TUSCALOOSA, Alabama — Alabama beat Division II Stillman College 76-68 at home Tuesday night as Tide head coach Anthony Grant experimented with different lineups and allowed several players plenty of time on the court.
Freshman Devonta Pollard had 15 points, seven rebounds and three steals in 35 minutes. Nick Jacobs had a team-high 16 points and five rebounds, while starting center Moussa Gueye contributed 14 points, six rebounds and three blocks. Trevor Lacey had 13 points, seven rebounds and four assists in 31 minutes.
Here are just some thoughts from watching the game:
–Pollard started slow, but it’s clear he’s going to be an excellent player. A slender 6-foot-8 forward who was a five-star recruit, Pollard scored three of his points in the first half and made all three of his turnovers before intermission. He’s a good athlete and a tremendous leaper, and Grant said Pollard adds a dimension to the team it very much needs. That’s easy to see.
–Gueye, the 7-foot-0 center from Senegal, played in only 12 games last season because of a knee injury. With the injury and lack of conditioning, when he did play, he didn’t play a lot.
This year, he has dropped from 292 pounds to 255 and is moving much better. He said the knee feels stiff sometimes but once he warms up, he’s fine. Alabama really needs somebody big in the middle, and he appears ready and willing to give it a try.
–Grant put Lacey at point guard to start the game and had Trevor Releford come off the bench. Lacey struggled a bit, and the offense looked a little out of sorts. But Alabama will need him to help spell Releford during the season, and certainly it helped to play the position against a small, quick Stillman team.
–Sophomore guard Levi Randolph isn’t the greatest shooter in the world, but he plays hard. He finished with two points, six rebounds, four assists and a pair of steals in 34 minutes. He also made five turnovers. But everything he does is at full speed.