Gottfried not rushing to find new assistant
TUSCALOOSA | University of Alabama basketball coach Mark Gottfried said Thursday that he would not rush into hiring a replacement for retiring assistant coach Tom Asbury.
“I’d like to get through the month of April," Gottfried said in an interview in his Coleman Coliseum office. “We use that month to recruit and to evaluate a lot of younger players. I want to concentrate on that first and begin to zero in [on a new coach] later. Right now I just want to commit myself to getting on the road as much as I possibly can."
Gottfried said he has “some thoughts" about the role that the new assistant would play, but has not finalized a job description. He said it was possible that the new coach would have recruiting responsibilities, although that was not certain. Asbury was not involved in off-campus recruiting.
Alabama does have a scholarship available to give in the upcoming spring signing period that begins Wednesday, and Gottfried said it was “possible" that the Crimson Tide, which signed three players in November, could add a fourth signee.
The Tide, which has two seniors on next year’s roster (Ronald Steele and Mykal Riley), could also hold the open scholarship to use next season, when the state of Alabama has a strong group of prospects.
“We could save it, or we could use it," Gottfried said. “In today’s game, you always prepare for the unexpected, the early exit or the transfer. Numbers are more fluid these days."
Gottfried said he had spoken several times with Ronald Steele, who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery to repair torn cartilage in both knees on Tuesday.
“Ron feels very good," Gottfried said. “He feels excited about the future. He’s got a long rehab ahead of him, but he feels good that there was a definite conclusion. He’s really in great spirits. He got down a few times during the season, but now he is really relieved."
Gottfried reiterated his support for the timing of the exploratory surgery, saying that had it been performed earlier, Ronald Steele would have been “lost for the season either way."