Point guard Ronald Steele scored 25 points and forward JaMychal Green scored 17 points and seized 12 rebounds against Mercer on Sunday night, though it wasn't enough to save the Crimson Tide from defeat in their season opener, 72-69.
Little known and publicized Division I school Mercer has prior experience in defeating mainstream competition. In November of 2007, Mercer knocked off then-No. 18 USC, damaging early hopes of a Pac-10 title.
However, there were bright spots amidst Bama's defeat, like freshman standout Green and senior point guard Steele. Though the Crimson Tide did not taste victory, their performances were worthy of recognition.
In his collegiate debut, Green shot 70 percent from the field, had three blocks, and nabbed a steal in 30 minutes of action for the SEC-housed Alabama squad. Green is a graduate of Saint Jude High School, where he averaged 26 points, 17 rebounds, and eight blocks per game as a senior last season. He elected to choose Bama over fellow Division I school Georgia Tech.
JaMychal was a magnet around the paint and provided an intimidating presence against Mercer, altering shots at a consistent pace.
Steele poured in 25 points, three rebounds, and three steals after missing the entire 2007-08 season because of surgery for medical tendinitis. Prior to the inopportune injury, Steele was one of the best point guards in the country and was contemplating earl entry into the NBA Draft.
A 2007 preseason All American Selection, Ronald reverted back to his original form and along with JaMychal Green accounted for 42 points, over half of their team's final point total of 69.
While Steele managed to ward off the rustiness in Alabama's opener, he seemed hesitant to attack the basket and as a result hoisted 11 three-pointers, five of which he connected on.
Bama hosts Florida A&M on Wednesday, looking to avenge their first loss of the season.