Basketball Signing Day Is Big At Bama

The University of Alabama signed three players to National Letters of Intent to attend school and play basketball for the Crimson Tide. Mark Gottfried's November 2007 signing class on Wednesday includes forwards JaMychal Green and Tony Mitchell and guard Andrew Steele, brother of Tide senior point guard Ronald Steele.

Alabama ranks 12th in the nation and third in the Southeastern Conference on national signing day Wednesday.

UCLA was judged to have the nation's number one class, followed by Ohio State and Georgetown.

Among SEC teams, Florida ranked number 8, Mississippi State 10, Bama 12, Kentucky 13, and LSU 18.

"We're very excited about our class," said Gottfried, Alabama's head basketball coach. "I think we've addressed some specific needs for our team. I think we have three very talented basketball players who are also very high quality individuals, which stays consistent with what we've tried to do from a recruiting standpoint."

JaMychal Green is a 6-foot-8 and 225 pound forward out of Montgomery's St. Jude High School and is a two-time Class A Player of the Year, winning the award both in 2006 and again in 2007. Green was the state tournament MVP in 2005. Green averaged 23 points, 15.7 rebounds and 7.0 blocked shots as a junior in 2007. He led St. Jude to the state's championship game in 2007 and a state title in 2006 and is coached by Trey Brown at St. Jude. rates him a five-star recruit and the number five power forward in the nation. He is ranked the 17th best player in the nation regardless of position.

His sophomore season in 2005 the Alabama Sportswriters Association voted him to its Super Five list of the state's top players in all classifications and to the 1-A 1st Team All-State. USA Today rated him No. 31 in the Class of 2008. Van Coleman of the Chicago Sun-Times rates him No. 20.

"JaMychal is a terrific inside player. He's got strength, size, good hands, good feet," said Gottfried. "He also has a toughness about him that I really like. We're excited about him joining our program."

Andrew Steele is the younger brother of Tide senior All-America point guard Ronald Steele. Andrew is a 6-foot-3 and 195 pound guard who is a senior at Birmingham's John Carroll Catholic High School. Like his older brother, he was recruited in both basketball and football and chose basketball and, in particular, Crimson Tide basketball. He averaged 17.0 points, 10 rebounds and 5.0 assists as a junior in 2007. He was a finalist for Class 5A Player of the Year in 2007 after leading John Carroll to the state championship final en route to a 31-6 final basketball record.

Steele is a four-star prospect by and ranked the number seven point guard in the nation. He was ranked No. 83 among the top 100 by the Chicago Sun Times and No. 84 by USA Today for the Class of 2008. Steele is a member of the National Honor Society and student council and is coached at John Carroll by Marty Smith.

"Andrew is a player we're very excited about," said Gottfried. "He's a 6-foot-3, 200-pound combo guard who can play both positions. He's a very strong defender, a very athletic player."

Steele and Green have been teammates on the same AAU team, the Alabama Challenge.

From Swainsboro, Ga., comes 6-foot-6 and 190 pound forward Tony Mitchell. The Swainsboro High School senior is a Scout four-star who is ranked the number six small forward in the nation. He averaged 19.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 5.0 blocked shots as a junior in 2007. Mitchell was named the 2007 Georgia Sports Writers Association Class AA Player of the Year and was voted all-state. USA Today rates him No. 37 in the Class of 2008. Van Coleman rates him No. 40 among his Top 100 in the Chicago Sun-Times.

"Tony is a guy that will be a very exciting player to watch. He's got a great deal of potential as a wing player. He's tremendously athletic. He shoots the ball very well. And he can also be a great defender in college," said Gottfried.

"All three of these guys hail from winning programs which is another thing that we like a lot. They know what it takes to build championships."

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