Alabama Basketball: How good will the Crimson Tide and SEC be?

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

Led by Alabama Basketball and the Arkansas Razorbacks, the recent NBA Draft showcased the amount of top talent in last season’s SEC. The SEC led all conferences with 10 players drafted. Next among college basketball conferences was the Big Ten with eight players drafted, followed by the Big East and the ACC with five players each.

Arkansas topped the Crimson Tide with three players drafted to the Tide’s two. Alabama also lost another key player, with former starter Charles Bediako following an undrafted path to professional basketball.

The dust never completely settles with college basketball rosters, but many teams now have full rosters for the 2023-24 season. Alabama Basketball is not one of them. Technically the Tide’s scholarship roster is at 11, but when Grant Nelson officially joins the Crimson Tide, it will leave only one spot open.

Alabama Basketball Questions

How good will SEC basketball be next season? Who will be the league’s top teams? Is Nate Oats pulling off an amazing roster rebuild that will put the Crimson Tide at the top of the SEC again?

Let’s consider what Gary Parrish recently wrote about Nate Oats.

"Nate Oats has established himself as one of the best player-getters in college basketball since arriving at Alabama …Now Oats has done it again."

Agreeing with Parrish about Nate Oats “doing it again”, will the Alabama Crimson Tide contend for another NCAA Tournament top seed? Parrish publishes a Top 25+1. His current preseason ranking of college basketball’s top 26 teams includes six SEC teams.

None of the six SEC teams are ranked in the top 10. Based on Parrish, Arkansas is No. 11; Tennessee, No. 14; Texas A&M, No. 15; Alabama, No. 17; Kentucky No. 25 and Mississippi State, No. 26.

Alabama will be due a boost soon. Soon means when Grant Nelson navigates his transfer hurdle and officially joins the Crimson Tide. Until that happens, Parrish is not ranking Alabama with Nelson as a member of the 2023-24 team. Alabama basketball fans are somewhat antsy about the delay in adding Nelson, but insiders remain confident his clerical issue can be and will be resolved. There has been no indication Nelson is considering any transition other than joining Alabama Basketball.

With a 2023-24 roster that includes only five returning players, the Crimson Tide in February and March will be a far better team than it will be in November and December. In November, Alabama will play Ohio State and possibly Oregon, in the Emerald Coast Classic. December will bring a tough contest against Purdue in Canada and Arizona in Phoenix. The date of a home game against Creighton has not been announced.

Next. Nate Oats has solved his 'big' problem. dark

With the roster transition and tough early games, Crimson Tide fans may have to exercise patience while Nate Oats and his staff develop another big winner.