Steele did not play in Alabama's previous two games. He averages 8.8 points and 4.2 assists per game.
Davidson is the team's second leading scorer (14.2 points per game) and rebounder (8.4 per game). He injured his back in Sunday's loss at Mississippi State.
"My back has been bothering me a little bit since the Mississippi State game (Sunday). It's up the in air (about whether I will play). I'll just what I can do," Davidson said today.
"He has not practiced since Sunday," Gottfried said. "How effective he will be, I don't know. Right now we are unsure even if he can play."
Kentucky center Randolph Morris didn't know Davidson was hurting until he was told by media members following UK's practice at the Georgia Dome today,
"I don't put a lot of stock in injuries," Morris said. "We are playing with a lot of injuries ourselves. Everybody is hurting at this time of year.
"For him, if he's hurting it might keep him from blocking or altering as many shots as he normally does. It might change his game a little bit, but he'll still be effective."
Kentucky junior guard Joe Crawford wasn't particularly concerned about whether Steele or Davidson was scheduled to play against the Wildcats.
"Personally, I don't care who plays or doesn't play," Crawford said. "I just want to get a win. We have a lot to play for ourselves. We are very motivated to win this game no matter who we are playing."
Kentucky coach Tubby Smith admitted Davidson was always a "tough matchup" for his team because of his athleticism and overall skills on the perimeter as well as inside. Smith said he hoped Davidson can play.
"Hopefully his back will be healthy and he'll be ready to play tomorrow," Smith said. "He's always a tough matchup because he's so versatile. He's long. He's quick. He's very aggressive. He does a lot of things well. He can do a lot of damage."
Hendrix counters Morris
Alabama has another solid inside presence in Richard Hendrix, its top scorer (14.6 ppg) and rebounder (8.8 rpg), to counter Morris, UK's top scorer and rebounder who was named to the coaches' all-conference team today.
"Going inside is one of our strengths. If the guards on the perimeter are on, it makes it even easier down low. But it's not like Kentucky is just going to let us go inside," Hendrix said.
Kentucky senior Bobby Perry says facing a bigger team is nothing new for UK. However, the Cats lost 72-61 at Alabama and also lost twice to Florida, another team with a strong inside presence.
"We feel like we are prepared. We've been doing this all season," Perry said.
"Offensively, they are a little tougher down low than Florida," Morris said. "We just have to limit their touches and not let them beat us on the boards."
Both teams need a win. Alabama (20-10, 7-9 SEC) knows it won't make the NCAA Tournament without several wins in this tournament. Kentucky (20-10, 9-7 SEC) expects to be in the NCAA, but also knows it could improve its seeding with a strong showing in this tournament.
Steele says with so much at stake, he has to try and play.
"I am just going to try and help the team all I can," Steele said. "I won't be 100 percent, but I'll just play as hard as I can. I've been able to do more the last two days. Sitting on the bench watching my team play has been miserable. I don't want the season to end with me sitting and watching."