January 16, 2007

Tide caps off much needed bye week

The Crimson Tide basketball team squares off against the Vanderbilt Commodores on Wednesday night after taking more than a week off since last Tuesday's showdown with LSU at Coleman Coliseum.

"We've got a big challenge obviously," said head coach Mark Gottfried. "Vanderbilt is a very good team and it's a tough place to play. The way they're playing with four perimeter players stretching the floor out and shooting the ball very well will pose a lot of problems for us in guarding them. They have great fans and it's a great atmosphere to play in. Our guys are excited about the challenge."

Gottfried said the time off has given the Tide an opportunity to get some much needed rest as well as some time to work on some of the Tide's weaknesses.

"We had a couple days that we gave them completely off. We had two really good, hard practices on Friday and Saturday. We're trying to get our guys healed up and get them in the training room."

One player who needed the rest the most was junior point guard Ronald Steele who is still recovering from nagging knee and ankle injuries.

"I think it's helped some," Gottfried said. "The catch 22 is, he needs rest but he needs work in conditioning because he's missed so much practice."

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