Assistant expected to take over: Alabama basketball coach Mark Gottfried will be relieved of his duties this week, ending a run of nearly 11 years as the Crimson Tide’s head basketball coach, The Tuscaloosa News reported today. Gottfried, 45, is not expected to coach the team in its remaining games. Although no announcement has been made concerning an interim coach, assistant coach Phillip Pearson is expected to take over the team until the end of the season. Gottfried has two years remaining on a contract that is worth some $900,000 annually in terms of the University’s liability for buyout. In his 11 seasons, he is 210-131 overall and one game above the .500 mark, 83-82, in Southeastern Conference play. Including three years as the head coach at Murray State, Gottfried’s overall coaching record is 278-155.
The week’s best: LSU’s Marcus Thornton was named the SEC Player of the Week today for his performances against Mississippi State and Xavier. Thornton averaged 30.5 points on 55.5% (20-of-36) shooting from the field and 53.3% (8-of-15) shooting from 3-point range. He led the Tigers with 31 points against Mississippi State and followed that with a 30-point outing against nationally ranked Xavier. Thornton became the first LSU player to have back-to-back, 30-point games since Ronnie Henderson in 1995. He has reached the 30-point mark four times this season and seven times in his two-year career at LSU. Thornton scored 17 points, a stretch that included scoring three straight 3-pointers, during a 3:40 period in the second half against Mississippi State to help the Tigers take control of the game.