Alabama Basketball: Nate Oats’ best fit transfer a hard pull


Nate Oats and the Alabama basketball staff have done a good job of roster building. The incoming class of new players could prove to be one of the Crimson Tide’s best ever. Even with that success, the 2022-23 Crimson Tide needs at least one more quality player who can provide points.

It was disappointing for Tide fans when Jalen Bridges chose Baylor. Any excitement over Emoni Bates was probably unwarranted. It appears the talented player was not deemed a good fit.

Players that will fit into the Oats’ system are far more important than bringing the ‘best available’ transfer. A big challenge for Oats and all of next season’s players will be available minutes. If he chooses, Oats could go 10 deep frequently next season.

A reasonable argument can be made that once Jahvon Quinerly (not officially returning yet) is healthy, the roster will have 10-11 guys worthy of double-digit minutes. And that does not include adding one or two more transfers.

Alabama Basketball cannot offer heavy minutes

Not many guys in the Portal are willing to consider moves that will provide less than 20 minutes per game. Assuming next season’s Tide has four players that need to be on the court at least 25 minutes per game, the other nine players must share 100 minutes. That comes out to an average of 11.11 minutes per game.

Looking at last season’s participation, four guys got collectively, almost 120 minutes per game. That left less than nine minutes per game for the other nine. One result was three scholarship players combined to participate for an average of less than five minutes per game.

There are many reasons why players will choose to play for Nate Oats. This season, a promise of lots of minutes cannot be one of them.

The challenge for Oats is to find a good perimeter shooter, who can defend, make free throws and not turn the ball over, while being content to play around 20 minutes (or less) per game. Finding two is more than doubly hard.

Oats is reported to be considering guard, Jaelin Llewellyn (again), guard Antonio Reeves (possibly headed to Kentucky), guard Armoni Foster, guard Antoine Davis, forward Sean Durugordon and guard, Jarod Lucas. Without highlighting each player, after reviewing their college stats, the best fit is Oregon State transfer, Jarod Lucas.

In three Oregon State seasons, Lucas has made threes at 38% and free throws at 88.2%. Given the heavy minutes he played in his last two seasons, his turnover rate is outstanding. He appears to be a perfect fit for Oats’ offensive schemes.

Based on a story from, Lucas is down to San Diego State, Nevada, Washington State, and the two programs that gain two more official visits. Competing for the two officials are Texas A&M, LSU and Alabama. According to the same source, Lucas has not ruled out staying at Oregon State.

Next. Breakout candidates for '22. dark

No doubt, Nate Oats has many other transfer targets not known publicly. Roster options will become a little more clear after the Apr. 24 deadline to declare for NBA early entry.