With the addition of West Virginia transfer forward Mohamed Wague, Alabama Basketball has theoretically finalized its frontcourt heading into the 2023-24 season. Wague was the third late addition to the Bama frontcourt this offseason.
Coach Nate Oats and the Crimson Tide were left perilously thin in the frontcourt when starting bigs Noah Clowney and Charles Bediako both declared for the 2023 NBA Draft.
Down low, Bama was slated to return only forward Nick Pringle. The Tide also signed freshman forward Mouhamed Dioubate in the 2023 recruiting class. However, Dioubate is young, inexperienced, and slightly undersized to play in the post in the SEC. It would’ve been a lot to ask him to contribute in a prominent role this season.
Fortunately, Coach Oats and his staff were able to add some quality frontcourt players over the past few weeks. Grant Nelson joined Alabama Basketball via the transfer portal from North Dakota State, and he is a very talented stretch big.
Nelson was highly recruited out of the portal and is likely a future pro. He is long and athletic at 6’11” and has a fluid, perimeter-oriented offensive skill set while providing a rim-protecting presence on defense. He should pair well with Pringle, who is an electric athlete in his own right and brings an added layer of physicality.
Jarin Stevenson committed to Bama roughly two weeks ago, reclassifying from the class of 2024 to the class of 2023 in the process. He will be a young freshman for the Crimson Tide this season, and should be a positive addition in a backup role. Stevenson probably has to gain some weight and get acclimated to big-time college basketball, but he is a high-ceiling player who could improve drastically as the season progresses.
Former West Virginia forward Mohamed Wague became the fifth member of the Alabama frontcourt with his commitment to the Tide on Wednesday afternoon.
Wague gives Bama another physical body, and will be an experienced depth piece after appearing in 28 games for the Mountaineers last season. He played just over 10 minutes per game and made his presence felt on the glass, as well as defensively. He will presumably play a similar role in Tuscaloosa.
Although things temporarily looked bleak in the frontcourt, Coach Oats closed well and was able to assemble a deep and versatile group.