Alabama basketball coach Nate Oats said Friday that center Nick Pringle's long-term status with the team is still up in the air.

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Here's  how Oats phrased it: "He's still not with the team. Being re-evaluated on a day-to-day basis. We'll see how long it takes, if he comes back."

Pringle and his fouls won't be available against center Tolu Smith and Mississippi State Saturday.

Here are some highlights of Oats' other remarks heading into Saturday's 7:30 p.m. CT home tip vs. the Bulldogs:

On Grant Nelson at the 5 [center]: "He's been one of our best post defenders, he did a great job on Tolu last time we played them."

On when Latrell Wrightsell passed up an open shot recently, Oats pulled him:  "I told him he's not passing up an open shot again."

On Mississippi State: "They're very tough, physical, defensive minded. They don't get blown out a lot by anyone. I don't think their record in the league is indicative of how good they actually are."

On walk-on Kai Spears getting a scholarship: "Super happy for him. He's a great kid. He works really hard. He deserves it."

On Davin Cosby (flu):  "He looked great in practice and will be available vs. Mississippi State."

On avoiding early deficits: "If we want to win the league, we've got to play well in February. We need a good start. We've got to have a better start. Can't plan on getting down 17-2."


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