Alabama Basketball: Nate Oats adds another ‘big’

Julie Bennett-USA TODAY Sports
Julie Bennett-USA TODAY Sports /

Alabama Basketball is close to an almost settled roster for next season. With the addition of Preston Murphy, the Alabama Crimson Tide coaching staff is at full strength.

Currently. the Alabama Basketball roster has 11 scholarship players. When Jahvon Quinerly announced an entry into the Transfer Portal, most Crimson Tide fans thought adding another ball-handling guard would be Nate Oats’ most pressing need.

Apparently, that opinion was wrong. There were numerous reports Oats and his staff wanted to add West Virginia transfer point guard, Joe Toussaint. On Tuesday it was learned that Toussaint chose Texas Tech. Some Alabama basketball insiders believe the Tide had cooled on Toussaint before he picked the Red Raiders.

On Wednesday, it seems likely Nate Oats will add a different player. The current target also played at West Virginia last season, following one season of JUCO play. At 6’10” and 225 lbs., Mohamed Wague is no point guard. He is a power forward/center who played sparingly last season in Morgantown. He averaged less than 11 minutes per game. Because of a foot injury in February, he missed six games. He played in 28 other games for WVU, averaging 4.1 points and 3.1 rebounds per game.

UPDATE: Wednesday morning Wague chose Tuscaloosa as his new basketball home. 

For Bob Huggins’ team, Wague had no three-point attempts. His field goal accuracy was 74.2%. He was only 53.3% at the foul line, but for the season, he had just 45 free throw attempts.

Potential Help for Alabama Basketball

His WVU performance does not match what Nate Oats usually wants from a big man. What Oats and his staff must see in Wague is considerable potential. In a single season of JUCO play, Wague scored 519 points on 65.1% shooting. At Harcum College, Wague also took no shots from outside the arc. His assist-to-turnover ratio was a poor 0.6. At Harcum, with 220 free throw attempts, he shot 61.1%.

Wague said on Tuesday that he wants to make a quick decision. He has not ruled out remaining at West Virginia. Kansas State is also battling for Wague. A couple of Alabama basketball insiders consider the Crimson Tide is leading for Wague.

If Oats does not land Wague, it is clear he wants another big man. One possibility Alabama fans are hoping for is a mid-year reclassification and enrollment by current, 2024 4-Star, Aiden Sherrell. At 6’10”, Sherrell is ranked by 247Sports as the No. 7 center in the 2024 class. If Sherrell reaches his academic goals (and chooses to reclassify), he could join Alabama in December.

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If Wague joins Alabama, it will interesting to see if Oats holds his 13th roster spot for Sherrell or goes after a point guard instead.