Tide Hoops Host Stillman

An NCAA rule change did something good for Alabama basketball in 2004-05, creating a familial-feeling first exhibition game instead a potential international Okto"BORE"fest opponent to start the season.

The NCAA Alabama will host Stillman on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Coleman Coliseum. Admission is $5, and the game will be broadcast on Crimson Tide Sports Marketing's network of radio stations.

"I'm excited about the game with Stillman," Alabama Head Coach Mark Gottfried said. "The NCAA changed the rule and eliminated the exhibition game as most everybody has known it for the last 10 or 15 years. We're required to play four-year institutions and I think it's great that Alabama and Stillman are going to play."

Alabama is ranked 18th in the pre-season Associated Press poll but Gottfried today said his team is still "not very good."

Stillman is coached by former Alabama great Leon Douglas. Douglas was a two-time All-American at Alabama, playing for the Tide from 1973-76.

"Mark played for Wimp (Sanderson), and one thing that he always did was complain," Douglass said. "And then when you got the end results, he was like a Top 10 or Top 15 team, so (Mark) is a protégé of Wimp Sanderson."

"I know Mark," Douglass said. "Tomorrow night he's going to pat us on the butt and send us on our way. But that's good though, because to play a team the caliber of Alabama and to play a school that's the caliber of Alabama is great for Stillman."

"I appreciate what Mark did for me and for my program," Douglass said. "I'm appreciative from the stand point that everything is positive in my career starting here at Alabama. And now my collegiate coaching career is going to start here at Alabama. My first game will be in the coliseum, a place that I grew to love."

Gottfried said Ron Steele has solidified himself into the starting point guard position, the only slot where a starter from last season did not return.

"Ron Steele clearly solidified himself," Gottfried said. "That wasn't a surprise to anyone on our team. To be honest, I don't know who is going to be our back-up at point."

Gottfried said he was looking at three options to back-up Steele at the point. Walk-on LaKory Daniels has played solid, Gottfried said, and has not done anything to hurt his chances. Gottfried also said that Glen Miles has struggled making the adjustment to college basketball.

The third option behind point is to put Earnest Sheltion (starting shooting guard) at the position, Gottfried said.

Gottfried said Tuesday that returning starters Kennedy Winston, Shelton and Chuck Davis have consistently gotten the job done at practice, but that starting power forward Jermareo Davidson is a "guy who needs to take his game up another step."

"Davidson is the guy we're watching," Gottfried said. "He knows that."

The rule requiring exhibition games to be against four-year institutions will go into full effect beginning next year. Alabama had already signed a contract to play Athletes in Action, and that game is still on for Saturday at 2 p.m.

"I think like most teams this is the time where your players are just anxious to play against somebody else," Gottfried said. "You hear that every year but it's true. (Tuesday) will be our 19th day. They're just anxious to see somebody else other than themselves."


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