Alabama Basketball: Nate Oats adds another to fast-developing 2020 class

(Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images) /

Alabama basketball coach, Nate Oats rapidly rebuilds the Crimson Tide roster with another top player joining the 2020 class.

Alabama basketball got a big boost Sunday when Keon Ellis announced for the Crimson Tide. The 6’6″ wing-shooting guard is rated as the third-best JUCO player in the nation.

Ellis joins 5-Star, Josh Primo and 4-Star, Keon Ambrose-Hylton in a current Top 25 class. There are strong signs that class ranking will not stop with three new players. The Alabama Crimson Tide prospects left on Nate Oats’ board are promising. They are so promising, reportedly JUCO guard, Saquan Singleton ceased to be a Crimson Tide priority.

What is Alabama basketball getting in Keon Ellis? He will move to Tuscaloosa having two more seasons of eligibility. After a largely unproductive first season at Florida Southwestern State College, Ellis exploded as a sophomore. This past season he shot 53 percent from the field and 40 percent from outside the arc. More than a ‘catch-and-shoot’ player, Ellis can also get his jumper off the dribble.

Ellis has the potential to develop into a Herbert Jones-style defender. His best attribute is running the floor and finishing at the rim. His skills are well suited for the Nate Oats’ offense wanting to push the ball in transition.

Check out these Keon Ellis highlights.

Hopefully next up for Nate Oats and the Crimson Tide will be Darius Miles. Miles is scheduled to announce on Tuesday. The 6’7″ Miles is another lanky wing who can shoot the three. Coming out of IMG Academy, Miles get offers from Georgetown, Seton Hall, Rhode Island and Rutgers long before being offered by the Crimson Tide. Recruiting experts think the Crimson Tide is in a good shape to gain Miles, by holding off late efforts from LSU and Texas A&M.

The next ‘big’ get for the Crimson Tide could be 6’9″, Yale, graduate transfer, Jordan Bruner. Bruner has had many schools chasing him since he entered the transfer portal. He has a complete game, shooting, rebounding and defending. His game translates to a prototype ‘5’ in the Nate Oats’ five-out offense. He also has the skills to play at the ‘4’ as well. For the Crimson Tide to add this important player, it must beat out Maryland and Baylor.

Is there room for the committed three, plus Miles and Bruner? A simple answer is not yet, particularly if John Petty Jr. returns for a senior season. Some current players and Nate Oats have decisions to make.

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One reason Alabama basketball was able to add Keon Ellis is timing. The Crimson Tide was the first high-major to offer Ellis. Crimson Tide assistant, Bryan Hodgson also did a great job landing the young man.