In its’ 59-45 win over Charleston Southern on Saturday, Alabama failed to reach the 60-point mark for the first time this season. One reason for the relative lack of the offensive production was the absence of starting guard Trevor Releford, who was held out of the game due to what was termed as “precautionary reasons.”
The reason for the move: Releford’s been dealing with a lingering hip injury, and according to Michael Casagrande of AL.com the point guard’s status for Alabama’s game against No. 12 Wichita State has yet to be decided.
A lingering hip “aggravation” was the reason they shut him down for the night. It bothered him since before the team’s trip to New York on Thanksgiving weekend.
“It just needs to get better,” Grant said. “It’s limiting his mobility a little bit. We just made a decision that he needed to let it calm down a little bit and get back. It shouldn’t be anything long term.”
Releford currently leads three Crimson Tide scoring in double figures with an average of 16.4 points to go along with 2.2 assists per game. Releford factors into 25.2% of Alabama’s possessions this season, and he’s playing an average of 32.9 minutes per game (fellow guard Retin Obasohan is tied for the lead in minutes). Given how Wichita State can get after opponents defensively, a less than 100% Releford (or no Releford at all) would make things very difficult on Alabama.
They’ll have their work cut out for them either way, but Alabama needs Releford on the floor if they’re to have a shot at upsetting the Shockers.
One of the biggest storylines of Saturday’s college basketball schedule had everything to do with a team that no longer matters in the championship picture.
Less than 24 hours after being informed that the school would be imposing a postseason ban that will leave the Cardinals out of the ACC and NCAA tournaments, No. 19 Louisville tipped off against Boston College, and they did so without leading scorer Damion Lee, who is battling a knee issue.
How would the team respond to the decision — the despicable, shameful decision — that the university’s president made?
Well, it seems.
The Cardinals jumped out to a 19-2 lead in the first eight minutes and cruised to a 79-47 win over an overmatched Boston College team in the Yum! Center.
And head coach Rick Pitino, after the quote, said exactly what everyone is thinking.
“We should be penalized, no question about it,” he said. “But not this team. But the NCAA didn’t make that decision. We made that decision.”
He’s totally right. The school sacrificed the season — and the only shot that a pair of fifth-year seniors would get to play in the NCAA tournament — to protect the school, the brand and the bottom-line moving forward. Like I said earlier, it’s despicable.
But credit the Cardinals for responding.
Because they still have something on the line. They’re just a game out of first place in the ACC, and while an ACC regular season title isn’t a shot to play in the ACC or NCAA tournament, it’s still a banner that would probably mean more to Damion Lee and Trey Lewis than any league title has meant to a Louisville player before.
Oklahoma State’s star point guard was not in the lineup on Saturday against No. 13 Iowa State.
Evans injured his shoulder in the Cowboys’ loss at Texas Tech on Wednesday and was ruled out of Saturday’s game.
According to the school, his official status moving forward is questionable. The Pokes are just 11-11 on the season and likely need to earn the Big 12’s at-large bid to get into the NCAA tournament. It makes sense to let him get healthy.
Evans was averaging 12.9 points, 4.9 assists and 4.4 boards this season, but he had been arguably the best point guard in the Big 12 during league play, averaging 15.6 points and 5.6 assists.