Tide's Jacobs On ‘Leave Of Absence'

There was a lot to be learned in Anthony Grant's Alabama basketball press briefing Wednesday. Most dramatic is that inside player Nick Jacobs has made a 180, going from active player to taking a leave of absence. And Trevor Relevord is one of three players in the nation who is a "180 shooter."

In a year in which almost nothing has gone right, Alabama basketball hit another bump in the road Wednesday when it was announced that a junior Alabama post player Nick Jacobs "has taken an indefinite leave of absence from men's basketball activities."

Coach Anthony Grant's announcement sounded suspiciously as though Jacobs has been suspended. Regardless, the Crimson Tide will be without Jacobs for the road trip to Texas A&M Thursday.

In a written announcement, Grant said, "Nick and I met early this week regarding a pattern of behavior and inconsistencies with his responsibilities as a student-athlete. When addressed with these with these off-the-court issues, he requested a leave of absence, which I granted. He and I both feel it is in his best interest to step away from the team for the immediate future. We will continue to provide Nick the support and assistance he needs to reassess his priorities and focus on his well-being."

Jacobs has played in all 25 Alabama games this year and started 10 of them. He is averaging 8.4 points and 3.5 rebounds per game.

Alabama will play at Texas A&M Thursday. Tipoff will be at 6 p.m. CST with television coverage by ESPN2.

Both teams have lost seven of their last 10 games and are coming off tough road losses. Alabama, which has not won on the road anywhere this year, had a chance at South Carolina, but a Trevor Releford three-point try stuck between the backboard and the rim, giving the Gamecocks the ball. South Carolina won 67-66. A&M lost a late lead at Vanderbilt and lost by 57-54 in overtime last weekend.

Bama is 10-15 overall and 4-8 in Southeastern Conference games. The Aggies are 14-11 overall and 5-7 in the conference.

Meanwhile, the Tide would be in even worse shape were it not for senior guard Trevor Releford. He has had five 20-point games in Bama's last seven contests and has 10 20-point games this season. He is considered a "180 shooter" because he is averaging at least 50 per cent from the field, 40 per cent on three-point shots, and 90 per cent on free throws. His numbers are 50.5 per cent from the floor, 40.1 per cent from three-point range, and 90.5 per cent on foul shots.

Releford is averaging 19 points per game.

Grant called Texas A&M the second best offensive team in the SEC. Alex Caruso is an outstanding assist man at guard. He had 11 assists against Arkansas. Jamal Jones, a 6-8, 197-pound wing player, is a capable outside shooter. He made seven three-pointers against Houston. Grant expressed concern about the Aggies "big front court," which includes 6-8, 224-pound Antwan Space and 6-9, 244-pound Kourtney Roberson.

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