Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

LSU's O'Bryant Could Mean Trouble for Alabama Basketball Team

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

LSU's O'Bryant Could Mean Trouble for Alabama Basketball Team

Article excerpt

TUSCALOOSA | The University of Alabama men's basketball team faces a big game -- all February games loom large for teams on the NCAA bubble -- but also has a big problem.

Defending the big man.

Specifically, that is LSU center Johnny O'Bryant.

In a league not abundantly stocked with quality post players, O'Bryant has become a powerful inside presence. Over the past four games, beginning with the Tigers' loss at Alabama, the 6-foot-9, 260- pound sophomore has averaged 21.5 points and 10 rebounds per game. In the one game during the stretch where his scoring declined, against a double-teaming Mississippi State defense, he dished out eight assists to go with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

"He has had to carry a bigger load for us, and he has accepted that role," LSU coach Johnny Jones said on the SEC teleconference earlier this week.

Compounding Alabama's problems in guarding O'Bryant is the uncertain status of one of its own inside players, Nick Jacobs, who was limited to 15 minutes in the Crimson Tide's Wednesday win over Mississippi State. …

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