A Shooting Guard

If Alabama sophomore Justin Jonus can carry his shooting touch some 50 feet, from the practice court in the back gym in Coleman Coliseum to the 15,000-seat main arena floor, the Bama basketball team can consider its problems at the two-guard solved.

Jonus was a perfect 8-for-8 through 39 minutes of the 40-minute Crimson vs. White scrimmage in the Coleman annex gym Thursday evening before he rushed a ninth three-point attempt with less than a minute to play for the first miss. The scrimmage, which drew about 1,000 spectators, was held in the back gym as work to the main floor is in its final stages.

"I just let it go and try not to worry about it," Justin Jonus said. "I have been shooting it real good in practice and I wanted to show the coaches I could step it up in a game-type situation."

Jonus finished with 34 points on 12-of-16 shooting, 8-of-9 from three-point range and 2-of-2 from the free-throw stripe. The sophomore and former walk-on from Boaz is trying to earn a starting spot at the shooting guard spot.

"We're still trying to find out who is going to start at that position and he helped himself tonight," Gottfried said. "With Justin, he's got the ability to make shots and when you have the inside game we do, with Chuck Davis, Jermareo Davidson, Richard Hendrix and Yamene Coleman, he opens things up."

Jonus said an extra bounce in his shot helped improve his accuracy.

"I've been working on just jumping," Jonus said. "Last year I was leaving stuff short and I had a bad spell where I got sick. I just go out and play hard every day and hope they see it."

Jonus' team, wearing white jerseys, beat the Crimson squad by a 98-73 final. Jonus teamed with Chuck Davis, Brandon Davis, Jean Felix, Jermareo Davidson, Greg Cage and John Deal in the split-squad scrimmage. The white team was coached by Tom Asbury and Eugene Harris.

Ron Steele led the Crimson team (coached by Phillip Pearson) scoring with 28 points. Aside from looking for the shot more, Steele looked just like he did much of last year, controlling the tempo for the red team, pushing when necessary but shooting more. Steele's highlight move came against walk-on Greg Cage on an isolation play where Steele put the ball on the floor once threatening to drive before stepping back and sinking a three-pointer.

Diminutive back-up point guard Brandon Davis did his best Steele imitation, tallying 9 assists and no turnovers for the white team. "Brandon helped himself tonight," Gottfried said. "He was very solid."

Gottfried wasn't happy about the defensive effort.

"I think there were some good things," Gottfried said. "Defensively we're not where we want to be. I thought that was the biggest thing. We got into an offensive back-and-forth, and we have to correct that before we play a real game."

In double figures for the Crimson team were freshman Alonzo Gee with 15 points, Evan Brock with 12 points and Richard Hendrix. Gee had eight rebounds and Hendrix had seven.

Gee looked every bit of the 215 pounds he's listed, possibly as tall as the stated 6-6 height. One of his better moves came on a baseline drive with the left hand, putting the ball in off the glass while drawing a foul.

For the white team, Chuck Davis had 25 points and 14 rebounds, Jean Felix had 14 points and Jermareo Davidson had 13 points and eight rebounds.

Hendrix had his troubles with Davis but had a nice rebound and putback on the offensive glass, showing good athleticism.


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