Alabama Basketball: What Nate Oats is getting in Mark Sears

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports /

Sooner than most expected, Alabama Basketball gained a point guard for next season. Alabama native and former Ohio Bobcat, Mark Sears announced he is joining the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Before he transferred to the Hargrave Academy to finish his high school career, Mark Sears played for Muscle Shoals High School in northwest Alabama. Sears played for the Ohio Bobcats for two seasons before deciding to transfer.

As a Bobcat, Sears started every game last season and had a total of 40 starts over the two seasons. He was the second-leading scorer in the MAC last season averaging 19.7 points.

According to Jon Rothstein, the other programs that tried to land Sears were Auburn, LSU, Texas, Ole Miss, Florida, Miami, West Virginia, Creighton, South Carolina, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Samford and Appalachian State.

Along with his point production last season, Sears averaged six rebounds a game, plus 4.1 assists. He shot 40.8% from outside the arc and 88.5% at the foul line. In addition to being an All-MAC player last season, Sears was also a finalist for the 2022 Lou Henson National Player of the Year award. The award goes to the top mid-major player in Division One college basketball.

Though small in stature, even for a college guard, the 20-year old Sears has a solid body that will serve him well in the SEC.

Sears was planning an A-Day weekend trip to Tuscaloosa, with a decision time frame of late April. It is not known what sped up the process but it is known Sears was enamored with Nate Oats’ guard-friendly offense and that the Crimson Tide has a recent history of putting players in the NBA.

As reported by 247Sports’ Hank South, Sears explained choosing the Crimson Tide.

"It’s the right fit. I really like the system and I really like what Coach (Nate) Oats has done there in his first three years there. I know I can be successful in that system."

Alabama Basketball’s Antoine Pettway and Sears

Perhaps even more important was the relationship, Crimson Tide assistant  Antoine Pettway started building with Sears, going back to the eighth grade.

With JD Davison expected to leave for the NBA, Alabama needed backcourt help for next season. Sears could easily step into the primary ball-handler role for Nate Oats. Make that a ball-handler that can score. Alabama will have a highly talented, freshman lead guard next season in 5-Star, Jaden Bradley. By adding Sears, Bradley will not be forced to lead a team before he gains college playing experience. Nate Oats will not hesitate to put both on the court in games.

Note: Player stats from

What will be Nate Oats next move?. dark. Next

When the Davison to the NBA announcement is made, Alabama will still have three open scholarships for the 2022-23 season.