Mark Sears staying in the NBA Draft might be best for Alabama Basketball

Whatever decision Mark Sears makes Alabama fans are Sears fans. Being drafted by an NBA team in June might be best for him and the Crimson Tide.
Patrick Breen/The Republic / USA TODAY

It is easy to be a Mark Sears fan. Alabama basketball fans respect what he has accomplished for the Crimson Tide and will celebrate his being drafted by an NBA team next month. Perhaps an even bigger celebration will occur if Sears decides to return to Tuscaloosa for another season. With Sears on the 2024-25 roster, Alabama Basketball would be a near-lock as college basketball's preseason No. 1.

Mark Sears is not far from being another 'Rudy' story. He is not "5-foot nothin" as the Rudy character is described in the movie. But in college basketball and even more in the NBA, anything under 6 feet is not far from nothing. As the NBA measures (in sock feet) Mark Sears is 5'10.25". Anything under 6'3" is small by NBA standards.

There are many reasons why Alabama made its first-ever Final Four in April. A major one was Mark Sears whose hard work in the offseason made him into one of college basketball's best players.

Mark Sears prospered in the NBA-style system Nate Oats has used better than any other college coach. Mark Sears appreciates what Oats and the Alabama Crimson Tide have done for him.

In NBA Draft terms, Mark Sears is a tweener. Even in what is considered to be a weak NBA Draft, Sears is unlikely to be chosen in the First Round. He may be drafted early enough in the second round to gain a guaranteed contract. If not, the better short-term financial deal for Sears would be another season with the Crimson Tide.

Best for Alabama Basketball and best for Mark Sears?

Long-term, it might be better for Mark Sears, and for Alabama Basketball for him to get drafted this June. Even if that means being drafted too low in the second round for a guaranteed contract. The Alabama roster for 2024-25 will not be as good without Mark Sears. However, it would still be one of college basketball's most talented rosters.

Given his size-driven, basketball limitations, having Mark Sears drafted in the NBA Second Round would be another recognized example of Nate Oats preparing players for the NBA. Added to the NBA success of Brandon Miller and Noah Clowney, Sears as a 2024 NBA Draft second-rounder would boost the sales pitches for Oats and his staff in building the Crimson Tide's 2025-26 roster.

Moving to the NBA now, instead of waiting another year might also be better for Mark Sears. Another season of college competition may not benefit him much and next year's Draft class is expected to be stronger than the current one.

The bottom line is whatever Mark Sears decides to do, Alabama Basketball wins. Hopefully the same is true for him.

Next. Five reasons why Alabama Basketball is here to stay. Five reasons why Alabama Basketball is here to stay. dark