That’s a complicated issue now that the Montgomery product enters his final game in Coleman Coliseum. This is the story I wrote for today’s newspaper.
TUSCALOOSA — JaMychal Green wasn’t quite sure what to expect when he jogged to the scorer’s table Saturday evening.
Still, the applause caught him off guard. His four-game suspension, the third of his career, threatened the legacy of a once-highly touted Alabama basketball team. So the response to his return early in the 67-50 beating of Mississippi State was a bit jarring just as it was welcomed.
Now he’s staring his final appearance in Coleman Coliseum straight in the eye. The Montgomery product is the only senior on the youthful Crimson Tide roster who’ll be honored before facing Auburn at 7 p.m. It’s not too soon, he said, to consider a legacy that’s seen its share of peaks and valleys.
Green leads the team in scoring (13.9 points a game), rebounding (7.0), blocks (1.4) and shooting percentage (.550). A nine-point game Saturday pushed him passed Robert Horry for 12th on Alabama’s career scoring list. It was all made possible by Green’s decision to return for a senior season instead of turning pro last spring.
“I think it could have been better, but I think certain things happen for a reason,” Green said. “We’re still in a good position right now to be in fourth place and get a bye in the SEC tournament. I still feel like things can work out.”
Alabama (19-9, 8-6 SEC) could secure that first-round rest with wins over Auburn (14-14, 4-10) tonight and at 3 p.m. Saturday at Ole Miss. That would all but assure the Crimson Tide of its first NCAA Tournament appearance since Green’s sophomore year of high school in 2006.
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