Alabama Basketball: Nate Oat must get these two ‘bigs’


Alabama Basketball head coach, Nate Oats has been working on adding two big men since the surprise decision by Charles Bediako to remain in the NBA Draft. He could succeed this week and if he does the Crimson Tide will be close to set for the 2023-24 season.

Midweek, the most coveted college basketball transfer, Grant Nelson will be in Tuscaloosa. Nelson will visit Baylor beforehand and is scheduled to visit Arkansas after leaving Tuscaloosa. The 6’11” former North Dakota State player; Nelson is a perfect fit for Nate Oats’ system of play. At the ‘4’ spot, he would become the Crimson Tide’s most dynamic offensive threat as an excellent shooter, with the ability to put the ball on the floor and score inside and away from the basket. Though not a traditional ‘5’, Nelson has strong defensive and rebounding skills. Should he join the Crimson Tide, he might become Nate Oats’ most important player.

Alabama basketball insiders speculate Nelson will choose either Bama or Baylor. It is possible Nelson will commit before he leaves Tuscaloosa on Thursday and cancel his planned trip to Arkansas.

It is possible that soon after Nelson’s decision, Jarin Stevenson will announce a reclassification to the 2023 class and commit to the Crimson Tide. At 6’9″, Stevenson is almost a Noah Clowney clone in terms of potential. Alabama’s challenge with Stevenson is his being a North Carolina legacy. He has spent considerable time in Chapel Hill, including a closing visit prior to his decision. Though the Tar Heels have a clear advantage, following Noah Clowney’s NBA path may bring him to the Crimson Tide.

While prioritizing Nelson and Stevenson, Nate Oats also pursued Isaiah Miranda and Ernest Udeh. Udeh decided to leave Kansas for TCU. Miranda moved from North Carolina State to Oklahoma State.

Other Alabama Basketball Possibilities

Another possibility for Alabama Basketball is former Creighton forward, Arthur Kaluma. Kaluma is a physical 6’7″ forward that excels on defense and rebounding. He is also a capable scorer, though his shooting percentages indicate he would not be a primary scoring threat for the Crimson Tide. Then again, in the Alabama Basketball rotation, his scoring could prosper. Too small to play at the ‘5’, Kaluma has the stature to guard opposing power forwards. Some college basketball insiders believe Kentucky and Texas have a better chance at Kaluma than the Crimson Tide.

Former Washington State player, Adrame Diongue could step into the role vacated by Charles Bediako. Diongue is a 7-footer, with unrealized potential. He needs some added bulk to mix it up on the inside. He also gained little experience in his freshman season for the Cougars. Alabama is one of many programs that have contacted Diongue.

Next. Add top 'bigs' and Alabama will be one of the SEC's best.. dark

One more, though less likely possibility is for Aiden Sherrell to reclassify sometime in December. Sherrell is a true center with the potential to become a superstar. How much progress he could make with a late start to the 2023-24 season is not known. Also, Alabama will have to beat out Michigan State and others for him.