Does Alabama Basketball have a shot at LaBaron Philon?

Alabama v North Carolina
Alabama v North Carolina / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

Many Alabama Basketball fans are intrigued by the latest movements of 2024 guard Labaron Philon.

Philon, originally from Mobile, is one of the best players in the class and was one of the best scorers in the state of Alabama before transferring to Link Academy (Missouri). He earned Class 7A Player of the Year honors in the Yellowhammer State as just a sophomore in high school and was heavily pursued by the Crimson Tide.

Philon's recruitment has been interesting to say the least. He verbally committed to Auburn in February of 2023 but would decommit less than three months later. After naming Alabama as a finalist, he committed to Kansas in September, eventually signing and enrolling at Kansas. 

On Tuesday, however, he announced his decision to decommit from Bill Self and Kansas. This was likely in response to roster reconstruction and transfer portal activity on the part of the Jayhawks that left Philon’s role uncertain. Alabama was floated as an early favorite, perhaps due to his previous finalist lists and the home state connection. 

Though Philon would be a good pickup and was once one of the most coveted prospects in the 2024 class for Tide fans, it’s difficult to see the fit still being there.

Bama is now pretty stacked in the backcourt, as it is expected to return Latrell Wrightsell Jr. and has added three high-caliber transfer guards over the past few weeks. Additionally, Alabama could still bring back leading scorer and All-American Mark Sears. 

When Philon requested to be released from his National Letter of Intent at Kansas earlier this week, he walked away from a similar situation. Bill Self has spent the early portion of the 2024 offseason adding talented transfers in the backcourt and particularly on the wing. After once believing he had a pretty clear path to playing time, Labaron Philon realized he was walking into a logjam at his position. It wouldn’t make much sense for him to enter another program in Alabama that is loaded with talent and experience at guard and on the wing. 

Should Sears announce his departure, it would leave the window cracked for Philon to join the Crimson Tide. In that case, former Auburn point guard Aden Holloway would be Bama’s only true lead guard. This would allow Philon to compete for minutes on the ball, which he seems to be seeking.

If Mark Sears returns, however, I can’t envision Labaron Philon joining such a crowded backcourt.