Alabama is undefeated in SEC play with a 5-0 record, including an 85-65 win over Kentucky at Rupp Arena on Tuesday night. The Crimson Tide led from start to finish and the only tie was 17-17.
John Petty Jr. scored a season-best 23 points and Jaden Shackleford added 18 points, as Nate Oats’s squad won its sixth consecutive game to improve to 10-3 overall and 8-4-1 against the spread. Alabama won outright at UK as a three-point underdog, while the ‘over’ hit for the third straight time with the 150 combined points going ‘over’ the 147-point total.
However, it was a costly win for the Tide with two starters going down with injuries. The team flew directly from Lexington to Birmingham after the game, so that Herb Jones and Jordan Bruner could be seen by team doctors right away.
Bruner, who went down with a knee injury in the second half, underwent surgery on his meniscus Wednesday morning. The 6-foot-10 grad transfer from Yale is expected to miss about a month.
Bruner is averaging 7.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.2 blocked shots per game. He has started all 13 games for Alabama.
Jones, the senior forward, suffered a hand injury in the first half. The team didn’t update his status on Wednesday but after the win over the Wildcats, Oats said that Jones’s hand “wasn’t broken but he’ll probably miss some time.”
So in the short term, Alabama took some bad news. However, the long-term prognosis is just fine with both players expected to return in what is the most promising hoops season in Tuscaloosa in a long time.
Javon Quinerly, the team’s starting point guard that’s a former five-star recruit who sat out last year after transferring from Villanova, missed his third straight game at UK due to an undisclosed medical condition. Oats has said he might be able to return Saturday when the Tide hosts Arkansas at Coleman Coliseum.
Quinerly is listed as ‘questionable’ against the Razorbacks. He is averaging 13.0 points and 3.4 APG.
Jones is averaging 12.5 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.0 blocked shots per game. He is shooting at a 52.6 percent clip from 3-point land.
DraftKings currently has Alabama listed with 66/1 odds to win the national title. The Tide’s hoops program has never been to a Final Four and has advanced to the Elite Eight just once in program history.