Health Is Issue In Tide Victory

The game was easy, but the medical report was tough. Alabama's basketball team played without JaMychal Green, then lost Tony Mitchell early in the contest against Alabama A&M Wednesday night.

Reporters would have been happier to have had the chance to talk to Alabama Trainer John Mohr, but Crimson Tide Coach Anthony Grant provided the injury report following Bama's 82-45 win over the Alabama A&M Bulldogs in Coleman Coliseum.

Grant said that JaMychal Green was held out because of a hip pointer, while Tony Mitchell suffered an ankle sprain after only eight minutes of play. "Our medical staff does a great job," Grant said.

Alabama returns to action at 8:30 p.m. CST Sunday against VCU, the school from whence Grant was hired by Bama three years ago. Grant said he didn't know a great deal about this year's edition of VCU, but that he had great respect for the program and for Coach Shaka Smart, who replaced Grant.

Grant repeated that as a part of his contract with VCU, Alabama is playing the Rams in Tuscaloosa this year and will return the trip to Richmond next year.

Alabama went out to a 10-0 lead against Alabama A&M and never looked back. The Tide defense held the Bulldogs to a single field goal in the first half, 5.9 per cent shooting on 1-17. For the game, A&M managed only 11-46 for 23.9 per cent, including 1-12 on three point shots for 8.3 per cent.

Alabama put five men in double figures -- four of them freshmen and one sophomore. Soph Charles Hankerson had 16 points, while the freshmen in double figures were Rodney Cooper and Nick Jacobs, 15 each, Trevor Lacey 12, and Levi Randolph 11.

Jacobs had a double-double, pulling down 10 rebounds, and Hankerson had nine caroms as Bama won the battle of the boards by 51-35.

The Tide had 14 steals and forced 18 turnovers.

"I thought our guys did a good job of being focused," Grant said. "The defense in the first half was very good in establishing the tone of the game." He added that he was pleased with ball movement and shot selection on offense.

As for the play of the freshmen, Grant said, "With every game they grow and get better, so it was a good opportunity for them."

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