Alabama expecting some clarity with draft withdrawal deadline looming

NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament - Final Four
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament - Final Four / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages

Alabama Basketball should have a good understanding of its final roster this week, with the deadline to withdraw from the NBA Draft coming on Wednesday. 

The Crimson Tide is awaiting decisions from Mark Sears and Jarin Stevenson, both of whom have been going through the draft process to gauge their standing in the professional market. 

Sears was named an All-American in 2023-24 and would be a top five player in college basketball if he opts to return, so his value to Alabama cannot be overstated. He has started all 74 games for the Tide since transferring from Ohio two years ago and provides a steadying presence in the Bama backcourt.

Last season, he posted 21.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 1.6 steals per game on remarkably efficient 51/44/86 shooting splits. Alabama should be an SEC contender regardless, but the possible presence of Sears is what puts the Tide in consideration to be the preseason no. 1 team in the country. Sears’ spot has varied in mock drafts, but he is generally considered to be a second round selection.

While Jarin Stevenson’s decision won’t be as impactful with regard to Bama’s 2024-25 team, he is a very good player who will only improve with another year in the system. Though he averaged just 5.3 points per game, Stevenson showed flashes of his potential with six double-figure games including a career-high 19 points against Clemson in the Elite Eight.

He is a versatile big with NBA length, good defensive potential and promising shooting upside. Additionally, he has shown a degree of commitment to the program. In an era where players flirt with the transfer portal just to see what’s out there, Stevenson stayed put despite being someone who could’ve certainly gotten a bigger role and a fat paycheck elsewhere. 

At Alabama, Jarin Stevenson would enter his sophomore year as the top reserve in a deep frontcourt rotation behind Cliff Omoruyi and Grant Nelson. If Stevenson does return, I would expect him to have a highly efficient season off the bench before likely heading to the NBA next summer. 

With these two decisions looming, Bama should have some clarity regarding its roster this week. As a fan base, we will have a better idea of where the Tide stands nationally as well as in the SEC heading into 2024-25.