Alabama Basketball: A Disappointing End to a Wild Season


The Alabama basketball team flamed out in the first round of the NCAA tournament over the weekend, marking the team’s fourth straight defeat to close the season. The Tide dropped games against LSU and Texas A&M at the end of the regular season before dropping its first SEC tournament game, a quarterfinal bout against Vanderbilt.

The slide continued on Friday afternoon, as the sixth-seeded Alabama basketball team fell to Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish had to win a play-in game just to get to the eleven-seed line, but ultimately upended the Tide 78-64. The biggest story line from the game was Alabama’s junior point guard Jahvon Quinerly going out with a knee injury early in the game. Quinerly’s injury looked fairly serious, and the Crimson Tide offense looked out of sorts without his guidance.

Senior Keon Ellis led the way in what was likely his last Alabama basketball game, finishing with team highs of 16 points and nine rebounds. Junior Jaden Shackelford posted 13 points and seven rebounds, while freshman guard JD Davison contributed 11 points and nine assists. Sophomore Juwan Gary was the fourth and final member of the Crimson Tide to score in double figures, recording 10 points and four rebounds.

The Alabama basketball team finished what originally looked to be a very promising season with an underwhelming 19-14 record. The Tide got as high as No. 6 in the polls, but seemingly peaked in December.

Alabama Basketball: Early Roster Outlook for 2022-23

Nate Oats will head into 2022-23 looking to build on the foundation he has established in Tuscaloosa. Among its rotation players, Alabama expects to lose Quinerly, Ellis, and senior James Rojas. Shackelford and Davison are the two biggest pieces whose statuses remain in question. In the modern age of college sports, both guards will almost certainly test the draft waters, try their hand in the transfer portal, or both.

Barring transfers, the Tide should return a solid core of role players. Noah Gurley, Charles Bediako, Juwan Gary, and Darius Miles have a lot of experience and grit collectively. With the addition of former Texas Tech transfer Nimari Burnett, this group should provide a solid base if they all return.

Alabama Basketball: Oats lands impressive haul

The offseason excitement among Alabama basketball fans, however, will stem from the recruiting class Nate Oats has put together. It currently ranks as the third best class nationally, and features a pair of five stars in point guard Jaden Bradley and athletic wing Brandon Miller. The class also consists of four stars Rylan Griffen and Noah Clowney, and is rounded out by JUCO product Nick Pringle. It is a very balanced and complete class, one that could potentially even make up a starting five someday.

If Jaden Shackelford and JD Davison move on, this class will probably have to carry a heavy scoring load as soon as next year. In this case, I could easily see this team having some struggles due to youth and inexperience, particularly at the guard position.

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However, if Shackelford and Davison (or even one of the pair) opt to return, the optimism and expectations surrounding Alabama basketball will be sky-high once again.