Hendrix Should Return Vs. Rebels

Alabama and Ole Miss both enter Wednesday night's match-up at Coleman Coliseum on two-game losing streaks. One will end when the Tide and Rebels tip off at 7 p.m CST. One thing the Tide will have going for it is return of forward Richard Hendrix, its leading scorer and rebounder, who missed Saturday's loss at Kentucky with flu-like symptoms.

"I think he's okay," Alabama Coach Gottfried said of star forward Richard Hendrix Tuesday. "He did practice. Whether he's 100 per cent or not, we'll know that (Wednesday)." Hendrix averages 19 points, 10,3 rebounds and 2.2 blocked shots per contest.

Gottfried discovered some depth in Lexington as reserve big men Yamene Coleman and Justin Knox combined for 16 points and five rebounds against the Wildcats. "I think they've earned the opportunity to get in there and play. We'll see how much. I think we'll look to them a little more, now."

Coleman and Knox could come in handy assisting Hendrix and starter Demetrius Jemison against Ole Miss' big man tandem of Kenny Williams and Dwayne Curtis.

"They're a very talented team. Inside, they've got two seniors. Curtis is a guy who has been very dominant in the SEC. They rebound the ball well. You have to give them only one shot."

Brandon Hollinger will continue to man the point for Bama, as the junior has supplanted Rico Pickett for the starting job. Said Gottfried, "What we've talked with Rico about, (is) he's got to play with a little more urgency. This team needs him to step forward. That's probably contributed to his minutes not being as many."

Junior Alonzo Gee scored only five points at Rupp Arena. "If we can just get him focused in on the right things, day in and day out, I think he'll be okay," said Gottfried.

With his team struggling at 13-11, and 2-7 in league play, Gottfried is trying to keep his and his players' heads up.

"For us, there is no other way to be than to be positive," Gottfried said. "You teach, you coach, you correct. I don't think we're that far off. We've had the opportunity to basically win every game.

"Every game is decided on a play or two, here or there," said Gottfried. "(Ole Miss) has had a bunch of them, like we have." Ole Miss is 3-5 in the league, but the Rebs are 17-5 overall.

When asked about the outlook for the rest of the season, Gottfried remained upbeat. "I think we're a team that's good enough to beat everybody. If you look at our team, I think its obvious we haven't beaten everybody.

"I want our team to continue to play extremely hard, and see where it plays out. We've got a ton of basketball left."

The Alabama/Ole Miss game will not be carried on live TV.

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