Avery Johnson says three injured players will miss opener against Memphis

Avery Johnson says three injured players will miss opener against Memphis

Alabama will open up its regular season with Memphis on Friday, and the Crimson Tide will be without three injured players. Forwards Braxton Key (knee) and Riley Norris (hip), as well as guard Ar’Mond Davis (hip) will all be out against the Tigers.

“There’s no change in terms of an injury standpoint,” Alabama head coach Avery Johnson said on Wednesday. “Riley Norris and Ar'Mond Davis are still out. Obviously Braxton (Key), his surgery was a success, so he’ll be out for a little while and we hope to get him back as safe and as soon as possible.”

Key suffered a meniscus injury prior to Alabama’s exhibition against UAH on Monday. The sophomore forward led Alabama in scoring last season, and had a major role in the Crimson Tide’s offense. 

Key had surgery on Tuesday, and Johnson said it “it’s safe to say” that he will miss roughly a month. 

The Crimson Tide will also be without five-star guard Collin Sexton, whose eligibility has yet to be reinstated by the NCAA. When asked if Sexton’s situation had changed, Johnson provided a simple response.

“No new updates,” Johnson said. “When I have one, I’ll update you guys.”

Alabama will have to make an adjustment if Sexton is not cleared to play against Memphis. Sexton’s situation is tied with the resignation of Kobie Baker, who stepped down from his position after an internal review of the program was conducted. Alabama is connected to the current FBI probe that is occurring in college basketball right now.

A recent report by ESPN noted that Sexton’s former AAU coach, Christian Dawkins, is a factor. Dawkins helped with Sexton’s recruitment, according to ESPN. He is currently being accused of arranging for payments of $250,000 to three players to sign with schools sponsored by Adidas. When asked about his report, Johnson said he had “no reaction.”

Still, Alabama is practicing as if Sexton will return to the team soon.

“We go through it as if he’s going to play with us, which we hope he will,” Guard Dazon Ingram said. “We got a practice later today, so I’m sure we’re going to go through it as if he’s playing Friday.”

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