University of Alabama head basketball coach Avery Johnson said Tuesday that Crimson Tide forward Donta Hall remains “day-to-day” after missing the Kentucky game last Saturday with a concussion but added that he would have “a much better idea” about Hall’s availability on Wednesday.
“We’ll see,” Johnson said when asked about the status of Hall, Alabama’s second-leading scorer on the season. “Right now he’s day-to-day. He wasn’t able to participate in any parts of practice yesterday. He was able to ride the bike, which was a good sign. But I think we’ll have a much better handle after today and especially when he wakes up tomorrow and we see how he has recovered from what he can do today.”
Alabama planned to practice in Tuscaloosa on Tuesday and fly to Pittsburgh on Wednesday night. The Crimson Tide will face Virginia Tech in a first-round game in the NCAA Tournament on Thursday night at approximately 8:20 p.m. (CT).
Johnson said his staff had spent much of the time since Sunday’s Selection Show breaking down tape of Virginia Tech, a team that Alabama guard Dazon Ingram called “similar to Auburn” in its style of play.
“We do have a much better idea of what we will be facing now that we’ve looked at the film,” Johnson said. “Justin Robinson (a 6-foot-1 junior point guard) is the leader of their team, a great player. Then there is Justin Bibbs, so they have two Justins, a junior and a senior, that they rely on, guys that know how to make plays.
“They have nine guys that can shoot the 3-point shot.”
Johnson, who has spent much of the past week alluding to communication issues between the players and the coaching staff earlier in the year, said that he was “getting the message across” about Robinson.
“Now, when we tell our young team that someone is a great player, I think they’ll respond,” he said. “They believed us about Trae Young (of Oklahoma) but they didn’t believe us about some of the great players in our conference. Now, they take everything we say as gospel.”
Reach Cecil Hurt at firstname.lastname@example.org or 205-722-0225.