Alabama Basketball: Discussing Coach Oats’ offseason work

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The addition of transfer forward Grant Nelson was seemingly the last big domino to fall for Alabama Basketball this offseason, and it provides an opportunity to assess the job that Coach Nate Oats has done this spring.

The roster may not be entirely finished as there are two more available scholarships, but all of the major holes have been filled, giving us a fairly clear picture of what the rotation could look like.

Bama Hoops enjoyed its best season in school history in 2022-23, boasting one of the nation’s deepest teams en route to a 31-6 season. While next season’s team likely won’t have that level of depth, it could prove to be more talented (especially on the offensive end of the floor) at every position except for Brandon Miller’s vacated spot on the wing.

In my opinion, Coach Nate Oats was very impressive in his roster construction this offseason despite facing some bleak moments.

Most of the critical stay-or-go decisions that followed the conclusion of the 2022-23 season did not go Alabama’s way, as the Tide lost three underclassmen starters to the NBA Draft.

Additionally, two guards that combined to start 31 games last season decided to hit the portal in Nimari Burnett and Jaden Bradley, and class of 2023 in-state guard RJ Johnson decommitted around the same time.

The Crimson Tide also lost its lone transfer commitment at the time when former Wichita State wing Jaykwon Walton was arrested in Tuscaloosa and subsequently turned away from the program.

This was a long spring that required a lot of patience from Alabama Basketball fans, but Oats ultimately landed three talented transfers that seem to fit the program culture in Nelson and guards Aaron Estrada and Latrell Wrightsell Jr.

With the obvious exception of Brandon Miller, who could go as high as no. 2 in the upcoming NBA Draft, an argument could be made that the group of players coming into Tuscaloosa is better and more equipped to thrive in Oats’ up-tempo system than the group that is departing.

In addition to the three transfers and an under-the-radar trio of high school signees, Coach Oats was also able to retain his veteran starting backcourt of Jahvon Quinerly and Mark Sears.

Bama backfield disrespected?. dark. Next

If the pieces all come together, Bama will once again have a versatile team with an incredibly high ceiling on the offensive end of the floor.