Nate Oats Updates the Status of Herbert Jones
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama men's basketball team is hoping to have Herbert Jones double his minutes, at least, against LSU on Saturday (3 p.m., ESPN2).
However, the junior wing will likely play the rest of the season wearing some sort of cast.
Ten days after having surgery to repair a fractured wrist, Jones was able to play seven minutes against No. 11 Auburn on Wednesday night, mostly in defensive situations. He obviously didn't attempt a shot, but grabbed three rebounds, with a steal and big block in the 95-91 overtime loss.
"We don't go to overtime if it wasn't for him," Crimson Tide coach Nate Oats said.
Alabama has three different versions of a cast that Jones can wear, some bigger and more restrictive that others — similar to what forward Donta Hall had last year.
"It limits his mobility so he can't move it back too far," "Keeps him from injuring it more and helps with the pain," Oats added. "He was plus-13 in seven minutes ... maybe I should have played him one more possession."
The plan is to put Jones in a hard cast for roughly a month after the season ends to help the area completely heal.
Jones didn't practice with the team in preparation for Auburn. He had a workout with a trainer and a graduate assistant on Sunday to test his wrist, and then wasn't able to do anything for two days due to soreness.
"He's good enough you can put him in games and he's locked into the scouting report, he's that good of a defender," Oats said.
"Obviously it would help if you could figure your offensive package out and where you want him to be at."
Alabama didn't have a full practice Thursday, just a morning shoot-around during which Jones only attempted free throws.
"Super tough. He's a warrior. He goes out there and puts himself in the line for his teammates and himself, freshman guard Jaden Shackelford said. "It's just a testament to who he and how hard he works. Him on the defensive end he's second to none."