Alabama Basketball: In-depth on recent transfer portal activity


Alabama Basketball got a surprise on Tuesday morning when redshirt sophomore guard Nimari Burnett entered the NCAA transfer portal. Burnett was a major contributor when healthy, but battled injuries during his time in Tuscaloosa.

He committed to Texas Tech out of high school in the class of 2020, playing one season for Chris Beard before hopping in the portal. He landed at Alabama and spent the 2021-22 season sitting out as a medical redshirt after tearing his ACL. Burnett finally suited up for the Crimson Tide in 2022-23, but once again missed an extended period of time with a wrist injury.

For the year, he played in 27 games with nine starts as a “Three and D” guy on the wing for Alabama Basketball. He averaged 5.6 points per game while shooting just over 32 percent from three-point range and notching five double-figure outings. With his departure, Coach Oats has an additional open scholarship to work with as he shops the portal himself.

Alabama Basketball transfer portal target tracker

Alabama has already reached out to several transfer portal targets that could potentially fill the gaps in the roster.

High Point guard Zack Austin has some similarities to Nimari Burnett. The big guard can play off ball or on the wing, and averaged over 14 points per game in each of his two years in the Big South Conference. He is also an outstanding rebounder for his position, and would be a good pickup for the Crimson Tide.

USC guard Reese Dixon-Waters has also heard from the Tide. He has similar positional versatility, and can play in the backcourt or on the wing. Dixon-Waters would also be a good addition, as he has plenty of high-major experience. It should be noted that neither Austin or Dixon-Waters have been particularly good shooters at the college level.

Florida International guard Denver Jones may be the most intriguing of these portal options. The Alabama native averaged over 20 points and nearly two steals per game this season for FIU. He shot nearly 48 percent from the field and over 37 percent from the three-point line.

Lamar transfer Nate Calmese is more of a true guard at 6’2”, but is an effective scorer. Calmese averaged 17.6 points per game as a freshman for the Cardinals, shooting over 48 percent from the field on high volume. He is an impactful scorer at all three levels.

Louisville forward Kamari Lands is the only frontcourt player that Alabama Basketball has contacted thus far. The 6’8” Lands was a 4-star recruit in the class of 2022 and averaged over 20 minutes per game for Louisville this past season. He started six games and gave a struggling Cards team 5.9 points per game.

Two players I’d like to see Alabama Basketball give a call to are Washington guard Keyon Menifield, who started 21 games and averaged double figures as a freshman this year, and UNC guard Caleb Love.

Love is one of the more inconsistent and polarizing players in the sport, but he was a three-year starter at North Carolina and has an incredibly high ceiling as a scorer. I think he could potentially be a great fit in Nate Oats up-tempo, analytics-based offense.

Edit: On Tuesday evening, Alabama Basketball landed its first transfer portal commit of the 2023 offseason in Wichita State wing Jaykwon Walton. The 6’7″ Walton played sparingly for two years at Georgia before spending a year in the JUCO ranks. He returned to Division I ball in 2022-23 with Wichita State and blossomed.

Walton started 27 games for the Shockers this year, averaging 13.9 points and 5.3 assists per game. He did so on highly efficient splits of 53.5 percent from the field and 40 percent from the three-point line. He is a major addition for an Alabama Basketball team that is losing a ton of wing scoring and rebounding in the form of Brandon Miller.

Walton should not be considered a direct replacement for Miller, but he fills a void as an athletic shotmaker that has the size to defend and rebound. Perhaps he could have a similar impact to Arkansas’ Ricky Council IV, who made the jump from Wichita State to the SEC last year and became the Razorbacks best player.

Next. Coaching staff additions & portal combat. dark

Transfer portal news will continue to develop rapidly, so stay tuned to Bama Hammer for updates.