Avery Johnson Says Alabama Could Hear NCAA Ruling on Collin Sexton Soon
It's been a roller coaster 48 hours for Alabama basketball.
It started with the statement from Greg Byrne that prized freshman Collin Sexton hasn't been ruled eligible for the 2017 season, which kept him out of the exhibition game on Monday. Then ESPN's Jeff Goodman published a story a day later saying the NCAA had ruled Sexton ineligible, which caused a lot of angst and confusion among Alabama fans because it wasn't clear if this was a final ruling.
Crimson Tide head coach Avery Johnson eased some of those concerns when he joined Wimp and Barry Sanderson on Inside the Locker Room this morning and updated the Sexton's status with the NCAA.
"We're still in that process right now and obviously he was disappointed, like we all were, that he couldn't play in the exhibition game. Hopefully we'll have an update later on today or moving forward.
"But he did a great job of cheering for his teammates. He was out there helping them warm up. He's just such a great kid so hopefully it'll all get worked out here sometime soon."
With that issue on hold for the moment, the other concern for Alabama heading into the season opener is the health of the team. Right after the exhibition win over Alabama-Huntsville, Johnson told the media that sophomore Braxton Key had a torn meniscus that would require surgery, and he updated that recovery period for one of Alabama's key players this season.
"In terms of the injured guys, Braxton Key had surgery on yesterday. We're hoping for a speedy, safe recovery for him. We think it'll be about a four week process for him to get back on the floor."
Along with Key, the team will start the season without junior guard Ar'Mond Davis and senior forward Riley Norris.
"Ar'Mond Davis is still out with a knee injury. Riley Norris is still on the mend. We think we'll be able to hopefully have him back some time later on next week for practice. But he's getting better and hopefully he'll be available to us sometime before we go to New York for that Thanksgiving trip."
Alabama opens with Memphis in the Veterans Classic on Friday evening and will be short-handed when it faces Tubby Smith's squad. But the team could get a big boost depending on how quickly the NCAA rules on Sexton. For now, it's just a matter of patience for Bama fans.
You can hear the entire conversation with Coach Johnson in the video below.