Tide Hoops Gets Set For Texas A&M

Alabama Men's Basketball Coach Mark Gottfried met with the media Thursday to discuss the Crimson Tide's upcoming game against Texas A&M. Bama hosts the Aggies at 7 p.m. Saturday in Coleman Coliseum.

Alabama Coach Mark Gottfried said, "It is a big week for us academically with final exams going on. I hope our guys have done a good job. I am really proud of them. On Saturday, we are going to have two guys graduating. We will have two seniors who will have graduated in three and a half years in Alonzo Gee and Brandon Hollinger. I am really proud of them. That is why the guys are here so something like that makes you feel good.

"Obviously, Saturday night is a big game. I have watched (Texas A&M), they are very good. They are very big and very athletic. They are a strong, very well-coached team. Obviously, we have to play well and know they are a terrific basketball team. They had a great win last week over Arizona. We have had a good week of practice. Guys are getting stuff done in the classroom, so that is where we are at right now."

On any similarities between Texas A&M last year and this year:

"We are a different team. The guys that are playing the bulk of the minutes this year weren't playing as much last year. We learned a little bit from that game last year, like some trends and tendencies, but we have not put a lot of stock in it."

On the performance of the team after Alabama A&M:

"We are looking forward and not looking back. We came back with Louisiana and defensively played very well. Even in the Alabama A&M game they shot 29 percent, so our defense is something that I have been really proud of. Our rebounding has been a lot better and we are building on those things."

On what Texas A&M will bring into the game:

"Some of the guys are different but Bryan Davis was terrific and a couple of the new guys have stepped in. They are a big, athletic team. They have a guy in Josh Carter who may be one of the best players in the country at the small forward position. Donald Sloan is their point guard who played for them last year and has a lot of experience. They have some of the same guys but they are big, athletic, and very good."

On the distribution of minutes:

"We are just trying to get the right rotation. One guy who has had his minutes go up consistently is Andrew Steele. He is doing such a good job defensively that it is hard to take him out sometimes because he is really doing a good job on that end of the floor. Another guy has been Yamene Coleman. Over the course of the last game, I thought Yamene was playing very well. Defensively and rebounding were the two areas I thought he was doing such a good job in so his minutes, obviously, went up."

On how this type of competition prepares for future games:

"This is a team, physically, that is going to be a lot like the teams we are going to see in our league. Size, speed, and quickness are going to be similar. So, obviously, we want to play well against them."

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