Nate Oats knows Alabama basketball needs an infusion of new talent. Who is he most pursuing and will there be any in-person contact with them before Apr. 15?
For Alabama basketball coach, Nate Oats recruiting got much harder last week. Due to the coronavirus, normal coach travels to recruits and recruit visits to schools have been canceled until at least Apr. 15.
That is also the first day recruits can sign with schools. Unless the NCAA makes some scheduling adjustments, Alabama basketball coaches may not get a chance to make final, in-person pitches to top targets. While the schedule issues impact all schools, they are even more troubling for Nate Oats.
Currently, Nate Oats has one 2020 class player signed, Keon Ambrose-Hylton. The only other roster additions for 2020-21 are already members of the team. Jahvon Quinnerly will be eligible again after having to sit out a season, following a transfer from Villanova. Juwan Gary and James Rojas will return after missing the past season due to knee injuries.
How many more players does Nate Oats need for next season? That depends on several factors. If, as expected, Kira Lewis Jr. goes pro and John Petty attempts to make an NBA roster as well, two key components will be missing. Raymond Hawkins has already entered the transfer portal. There is broad speculation at least one of Galin Smith and Alex Reese will also transfer out.
If Petty does make the jump, plus Smith and Reese transfer, the 2020-21 roster must be built from eight scholarship players: Jahvon Quinnerly, Herbert Jones, James Rojas, Jaden Shackelford, Jaylen Forbes, Javian Davis-Fleming, Juwan Gary and Keon Ambrose-Hylton. With the 2019-20 season being cut short, Beetle Bolden might possibly be granted another year of eligibility, should he want it.
Despite the unique obstacles, Nate Oats must add three to five more players. Let’s review some of his options.
- Josh Primo – 6’6″ Combo Guard and a Top 50 player in the class. Most recruiting experts think Primo chooses Alabama.
- Another possibility is another 6’6″ Combo Guard, Keon Ellis.
- Transfer – 6’7″, Shooting Guard, Landers Nolley (Wichita State)
- Transfer – 6’5″ Combo Guard Jamarius Burton (Wichita State)
- Transfer – Trey McGowens 6′ Shooting Guard (Pittsburgh)
- Transfer – 6’2″ Guard Darius Petty (Louisville)
- Saquan Singleton – 6’2″ Point Guard from Hutchison Community College
- Transfer – Kevin Marfo – 6’8″, 245 lbs Forward (Quinnipiac)
Oats is also chasing other big men. Alabama basketball does not appear to be in a strong position for any of them. Kevin Marfo would be a much-needed, welcome addition.
The good thing about the transfer portal is many guys are added after April. Alabama basketball needs so much roster help, Nate Oats may have to take advantage of more time.