The hallway full of freshmen was Ben Eblen's responsibility, from making sure they were all awake and properly attired, their rooms were sufficiently clean and everything was ready for inspection.
Breakfast awaited before classes and basketball filled the day when Eblen, today a backup point guard at Alabama, was in high school.
"Definitely, the discipline helped me then and helps me now," said Eblen, a proud graduate of Florida Air Academy, a boarding school in Melbourne, Fla.
Eblen did more than excel in basketball there.
He rose to be a cadet commander, which made him responsible for those freshmen. It's not an easy honor. School officials name only promising leaders to fill those posts.
Eblen eventually became a 1st senior master sergeant.
"They pick people who do well in class and don't get in trouble," Eblen said. "It's a melting pot of a school and the commandant picks you, so it's a big thing. It's like a military rank."
Today, Eblen will even see a high school teammate when the Crimson Tide (11-7, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) plays at Auburn (7-11, 0-4). Tipoff is 5 p.m.
Injured Auburn sophomore Ty Armstrong remains a close friend, and the two regularly trade texts, e-mails and calls. There are three Florida Air alums in the SEC.
"It's always fun playing against those guys," Eblen said. "You get to know them really well (in a boarding school), and it's great to see them again."
Eblen hails from Isle of Palms, S.C., just outside of Charleston, and landed at Florida Air because of his mom and aunt. His mom wanted rigorous academics for Eblen, and his aunt, who lives near Melbourne, recommended Florida Air. Eblen enrolled as a sophomore.
The school has a 100 percent college acceptance rate. (It also has a program where you can learn to fly a plane. Due to a lack of flying enthusiasm, Eblen shied away.)
"That first year, I wanted to come home all the time," Eblen said. "It was a tough transition, but she told me to stick it out. She was right. By my junior and senior year, I could see it was helping me. It really prepared me."
In basketball, it's helped him make the most of his chances at Alabama. The sophomore had a critical steal in the final moments of Tuesday's 68-66 upset of No. 12 Kentucky. He hit a free throw with 2.8 seconds left.
"Ben was in great position and very alert," Tide coach Anthony Grant said. "I'm just happy for him to have the opportunity to step in and make an impact like he did."
Eblen, who averages just more than 11 minutes per game, wasn't supposed to be in the game that late. Freshman starter Trevor Releford had left the game due to cramps, which pushed Eblen on the floor.
Eblen downplayed his part in the play. He said Charvez Davis tipped it to him and Releford would have just as ably came away with the ball.
"I was in the right place at the right time," Eblen said. "If Trevor had been in there, he would have made the same play. It was just kind of a coincidence."