Alabama forward Nick Pringle suspended for second time this season

Alabama center Nick Pringle did not make the trip to Athens for Wednesday’s game against Georgia because of a suspension for conduct detrimental to the team, originally stated during the SEC Network’s broadcast and confirmed postgame by coach Nate Oats. He was one of two Alabama players who did not make the trip, along with freshman guard Davin Cosby (flu).

“He’s currently suspended,” Oats said. “He’s got to decide whether he wants to be a part of this program or not with some of his decisions and how he conducts himself. Nothing bad off the court or anything like that just in practice, in games and we’ll see where it goes. We’ll meet when I get back.”

The Crimson Tide (15-6, 7-1) overcame a 14-point halftime deficit to defeat Georgia and maintain sole ownership of first place in the SEC standings. Guard Mark Sears led all scorers with 23 points, five rebounds and five assists, and center Grant Nelson recorded 20 points, including 14 points in the second half.

This marks the second time this season that Pringle, a senior, has been suspended for conduct detrimental to the team. He missed Alabama’s 89-65 win over Arkansas State on Dec. 4 then returned one game later on Dec. 9 against Purdue.

Pringle began the season as the starting center but has been in and out of the starting lineup throughout the season, averaging 15.8 minutes, 5.2 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. He played only eight minutes of Alabama’s win last Saturday against LSU, not entering the game until the second half.

“I played the guys we felt like gave us the best chance to win the game at the appropriate times in the game,” Oats said afterward. “So Nick gave us some pretty good minutes in the second half.”

Alabama plays again on Saturday at home against Mississippi State then travels to Auburn on Feb. 7 then to LSU on Feb. 10.

What Pringle’s suspension means for Alabama

In Pringle’s absence Wednesday, Nelson logged 29 minutes and forward Jarin Stevenson logged 19 minutes. Fellow forwards Mouhamed Dioubate recorded seven points in nine minutes of game action, Sam Walters logged 10 minutes and center Mohamed Wague, on a minutes restriction while nursing a foot injury, recorded six minutes.

Alabama’s leaned more into small ball lineups as of late, starting a four-guard combination of Sears, Aaron Estrada, Rylan Griffen and Latrell Wrightsell Jr. with Nelson at center in each of the last two games. With two of its top three big men either suspended or limited, Alabama will continue to rely heavily on guard play and its other hybrid forwards in Dioubate, Stevenson and Walters– all true freshmen, for larger minute contributions for the foreseeable future.

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(Photo: Randy Sartin / USA Today)

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