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Saban looks forward to hoops with Johnson

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- For one day, Alabama football wasn't the biggest story coming out of Tuscaloosa.

New Alabama basketball coach Avery Johnson was introduced during a Wednesday press conference, and like everyone else in the athletic department, Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban did his part to welcome Johnson to the University.

"Avery Johnson's a part of our family here now, and we want to do everything we can to help him be successful," Saban said Wednesday. "We have a tremendous amount of respect for what he's been able to accomplish and what he's been able to do. We've always been a real team player here in terms of the relationships that we try to have with the other sports. We want to be good in everything here, and we want to help Avery in every way that we can."

Johnson made an appearance at the Tide's practice, and spoke to the team after their flex (stretching) period.

"The players have a lot of respect for someone who's played in the NBA and coached in the NBA," Saban said.

Saban even invited Johnson to play basketball with him.

"I told him that he's going to be on my Noontime Basketball League, but I'm going to play the point (guard) and he's going to have to play the two guard," Saban said. "He's not going to control that because I'm the commissioner of the league. Other than that, I think we're all set with Avery."

More position experiments

The position experiments keep coming for Alabama during spring practice, with a former starter being moved around this week.

Eddie Jackson, who started 11 games at cornerback last season, has been working at safety during the last two practices. The change came on Monday coming out of the Tide's first scrimmage which took place last Friday. Saban didn't specify why the move was made, but said the team will "spend a few days with Eddie playing safety."

The other experiment has January enrollee Deionte Thompson lining up at wide receiver. Thompson was recruited as a defensive back in the Tide's 2015 class. Again, Saban stressed that it was just an experiment.

"We move guys around in the spring and I know you guys go out there and take attendance every day like first-grade teachers, make sure everybody's in the right seat and all that," Saban said. "Just to take a look and see and maybe when those three days are up, we might experiment with some other players but nothing that we're really considering at this moment."

Injury update

Saban said Tide defensive lineman A'Shawn Robinson suffered a sprained ankle and a sprained knee during Monday's practice. Saban said the injuries are "not really anything that will keep him out." Robinson was spotted in the Tide's weight room with a boot on his right foot as the media walked into practice.

"He'll be day-to-day but we'll be a little conservative with when we let him come back," Saban said.

January enrollee Bo Scarbrough underwent successful knee surgery this week to repair ligament damage.

"We're hopeful that we'll be able to get him back for the season," Saban said. "He was doing really, really well this spring practice and it happened in two-minute late in the scrimmage."

Before his injury, Saban said the Scarbrough was improving and providing depth behind Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake.

-- Contact Anniston Star Sports Writer Marq Burnett at mburnett@annistonstar.com.

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