Green's Hot Hand Good; Hot Head Bad

One reason Alabama is contending for the Southeastern Conference championship in men's basketball is that junior low post player JaMychal Green has had a hot hand in SEC play. One thing that could jeopardize Bama's run for the title is Green's hot head.

Alabama has improved from an 8-6 record when SEC play began in early January to a 16-8 record as Bama has burned an 8-2 path through league opponents. There are a number of reasons for the Crimson Tide moving from hapless to hopeful in NCAA Tournament conversation, not the least of which is JaMychal Green, a 6-8, 228-pounder from Montgomery.

Early in the year, Green earned a place in Coach Anthony Grant's doghouse, suspended for three games. Since his return, he has been a different man. Mostly for the good.

Green, who is averaging 16 points and 7.5 rebounds per game, has been at his best in conference contests, where he is averaging 17.2 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. In Bama's most recent outing, a 74-64 win over Ole Miss, he had his sixth double-double of the season, 23 points and 10 rebounds. That gives him 19 career double-double performances, best in the SEC. Green also had a career best six blocked shots.

And another thing Green had in that game was a little temper flare-up, one of several this year.

A player who gets out of control get be tossed out of the game. And tossed out of a game could result in missing half of the following game, which could be disastrous for a Crimson Tide team that isn't very deep.

Green is aware of his blow-ups.

"I just have to stay focused," Green said. "I can't let people get to me. Sometimes it's a cheap shot, but that doesn't matter. Coach Grant tells me I have to control myself, keep my head."

Green's teammate, Andrew Steele, has been helpful. "Every time I get into an altercation, he's the first one to grab me," Green said. "He tries to keep me calmed down."

Green's coach said he is "most pleased that JaMychal is developing into that leader our team needs. That goes into a lot of areas besides scoring. Other things – rebounding, defense – affect winning."

Green said Alabama's success means a lot. "Since I've been here, this has been the best season yet," he said. "We want to bring a little excitement to basketball.

"We're in a good place. We control our own destiny. We just have to continue to play well. If we do, we could do some good things."

He said the secret to success is that Bama players are "comfortable with the system and comfortable with each other. We're a close team."

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