Tide Displaying Depth, Still Seeking Identity

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - Alabama's basketball lineup has gotten bigger lately, but coach Mark Gottfried knows it could shrink again for the next game.

The Crimson Tide is still seeking the right formula: Go with size or quickness?

Alabama went big with key minutes from post players Yamene Coleman and Justin Knox in last night's win over Mississippi. Freshman point guard Rico Pickett, who had already lost his starting job to Brandon Hollinger, didn't see action. Backup guard Senario Hillman played only briefly.

But Gottfried pointed out that against Auburn and LSU the team did really well playing with four guards.

The Tide (14-11, 3-7 Southeastern Conference) could switch again for Saturday's game at South Carolina, which relies on a guard-heavy lineup.

Alabama's situation raises the question: Is the flexibility a positive or a sign that the team still lacks an identity with only six league games remaining?

Gottfried said he thinks it's --quote-- "a little bit of both."

Players who play key roles during one stretch might be mostly a spectator the next week, and vice versa.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)