Feb. 29, 2012; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Auburn Tigers guard Frankie Sullivan (23) shoots over Alabama Crimson Tide guard Ben Eblen (20) during the second half at Coleman Coliseum. Alabama won 55-49. Mandatory Credit: Kelly Lambert-US PRESSWIRE
University of Alabama senior guard Ben Eblen will forego his final year of basketball eligibility to concentrate on academics, The News has learned.
Eblen is on schedule to graduate from UA in December.
Eblen has been a role player for the last three seasons for Anthony Grant's squad, providing spot-duty relief for starting point guard Trevor Releford last season while averaging about seven minutes per game.
Eblen was most known for his lack of scoring, averaging less than one point per game last season while appearing in virtually every game during the course of the season. While Eblen was famously loathe to shoot on the offensive end, he provided much-needed depth for Bama at the point guard position the last few seasons, and was as reliable on the defensive end--and in the hustle department--as any coach could ever hope.
Eblen's statistical production might be easily replaced by the likes of redshirt freshman point guard Retin Obasohan or others, but as a player who was loved and admired by teammates and coaches alike, he's sure to be missed.
The Tide will now be left with just ten scholarship players for the upcoming season, three under the limit, meaning Bama will be playing with one of the smallest rosters in all of major college basketball. Keeping players healthy will be more important than ever this year.