Over the last week to say the Alabama basketball program has been a huge question mark would be quite an understatement.
From Tony Mitchell's suspension early on to three more players who were sent home from LSU and subsequently suspended to nary a reason reported to the media on any of the suspensions, you can see why a lot of us are scratching our heads.
So, forgive me if I don't jump for joy because Coach Anthony Grant said Trevor Releford and Andrew Steele will "most likely" play Tuesday against Florida in Tuscaloosa.
Most likely? Come on.
Releford and Steele have been reinstated to the team. JaMychal Green and Mitchell have not. This we know. Isn't it time we stopped writing things in pencil so they can be easily erased and take a stand with who's going to play and when?
Coach Grant doesn't seem to have issues making tough decisions. He sent Releford, Steele and Green home right before a basketball game at LSU. We know he can act quick and decisively.
I'd love to see him prove that again prior to Tuesday's tip with a list of game-available players.
News from Around the South:
Mississippi State is having a rough go at it on defense and tends to have problems with quick point guards, according to Brad Locke of the Daily Journal. Tuesday the Bulldogs host an LSU team that is fighting for a few wins to establish a tournament resume and would like nothing more than to grab a road win against a top 50 RPI team like Mississippi State.
LSU's frontcourt duo of Johnny O'Bryant and Justin Hamilton are starting to get and become a force underneath the basket for the Tigers. Shreveport Times
Alabama will be short-handed Tuesday because of player suspensions. Florida will be missing its top two bench scorers because of injury. Gators coach Billy Donovan called Florida's frontcourt situation "dire" Gainesville Sun
CSS Game Balls
Torrey Craig, South Carolina Upstate - Craig scored 15 points and pulled down eight rebounds to help the Spartans beat North Florida and keep pace in the Atlantic Sun Conference.
Ian Clark, Belmont - Clark went 3-for-5 from the 3-point line and scored 23 points with six rebounds Monday against Stetson.
Plays like Gorgui not shooting that shot, that bothers me because we work on that every single day for 45 minutes. I dont care if our guys miss shots. When theyre open, theyve got to shoot the ball. That kind of thing irks the hell out of me. - Louisville coach Rick Pitino after Gorgui Dieng passed up an open shot in the final minute of the Cardinals loss to Syracuse.
What to Watch Tuesday
(14) Florida at Alabama, 7 p.m. ET - Both teams are banged up (Florida physically and Alabama mentally) and reeling and looking for a turnaround win.
VCU at George Mason, 9 p.m. ET - VCU and George Mason are tied atop the Colonial Athletic and both looking for an NCAA Tournament bid. Only one can win the automatic bid for tournament entry so a signature win like this could go a long way just in case. Catch this game on CSS.
Mississippi State at LSU, 9 p.m. ET - Mississippi State has fallen from the top 25 and LSU is looking for another big win for the resume.