Quick: who’s the only SEC team that UK beat by double figures last year? C’mon…use your context clues! You’re right, the same Alabama Crimson Tide that will host us tomorrow afternoon in Neverreallybeenclosetohavingabasketballtitle-town. That’s actually the abridged name, after removing: exceptforwhenwehadSprewellandHorryandinlikethe60’s.
Anyway, the Tide will be without its finest player, Ronald Steele, who’s career has been cut unfortunately short due to a string of injuries. They do still have other guys, I assume, including that funny-looking guy that dunks well. They’ve not had a great year, opening the season with a home loss to Mercer, only to follow that up by getting throttled by Oregon. More recently, they defeated both Ole Miss and LSU in conference, which indicates that they can play with the, well, bigger boys.
#32 JaMychal Green, 6’9”, F, Freshman
2008-09 Stats: 8.8 ppg, 6.9 rpg
Green was once-recruited by the ‘Cats, as you probably recall, and has had a strong season so far. He’s had a couple of double-doubles, and he’s pretty much ‘Bama’s biggest low-post threat. He had 17 and 12 in the season opening loss to Mercer. He probably really started second guessing his decision after that one! I mean, who loses to crappy low-major teams at home on opening night? In unrelated news, Green was also a member of the National Honor Society in high school. Good for him.
#40 Justin Knox, 6’9”, F, Sophomore
2008-09 Stats: 5.7 ppg, 5.2 rpg
Knox didn’t play much his freshman year, but he’s been forced into action due to the Tide’s size and depth issues. He had 14 in a win over UT-Chattanooga, but he’s only scored in double figures in three other instances. Whoa, he was also in NHS in high school, and he was salutatorian. Are we playing Harvard? What a bunch of nerds!
#2 Mikhail Torrance, 6’5”, G, Junior
2008-09 Stats: 9.3 ppg, 1.3 rpg
Torrance has been enjoying a scoring bonanza of late, averaging just short of 23 points a game over his last three. Prior to that, though, he wasn’t getting much playing time and he wasn’t really effective. He has certainly taken advantage of Steele’s absence, and we’ll need a defensive stopper with a kick-ass nickname to shut this gentleman down. Preferably an Alaskan.
#12 Alonzo Gee, 6’6”, G, Senior
2008-09 Stats: 14.3 ppg, 7.3 rpg
Wait, that’s Alonzo Gee? Who was I picturing? Allow one second for research, please.
Ah, he used to have cornrows. I see. Anyway, Gee is a super-athletic scorer, who’s had a solid senior season, though not much of an improvement from last year. His size and shooting ability makes him a bit of a match-up problem, and Harris will probably draw the assignment. So I guess you can ignore my stupid, convoluted little plea in the above paragraph. Gee was on course to graduate early (December ’08), which is small potatoes, apparently, with this group of brains.
#21 Senario Hillman, 6’1”, G, Sophomore
2008-09 Stats: 13.6 ppg, 3.2 rpg
Hillman is a tremendous athlete and leaper, but he’s really struggled with his outside shot this year. According to his bio, he had over 150 dunks in high school (a stat implemented in the post-Alvin Sims era). Hillman had 24 in ‘Bama’s huge win over LSU, and 22 in a win over Chaminade. It’s also in his bio that he is a fan favorite, so he’s got that going on.
Yamene Coleman, F, Junior: Had only one start last year, and it came against UK. What’s that mean? Nothing, really.
Andrew Steele, G, Freshman: You guessed it: an NHS member…and Ronald Steele’s brother.
Ex-Vandy player Dan Cage’s brother is also on the squad…all told, ‘Bama has five NHS or National Merit scholars, and one other player who had a perfect 4.0 in the fall of ’07