Alabama basketball has only one senior, Beetle Bolden. Even so, the 2020-21 Crimson Tide roster will have three to five new players.
It is becoming more clear some housecleaning is in order for Alabama basketball. Nate Oats will lose only one player to eligibility; senior Beetle Bolden. That roster slot will go to 4-Star, 6-foot-8 forward, Keon Ambrose-Hylton.
Without any other roster transitions, adding Ambrose-Hylton will fill the Alabama basketball roster at 13 players. However, other roster transitions are almost guaranteed.
There have been numerous rumors of what certain players will do and not do. Repeating them offers no value. This post is based on observations of players and coach Oats and personal presumptions. No ‘inside’ information is claimed.
The foremost clue of more roster changes is Nate Oats and his staff are still recruiting class of 2020 players. At the least, Oats wants another combo guard and another big man. The guard most highly valued by Oats is Josh Primo. The tall and thin (6-foot-6 and 180 pounds) combo guard could be a game-changer for the Crimson Tide. He reclassified from 2021 to 2020 and many recruiting insiders believe Oats can hold off other suitors.
Room for Primo would come from either or both of Kira Lewis Jr. and John Petty Jr. going pro. In the second half of this season, Lewis has proven he can play in the NBA. Petty may be a stretch for being drafted, but good money is available in some international leagues. If both take the professional jump, Nate Oats will have room to add Primo and another big.
There could be more movement out from transfers. Galin Smith, Alex Reese, possibly even Raymond Hawkins and Jaylen Forbes are transfer possibilities. Smith, particularly does not mesh well with the Oats system of play. Alex Reese fits the style but has not consistently performed. It is believed Reese is playing with a hip problem needing off-season surgery. Once healthy his performance might improve. Forbes has shown the potential to be a solid contributor. If he is not too frustrated by limited playing time as a freshman, hopefully, he will stick with the Tide.
Alabama basketball will be on the road Saturday afternoon to take on the Missouri Tigers. John Petty Jr. is expected to return to the Crimson Tide lineup. The SEC Basketball Tournament begins next Thursday for the Tide. Depending on the results of Saturday’s games, the Crimson Tide will be a No. 9 or No. 10 seed.