Another long offseason of roster reconstruction ahead for Nate Oats

NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament - Final Four - Practice
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament - Final Four - Practice / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

It seems as though even a Final Four appearance wasn’t enough to protect Alabama Basketball from the effects of the transfer portal. Just 10 days after the end of its season, Bama has already lost four players to the lure of the portal. 

Among the early departures were a key contributor in sophomore wing Rylan Griffen, who started 33 games this past season. He averaged over 11 points per game for the Tide, shooting over 39 percent from the three-point line. He figured to be one of the top returnees heading into 2024-25, but is expected to exit the program. 

Alabama has also lost two promising developmental pieces in freshmen Sam Walters and Davin Cosby. Both players proved to be good shooters off the bench, combining for nine double-figure games. Though he struggled on the defensive end of the floor and other aspects of the game as he adjusted to the athleticism of the SEC, Walters in particular was a valuable floor-stretcher, hitting over 39 percent from downtown. Bama also lost freshman Kris Parker, who redshirted this past year. 

Nate Oats still awaits key decisions from Mark Sears and Latrell Wrightsell Jr., as well as several frontcourt contributors. Coach Oats has also gotten off to a great start in replenishing this roster, regardless of the outstanding decisions.

The Tide will add a trio of blue-chip freshmen in wings Derrion Reid and Naas Cunningham, as well as a versatile big in Aiden Sherrell. Oats has also brought in two transfers that appear to be perfect program fits in Houston Mallette (previously of Pepperdine) and Chris Youngblood (South Florida). Both are elite shooters with plenty of experience that will ensure that Bama isn’t lacking any offense on the wing. 

Oats has proven again and again that he is an elite roster builder. With the potential returnees, plus the new additions as well as any future moves that Bama will make in the portal, I have no doubt that Coach Oats will put together a team that will once again contend for the SEC crown.

The sad truth, however, is that the team will be largely unfamiliar once again. College sports, and college basketball in particular, have become year-to-year in nature. Fortunately, Bama has one of the best coaches in the game at navigating this landscape.