The Alabama Crimson Tide have lost five of their last six games, most recently dropping a one-point decision at South Carolina on Saturday afternoon. Trevor Releford scored 27 points and grabbed four rebounds to lead the way for Alabama, which is now 10-15 overall and 4-8 in SEC play.
Also playing in that game was junior forward Nick Jacobs, who tallied just two points and one rebound in 14 minutes of action. Jacobs, averaging 8.4 points and 3.5 rebounds per game this season, has started ten of the 25 games he’s played in. However when he’ll play next is unknown, as the school announced on Wednesday that Jacobs has taken an indefinite leave of absence from the team.
“Nick and I met early this week regarding a pattern of behavior and inconsistencies with his responsibilities as a student-athlete,” Alabama head coach Anthony Grant said in the release. “When addressed with these off-the-court issues, he requested a leave of absence, which I granted. He and I both feel it is in his best interest to step away from the team for the immediate future. We will continue to provide Nick the support and assistance he needs to reassess his priorities and focus on his well-being.”
Jacobs is one of four players averaging between 7.8 and 8.4 points per game for the Crimson Tide, who have just two double-digit scorers (Releford and Retin Obasohan). From a rebounding standpoint guard Rodney Cooper leads the team with an average of 5.1 rebounds per game, with six other players averaging between 3.0 and 3.8 rebounds per contest.
Rebounding’s been an issue for Alabama this season, as they rank tenth in the SEC in defensive rebounding percentage and 11th in offensive rebounding percentage. The Crimson Tide play at Texas A&M on Thursday night.
Tonight’s bubble action. This post will be updated as the games are completed.
Cincinnati at UCF, 7:00 p.m.
Pitt at No. 12 Miami, 7:00 p.m.
No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.
Ole Miss at Florida, 9:00 p.m.
Georgia at No. 22 Kentucky, 9:00 p.m.
Arkansas at Mississippi State, 9:00 p.m.
GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 10 West Virginia at No. 6 Kansas, 7:00 p.m.
The last time these two teams got together, West Virginia actually knocked off Kansas in Morgantown. It was the third time in the last three seasons that WVU has beaten KU at home. So there’s some revenge at stake here. But there’s also the whole Big 12 title race, which West Virginia currently leads. If the Mountaineers win tonight, they’ll be up by two games on Kansas with the tie breaker and just seven games left to play. The Jayhawks regular season title streak could be over if that happens.
THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 8 Michigan State at No. 18 Purdue, 7:00 p.m.
We think the Spartans are back to their early season form after wins over Maryland (at home), Northwestern, Rutgers and Michigan. If Michigan State really wants to prove something to the college basketball world, they will go into West Lafayette tonight and get a win. Denzel Valentine vs. Raphael Davis will be fun.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR
- Pitt will pay a visit to No. 12 Miami in a game the Panthers could really use a win in. Pitt hasn’t been the most consistent team in the country and without adding a few quality wins they could be looking at the bubble.
- Duquesne will be paying a visit to No. 19 Dayton, who moved into a tie for first place in the Atlantic 10 thanks to VCU’s loss on Saturday.
- Georgia is right there on the bubble, and they will have a chance to try and push themselves into a better spot when they play at No. 22 Kentucky tonight.
- Creighton probably has to win out to have a shot of making the NCAA tournament, and that includes tonight, when they host No. 5 Xavier.
- No. 7 Virginia will be hosting Virginia Tech, who picked off the Wahoos in Blacksburg earlier this year.
THE REST OF THE TOP 25
- No. 1 Villanova at DePaul, 8:30 p.m.
- No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.