Alabama Basketball: NBA mocks and NCAA predictions show Tide loaded

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

Talking Alabama Basketball predictions in April is not the normal agenda for Crimson Tide fans. Until Nate Oats came to Tuscaloosa, many Aprils were spent trying to discard the disappointment of another season.

All has changed for hoops in T-Town. Crimson Tide message boards have lively chatter about basketball. Fans optimistically discuss next season’s starting lineup and player rotation. In some ways, Alabama Basketball is the brightest blip on the national radar for college basketball.

Two Crimson Tide players, Jaden Shackelford and Josh Primo are testing the waters of the NBA. They will retain their eligibility while getting valuable feedback and then return to a loaded Alabama basketball roster.

Projecting an NCAA Tournament bracket 11 months out is fun but folly. ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has already finished his first bracket. Lunardi’s four No. 1 seeds are Gonzaga, UCLA, Kansas and the Alabama Crimson Tide. Other SEC teams Lunardi has in the 2022 Big Dance are Auburn, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Florida and Mississippi State, but not LSU.

The optimism about Alabama Basketball is not restricted to Crimson Tide fans. Lunardi and others understand Nate Oats will likely have the most talented roster in the SEC. Given the transfer avalanche, measuring rosters in April or May or even June is problematic. The new NCAA immediate eligibility rule gives basketball players until July 1 to announce a transfer intention.

Some college basketball coaches will not have their rosters set until August. The situation for Alabama Basketball appears less fluid. Twelve of the Tide’s 13 scholarship slots look to be locked in.

When all the 2021-22 rosters are finalized, Alabama Basketball could have the most talent in the SEC. And yes, Crimson Tide fans, that includes John Calipari’s roster in Lexington.

Until the transfer storm subsides, good barometers of team talent are 2022 NBA Mock Drafts. ESPN released one this week behind their subscription site. It has three Alabama Crimson Tide players in the 2022 first-round. For those without access to the ESPN mock, click here for a mock by

Among the 30 players in the 2022 Mock are three high school players undecided on their college destination. Two international players will enter the NBA without playing college ball in the United States. The 25 remaining players projected are from 19 schools. Three of the 19 schools have two players projected for the 2022 NBA Draft. Those are Kansas, Oregon and Oklahoma State. Two schools have three players projected. They are Duke and the Alabama Crimson Tide.

In the particular mock being reviewed, J.D. Davison is a ‘one-and-done’ No. 7 pick. Josh Primo is No. 10 and Nimari Burnett is No. 29. Auburn is the only other SEC school with a player mocked for the first round. He is Jabari Smith at No. 4.

Testing NBA waters. dark. Next

Maybe Joe Lunardi is on track with the Alabama Crimson Tide as a No. 1 seed.