Alabama Basketball and Nate Oats toe-to-toe with heavyweights

Alabama Basketball has another major roster rebuild and Nate Oats is poised to get his share of key players.
Christian Petersen/GettyImages

Nate Oats may not be a pugilist, but he is combative enough to take on any comers among college basketball's heavyweights. Compared to battling big-time programs for transfers and recruits, contests on the court are an easier challenge for Oats.

A term not used in the above paragraph is 'blue blood' and it was omitted not because Alabama Basketball is not a 'blue blood'. In a recent discussion of how much 'blue blood' is still a worthy label, Mike DeCourcy explained, "When the path to success is so obscured, even those with power, wealth and fame have their vision encumbered."

DeCourcey's full explanation deserves a full read. In summary, he contends because of transfer ease and deep NIL coffers, there are no sure recipes for championship success anywhere. Not even at Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas, Duke, or any other historical blue blood.

What Alabama Basketball and Nate Oats are up against

It was recently reported that Ohio State boosters spent $13M on the Buckeyes football roster. That is no small sum. Proportionately the $13M is smaller than the $5M it is believed John Calipari has been promised for his Arkansas roster.

Alabama's NIL war chest has not been reported. Alabama basketball insiders claim that it is believed adequate to cover whatever Nate Oats thinks he needs. Various sources have calculated the mid-range of Division One men's basketball, annual NIL budgets are between $1.5 and $2M.

It is worthwhile to remember that buying and paying players did not start with NIL and the Transfer Portal. Most often funded by boosters and shoe companies, schools have used cash to gain players for decades. What used to be orchestrated by street agents and greedy AAU coaches has become a no-holds-barred legitimate business.

For coaches managing the player budget may have become a bigger challenge than game plans. Alabama basketball fans need not fret. Nate knows how to run numbers, possibly as well as he knows how to coach basketball. And he has the coaching thing down as well as any college basketball coach yet to win an NCAA Tournament Championship.

In Alabama's last four seasons, the Crimson Tide has made three Sweet Sixteens and one Final Four appearances. Gaining the attention of prized players, even more, is the Nate Oats system is college basketball sexiest. It is the current one most capable of providing the best chances to the NBA.

Nate Oats has plenty to sell prospects and recently got another boost from Joe Lunardi's early projection of the 2025 NCAA Tournament. Lunardi has Alabama as the South Region 1-Seed, opening the tournament at Rupp Arena in Lexington. Joey Brackets has nine SEC teams in the 2025 Big Dance field. Not one of the teams are called Wildcats.

Top Saban NFL Draft Picks. Top Saban NFL Draft Picks. dark. Next