A Good Week

Brandon Hollinger had a grueling week of practice, final exams at The University, and caught a Richard Hendrix elbow that resulted in five stitches above and below his eye.

And it was a good week.

The 5-11, 167-pound guard from Mobile is hoping to help Alabama Coach Mark Gottfried find a better combination of players and positions before next week's games in the Las Vegas Classic, which will consist of four games -- two at home and two in Sin City -- next week, starting with Wofford on Monday night.

"I think we're a lot farther along this week than we were a couple of weeks ago," Gottfried said. "One guy [who has helped himself this week] is Brandon Hollinger. We are trying to figure out where he should play and we brought him in the other day as the wing sub and we feel like we made some progress."

On Friday, Gottfried said the week of practice during final exams is one he normally worries about, but that this week was about as productive as he could have hoped for.

As a sign of the physical nature of the practices, Gottfried pointed to an accidental elbow from big man Richard Hendrix that left Hollinger in stitches.

"He loos like he just got done fighting George Foreman, but he's okay," Gottfried said.

There were no broken bones, but the bump will probably force Hollinger into some sort of protective mask for games next week, Gottfried said.

Progess has been made in halts and stops so far for the Crimson Tide with star point guard Ronald Steele sitting out the year while his knees heal. Freshman Rico Pickett, who was suspended earlier this season by Gottfried, played 16 minutes at the point versus Georgetown and 30 minutes against Nicholls State last week.

Basketball is not the biggest event on the Coleman Coliseum schedule in the coming days with Wofford on Monday at 7 p.m. and Texas Pan American on Wednesday. That distinction goes to Saturday's graduation, where Tide players Steele along with guards Mykal Riley and John Dill will be getting their degrees.

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