Here is the latest Alabama sports news from The Associated Press

HOOVER, Ala. (AP) — The Southeastern Conference will have an extra person monitoring games for possible head and neck trauma. SEC coordinator of officials Steve Shaw said yesterday at league media days that an independent medical observer will be in the instant replay booth.

HOOVER, Ala. (AP) — Butch Jones says nobody at Tennessee was doing cartwheels over a winning season, whatever Steve Spurrier says. The Volunteers coach opened Southeastern Conference media days yesterday responding to Spurrier's earlier remark to reporters regarding how Tennessee and Arkansas were celebrating 7-6 seasons that exceeded most expectations.

HOOVER, Ala. (AP) — Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen says he doesn't mind the low expectations for his team and the seeming lack of respect is "kind of like a tradition." The Bulldogs spent five weeks as the No. 1 team in the nation on the way to a 10-win season last year and return one of the nation's top quarterbacks. Yet they're widely expected to finish near the bottom of the Southeastern Conference's Western Division this fall.

PHOENIX (AP) — Candice Dupree and Brittney Griner scored 22 points apiece and Phoenix beat the Atlanta Dream 80-71 last night, the Mercury's sixth straight win. Atlanta pulled within 76-71 on Angel McCoughtry's 3-pointer with 2:25 remaining. But Phoenix's Noelle Quinn hit two free throws to make it a two-possession game and Griner added a late layup.