready to get back to some 5-on-5 games.
“I didn’t think you could actually play college basketball with three players,” said guard Collin Sexton, one of the last men standing in the Crimson Tide’s 89-84 loss to the Gophers. “The emotion as we started to come back was amazing. It was after the game that we started having fun, saying like it was three-on-five.”
“I was proud of those three, and I was also proud of the way our team reacted in the locker room,” Alabama head coach Avery Johnson said. “They ran up the tunnel to greet them and tell them how proud they were to be their teammates.”
Alabama will try to build on that momentum on Wednesday night as it hosts an undefeated Louisiana Tech team (7 p.m., no live television, streaming available via SEC Network Plus.)
“Our schedule continues to be challenging and it was built that way for a reason,” Johnson said. “We think (Tech is) going to be one of the top 1-2-3 teams in their conference (Conference USA.) Their four guys that handle the ball primarily are all high-level Division I players.”
Jalen Harris, a 6-foot-4 sophomore averaging 15 points per game against D-1 competition, leads the Bulldogs offensively.
USING THE Minnesota game as a teaching moment, Alabama staged a mock fight at its Monday practice.
“We went over whose responsibility it is to break up the fight and whose responsibility it is to keep their teammates on the bench,” Johnson said.
For the record, Donta Hall won the “fight” over walk-on Landon Fuller.
Alabama guard John Petty remains a “game-time decision” for the Louisiana Tech contest according to Johnson. Petty sprained his right ankle in the second half of the Minnesota game and could not finish the contest, and did practice with the Crimson Tide on Monday.
There was encouraging news about sophomore forward Braxton Key, who has been out since the start of the season after surgery to repair a torn meniscus ligament.
“Braxton has increased his workload,” Johnson said when asked about Key. “He could be available for non-contact parts of practice next week.”
Reach Cecil Hurt at firstname.lastname@example.org or 205-722-0225.