Alabama will be without two players when it takes on Dayton Wednesday night.
Crimson Tide head coach Anthony Grant told reporters Tuesday that junior center Carl Engstrom (knee), who has started the past three games, and senior guard Andrew Steele (probable sports hernia) will likely be inactive.
Engstrom, who injured his knee in Saturday’s 58-56 loss to Cincinnati, had an MRI Sunday, but Grant said they haven’t received results yet.
This will be the third straight game Alabama is without Steele. His initial injury was said to be a groin issue.
“We’re going to obviously wait and evaluate it and see where he’s at,” Grant said. “I don’t know to what extent. That decision will be made in the next couple days.”
Grant said the loss over the weekend, the team’s first of the season, showed the Crimson Tide (6-1) where it needs to improve most. Which is in several different areas.
“Taking care of the basketball, transition offense, decision making, rebounding,” he said. “We had opportunities to build on leads and cut leads they had and we let it slip away…They hurt us in the second half with second chance [points] and loose balls.”
Though Dayton (5-2) is Grant’s alma mater, the Alabama coach said he’s treating this game just like any other.
“It’s never about me,” he said. “It’s about preparing our team for a very good opponent. Everything else is secondary.”
Last season, the Tide played the Flyers at their place and lost 74-62. Sophomore guard Trevor Lacey remembers the atmosphere all too well.
“Very loud,” he said. “I didn’t hear a play we called. Was just out there playing like a chicken with my head cut off. From the jump, they outplayed us the whole game. We made runs but could never overcome the deficit. They still have some guys on their team from last year and are going to try and come in our building and do the same thing.”
The Flyers have had several tough non-conference games so far this season. They beat Boston College and Auburn, but lost a close one to Colorado.
“Dayton is extremely impressive,” Grant said. “I think our guys have respect for the program that they have. We’re looking forward to the competition.”
Wednesday’s game will tip off at 8 p.m. CT at Coleman Coliseum and will be televised by CSS.
For more Alabama coverage, follow Laken Litman on Twitter!