Alabama Basketball: Nate Oats’ next test as head coach

Michael Caterina/IndyStar via USA TODAY Sports
Michael Caterina/IndyStar via USA TODAY Sports /

Alabama basketball isn’t done yet

For the first time since Collin Sexton was on campus, Alabama basketball made it to the NCAA Tournament. They also won both SEC titles and reached the Sweet 16 in Oats’ second year with the Crimson Tide.

So far, Oats has passed every test as Alabama’s head coach. It started with him retaining the talent on the roster. He convinced Alabama’s best players to buy in when they could have transferred or declared for the NBA Draft. He also retained most of Avery Johnson’s recruiting class despite little time with them in the recruiting process.

After that, Oats rebuilt the roster in a variety of ways. He utilized the transfer portal to find depth players. He landed stars in recruiting like Josh Primo. He also improved the players on hand, turning Herb Jones into a ball-handling offensive threat and John Petty into more than a three-point specialist.

All of this led to Alabama basketball winning the conference, but he now has to take the Tide to the next level. It’s not about proving that he can build a team. He now has to build a program.

That goes beyond a single player or class. Alabama basketball will be without every starter from last year’s team, and Oats will have to prove that he can get similar results despite the losses on the roster.

Thankfully, he appears to be on track. to do just that. Alabama has a top-ten class in 2021 led by in-state superstar JD Davison. The Tide had a deep bench in 2020, and many of those players will step up into starting roles this season. Oats is continuing what he started when he got here, and he has the pieces necessary to continue the success.

Next. Why Alabama will win the SEC. dark

Alabama won’t always be a title team, but they should be in the discussion as long as Oats can keep developing the talent on the roster. If the Tide make it through the SEC again, there will be no doubt that Alabama has a quality program and not just a few good players.