The latest on why Nate Oats should be talking an Alabama Basketball National Championship

This week Nate Oats talked about Mark Sears and the NBA, along with Alabama Basketball being a top National Championship contender.
Joe Rondone/The Republic / USA TODAY

The ever-bold Nate Oats has a reservoir of optimism about Alabama Basketball. His confidence is not new, but it was magnified by the Alabama Crimson Tide's Final Four appearance. If possible, Alabama fans are even more optimistic than the head coach.

Many Crimson Tide fans believe returns by Mark Sears and Jarin Stevenson would give Alabama its best-ever roster. Alabama will be loaded if just Stevenson decides to forego professional basketball for another season in Tuscaloosa.

Mark Sears is more than cake-icing. He could be the roster cornerstone for Alabama's first-ever NCAA Tournament Championship. On Tuesday, Nate Oats gave an update on Sears and his NBA quest. "He (Sears) has two more workouts (Milwaukee and Houston) ... the Milwaukee workout is on the 29th."

After what Sears learns on the 29th, he will have to make a quick decision. The deadline for a return to college is at midnight the same day. Oats explained if the feedback is not a guaranteed contract, Sears would "love to come back here and try to win a national championship."

While it has been widely speculated that Stevenson will return, Oats' confidence is not diminished by having two roster spots not yet locked down. There is no 'wait and see' in his attitude that Alabama will have a "chance to go win a National Championship with the team we've got coming back."

Speaking about last season's Final Four run, Nate Oats said, " We were able to make a Final Four, but defensively, we weren’t where we needed to be last year. Everybody we recruited, we wanted to make sure could really guard."

Even when Oats makes a bold statement about a player or his team, it doesn't feel like spin or hype. His almost matter-of-fact optimism appears to come from a sincere confidence in each player's attributes and potential. On Tuesday, talking about the Tide new players, Oats expressed the Crimson Tide is "in a good spot" with length and size and rim protection. He focused less on offensive contributions, perhaps because explosive offense is now considered a given for Alabama Basketball.