Lop-Sided Win Boosts Confidence

It wasn't a tune-up game for the next preseason NIT game in New York as the 14th-ranked Alabama basketball team (2-1) had hoped, nevertheless the Crimson Tide took care of business against Alabama State (1-3), winning 105-68 Sunday night in Coleman Coliseum before an eight-day layoff for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The blowout of the Hornets was a confidence builder after Bama's 87-76 loss to Memphis last Thursday night.

Alabama's superior size in the paint put the game out of reach early. Alabama big men Chuck Davis and Jermareo Davidson combined for 12 of Alabama's first 17 points, giving Alabama a 10 point lead after four and a half minutes that only grew larger as the night went along.

"We recognized some weaknesses in our game offensively and defensively, and we wanted to come out and work on them tonight," Davidsion said.

Another inside player, freshman Richard Hendrix, finished the game leading the Crimson Tide in scoring and rebounds with 22 points and 14 rebounds in 25 minutes of play. "I wanted him to fight through a little fatigue and play when he was tired," Alabama Head Coach Mark Gottfried said.

Hendrix was seven for eight from the field and eight for nine on free throws. He added three blocked shots.

Davidson finished the game with his second straight double double with 20 points and 11 rebounds while Davis finished with 15 points and four rebounds. Nine of the 10 men that played for Alabama logged 15 minutes or more. Guard Brandon Davis played six minutes.

Freshman post player Yamene Coleman did not play Sunday night. Gottfried is considering redshirting Coleman, but has not made a final decision.

"I haven't not decided, nor has he. We've talked about that," Gottfried said. "I didn't want to put him in tonight when I wasn't sure. We've got a little time between now and the 29th to look at that and see what exactly we think is best. We thought about playing him but said let's wait and make sure."

Justin Jonus (15), Alonzo Gee (11) and Ronald Steele (10) were also in double figures for the Crimson Tide.

"I thought after the other night (against Memphis) we needed to look at ourselves and figure out how this team needs to be competitive," Alabama Head Coach Mark Gottfried said. "We have to be a much smarter team and execute better on offense. We got good shots out of our offense and nobody was forcing them. On defense, for about the first eight minutes of the game we were pretty solid."

Alabama's next game is one week from Tuesday at 7 p.m., hosing Louisiana Tech at Coleman Coliseum. La. Tech (1-2) lost by three points 59-56 to Nebraska (3-0) Sunday night.

"Obviously, we're disappointed we're not to go to New York. We don't deserve to go. We didn't do what we needed to do, but what we need to do now is take advantage of this time," Alabama Head Coach Mark Gottfried said. "There's six guys (Brock, Felix, Jonus, Hendrix, Gee and Hollinger) of the nine (in the playing rotation) that really have not played significant minutes. They have to learn how we're going to score, how we're going to defend. It gives us time to concentrate on ourselves."


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