Mitchell Named SEC Frosh Honoree

Alabama's men's basketball team went into the final week of regular season play with the expectation that it would have to have a great deal of maturity to get a road win at South Carolina and a home victory over an Auburn team that had beaten the Crimson Tide earlier in the season. Unquestionably, Bama had some maturity in winning both those games.

But Alabama also got good play from a true freshman in defeating South Carolina in Columbia and then downing Auburn in the final regular season Southeastern Conference game last Saturday.

As a result of his play, Bama's Tony Mitchell was named SEC Freshman of the Week.

Mitchell, a 6-6, 185-pound forward from Swainsboro, Ga., averaged 14.5 points and 8.5 rebounds in the two games.

He recorded his second double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds at South Carolina. Eleven of his 13 points against the Gamecocks were scored in the second half as Bama came from an early 11-point deficit to win by 79-70.

Mitchell led the Crimson Tide with 16 points in a 73-61 win over intrastate rival Auburn Saturday. He also had seven rebounds, blocked a shot, and had a steal.

For the year, Mitchell is averaging 9.5 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.

Alabama Coach Anthony Grant said, "Tony had to deal with several things. There is a learning process for a freshman. I think he has gotten more confortable every week. He has had a very good freshman year, especially with his scoring at the end of the season.

"You want your freshmen to have become sophomores by this time of the season.

"Tony's got a very bright future."

The two wins last week assured the Crimson Tide of a winning record in Grant's first season as Bama coach.

Alabama goes into this week's SEC Tournament at Nashville as the fourth seed from the Western Division. Bama's opening game will be at noon CST against South Carolina, the team Alabama defeated in Columbia less than a week ago.

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