Shorthanded Bama Hosts Hot Tennessee

For those waiting on news regarding suspended Alabama basketball players Tony Mitchell and JaMychal Green, the official word is no word. Alabama Coach Anthony Grant said there is no change in their status, which is indefinite suspension, and neither is expected to dress out Saturday.


Br> Moreover, an Alabama team that is reeling somewhat with two consecutive losses, has a couple of injury situations as the Crimson Tide prepares to host one of the hottest teams in Southeastern Conference play.
Br> Alabama will host Tennessee at 12:30 p.m. Saturday in Coleman Coliseum.
Br> The game is a sellout.
Br> Bama has won 29 of its last 32 games in Coleman Coliseum, but is coming off its second home loss of the season, a 61-52 setback at the hands of Florida last Tuesday.
Br> Meanwhile, Tennessee has won four straight games to improve to 14-12 overall and 6-5 in the SEC. The Crimson Tide is 16-9 overall, but only 5-6 in SEC competition.
Br> In addition to the suspensions of Tony Mitchell and JaMychal Green, Grant said that point guard Trevor Releford is slowed after having suffered a sprained ankle against Florida and that freshman inside player Nick Jacobs had some complications when he suffered an injury to his mouth in practice. Jacobs had to undergo a root canal this week.
Br> "I am very impressed with the way they [Tennessee] seem to have really bought in on the defensive side of the ball," Alabama Coach Anthony Grant said. "They're playing outstanding defense and are shooting the ball extremely well. Their frontcourt is probably one of the more physical frontcourts in our league."
Br> UT has scored 69 or more points in each of its last four games and will face an Alabama defense that remains one of the top in the nation by allowing just 58.4 points per game this season, the 11th best average in the nation and the second best in the SEC.
Br> Offensively, UA's bench has stepped up with the reserves averaging 28.2 points in the four games prior to the LSU game. Against Florida, UA held a 23-0 advantage in bench points and UA's bench has outscored its opponents' reserves in each of the last six games.
Br> In that game against Florida, Andrew Steele returned to the lineup and matched a career high with 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting with three assists to lead the Tide. Charles Hankerson added nine bench points while Levi Randolph pulled down a career-high nine rebounds.
Br> Tennessee is paced by Trae Golden's 13.1 points per game while Jeronne Maymone adds 12 points and a team best 7.9 rebounds per game.
Br> Following Saturday's game, the Tide will take to the road to face Arkansas in the second meeting between the two programs this season on Feb. 23.

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