Subtract 25 Alabama points and 14 Alabama rebounds going into Thursday’s game from what Alabama tallied in its 72-66 victory over Arkansas on Jan. 28 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.


Subtract 25 Alabama points and 14 Alabama rebounds going into Thursday’s game from what Alabama tallied in its 72-66 victory over Arkansas on Jan. 28 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

The Razorbacks, 17-10, 5-7, and Alabama’s Crimson Tide, 17-9, 6-6, play their ESPN2 televised SEC rematch at 6 p.m. at Walton Arena.

Earlier this month, Alabama Coach Tony Grant suspended forwards JaMychal Green and Tony Mitchell, the Tide’s top two scorers and rebounders, from the team.  Green, a 6-8, senior leading the Tide in scoring and rebounding averages (14.1 and 7.2) with 14 points and 8 rebounds versus Arkansas in Tuscaloosa, and Tony Mitchell, a 6-6 juniors second on the Tide  (13.1 and 7.1) and with 11 points and 6 rebounds versus Arkansas in Tuscaloolsa.

Green has resumed practice this week but won’t play tonight, Grant said Tuesday after earlier extending Mitchell’s suspension for the entire season.  Given that road winless Arkansas played its best road game of the season leading Alabama with Green and Mitchell late into the game before losing by six, it would seem to add up for the Razorbacks to win tonight with Alabama minus Green and Mitchell and playing at Walton where Arkansas stands 17-1.  However before adding No. 18 in Arkansas’ column, note that last Saturday while Florida thumped Arkansas by 30 at Walton, Tennessee, the team that swept Florida home and home and beat Arkansas by 13 in Knoxville, Tenn., fell, 62-50 to Alabama minus Green and Mitchell in Tuscaloosa.

“Alabama is a very athletic team and a very talented team,” Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson said.  “They had a good freshman class coming and now those guys are stepping up.  They beat Tennessee.  So I expect to see a team that’s going to come in and lay it on the line.”

Three freshmen, guard Trevor Lacey scoring a career high 18 points against Tennessee, and swingmen Levi Randolph and Rodney Cooper (28 points recently against LSU), started against Tennessee along with 7-foot sophomore center Moussa Gueye, starting in Green’s place, and junior guard Andrew Steele.

Nick Jacobs, a 6-8 freshman and 7-1 sophomore Carl Engstrom, seven points and seven boards against Tennessee, play off the Alabama bench.  Orchestrating it all, Anderson said, is Trevor Releford, a 6-3 sophomore with 60 career starts.  Releford didn’t start against Tennessee because of a recent head injury but obviously the cobwebs cleared.  He played 27 minutes off the bench and scored 13 points.

“I think the key player on that basketball team at this point in time is Trevor Releford,” Anderson said.  “Really crafty, smart, just a clever basketball player.  To me, they kind of go as he goes.”

It all went well for Releford against Arkansas last time in Tuscaloosa with his 18 points leading the Tide.

Of course that was at home that Releford led the Tide over Tennessee but he also scored 15 to spearhead a SEC win at Auburn with Green but minus Mitchell.  It may be tough for him lead a triumph at Walton without them both just as Arkansas so far has found it can win at home but not on the road without its best player, junior Preseason All-SEC forward Marshawn Powell out since November with a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) in his knee.

“They have some issues going on but so do we,” Anderson said, noting the Hogs, down to eight healthy scholarship players, showed some fatigue Saturday as Florida sizzled shooting.

Arkansas senior forward Michael Sanchez, out since Feb. 8 with a shoulder injury, still is iffy so Anderson said he may expand the bench with reserve football quarterback January reserve basketball forward addition Brandon Mitchell and walk-on guard Kikko Haydar.

“We’ve got to trust our bench,” Anderson said. “You’ll see Brandon out there a few more minutes and Kikko out there for a few more minutes, so he can give these guys some breathers.”

One Hog who didn’t hit the fatigue wall, freshman guard BJ Young, scored 31 in 35 minutes against Florida.

Arkansas (17-10, 5-7)

F-Marvell Waithe      6-9 Sr. 5.5 pts.  3.4 rebs.


F-Devonta Abron     6-8 Fr. 5.9         4.3


G-Julysses Nobles 6-1 Jr.  8.9        3.7


G-BJ Young              6-3 Fr. 15.1    3.1


G-Mardracus Wade 6-3 So. 10.4   2.0



Alabama (17-9, 6-6)

F-Levi Randolph 6-5    Fr. 5.9 pts.  4.0 rebs.


F-Rodney Cooper 6-6 Fr. 5.0          2.4


C-Moussa Gueye 7-0 So.  2.3         2.3


G-Andrew Steele 6-4 Jr.  6.6        3.4


G-Trevor Lacey    6-3 Fr. 7.0       3.2