Bama Loses Davis and SEC Opener

Not only did the Alabama basketball team lose its Southeastern Conference opener, 71-61 to Mississippi Saturday night at Coleman Coliseum, the Crimson Tide in all likelihood lost its leading scorer, senior big man Chuck Davis, who went down with a knee injury in the first half of the game.

"The doctors are nearly 100 per cent sure he tore his ACL and he's done for the year," Alabama Head Coach Mark Gottfried said. "They are going to look at it [with an MRI Monday] and hopefully they are wrong. But we will probably have to deal with it."

Chuck Davis was going for a loose ball rebound underneath the Mississippi goal when he tangled up with teammate Justin Jonus. Davis went down clutching his right knee before limping off with assistance from trainer John Mohr and Gottfried.

Davis did not grant interviews Saturday, but in a statement through the Alabama media relations department, he said, ""We're getting an MRI on Monday and see how things go. Until then I'm doing a lot of praying and hoping."

Ole Miss Head Coach Rod Barnes talked with Davis after the game.

"He's always shown himself to be one of the classiest guys in this league," Barnes said. "I got a chance to visit with him and he said he might have to be out for the year, so that's disappointing. I have compassion for him."

Davis limped away from the bench and then returned before the end of the first half, and came back in a sweat suit in the second half.

"He's our leader. That's a big blow but it's no excuse. We still have to come out and play and compete," sophomore point guard Ron Steele said.

The roles of center Jermareo Davidson and Richard Hendrix obviously increase in Davis' absence. Gottfried said he would wait on making a decision about playing true freshman Yamene Coleman, who had be scheduled for a redshirt season.

"That's something that we talked about briefly," Gottfried said. "We need to take a day or so to figure it out and think about it, to be honest."

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