Alabama Basketball: Nate Oats may add another player for coming season

Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports
Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports /

Every Alabama Basketball fan will agree Nate Oats has done a great job. In just two seasons, Oats has taken a program too long on the NCAA Tournament bubble and made it into a Final Four threat. With much hard work and strong results behind him, Oats’ rebuilding the Crimson Tide burden might have lessened. It hasn’t. Just the opposite, what Oats must achieve with Alabama Basketball in the 2021-22 season is a greater challenge than when he arrived in Tuscaloosa.

For Oats, a massive roster reconstruction is in process. Crimson Tide fans are so excited about the trajectory of the program, some might be discounting Oats’ task. The influx of new talent in Tuscaloosa is most impressive. With a Josh Primo and Jaden Shackelford return, it could be claimed the roster has more talent than in many seasons.

But, a Primo decision will be made soon, and his performance at the recent NBA Combine has vaulted him into legitimate first-round territory. Even sooner, Oats may learn (if he doesn’t already know) that Jaden Shackelford will not return. Shack will not be drafted but he can play professionally next season. A recent rumor is last season’s leading scorer may instead dive into the Transfer Portal at the last minute.

If both Primo and Shackelford exit, Nate Oats will have a roster opening. Alabama basketball fans are quickly wishing Langston Wilson was still available. The former Tide commit will be a Washington Huskie instead.

Alabama Basketball has abundance of talent

Why, with such an abundance of roster talent, would Nate Oats need or want another player? Just look at the numbers. Without Herbert Jones, John Petty Jr., Jordan Bruner, Alex Reese, Josh Primo and Jaden Shackelford, 71.4 percent of the Tide’s scoring from last season must be replaced. So must, 70.3 percent of last season’s rebounding. Those numbers don’t reflect a hole that needs filling – the void is a chasm.

2020-21 Player and Team Stats

Without Shackelford returning, no regular starter from last season will be in White and Crimson. Jahvon Quinerly returns but he started only eight games.

If there is no more Primo and no more Shackelford, what will Oats do? There might be a good fit available via transfer. Minutes being at a premium, Oats may decide to split them among 10 or 11 of his current players, rather than compounding the problem with an additional player.

Next. No JTT no problem for Crimson Tide. dark

Whatever Oats decides, a whole bunch of new buckets and boards must come from a very talented, but mostly unproven roster. Be assured, Nate Oats will find them.