What coach Avery Johnson has accomplished already in his first season in Tuscaloosa has placed him in the discussion for SEC Coach of the Year and has his team on the NCAA Tournament bubble in March, but Johnson doesn’t want to talk about that.
The Crimson Tide (17-11, 8-8 SEC) was picked to finish 13th in the SEC. Johnson’s group began the week in a 6-way tie for sixth, but he doesn’t want to talk about that either.
So what does Johnson want to discuss? His two seniors, Arthur Edwards and Retin Obasohan.
“Arthur keeps the group loose, Retin keeps em focused,” Johnson said. “Retin does a lot more talking in timeouts. Arthur leads by example so yeah I like the way those guys offset each other’s personality.”
Both players will be honored at 7:30 p.m.during the team’s senior night on Wednesday. Johnson only had a year to get to know both players, but he said their differing styles of leadership have been huge for the team’s success.
Their production on the court has been pretty good as well.
Obasohan is currently averaging 20.3 points per game in conference play with only games at home against Arkansas Wednesday and Georgia on the road on Saturday remaining. With a strong enough finish he could become the first Alabama player to average over 20 ppg since Buck Johnson did so in 1985-86.
Edwards, a graduate transfer to the program, is currently the No. 3 scorer on the team averaging 9.3 ppg, and remains one of the most accurate deep threats in the league. With a 58-150 mark (38.7 percent) behind the arc for the season Edwards currently has made more 3-pointer than all but 12 players in the league.
“Arthur’s done a nice job coming into the Crimson Tide family this year and boy he’s bleeding crimson now,” Johnson said.
On Wednesday Edwards won’t be the only one on the court comfortable taking shots from behind the arc. Arkansas’ Anthlon Bell and Dusty Hannahs place third and fourth in the conference shooting 84-186 (45.2 percent) and 75-167 (44.9 percent) respectively.
“It’s really difficult to guard guys, two 3-point shooters as prolific as they are,” Johnson said. “You gotta always be aware of those guys.”