Nate Oats may not have won a lottery but he came close on Wednesday

Christmas in May for Nate Oats and Alabama Basketball as Mark Sears and Jarin Stevenson decided on another Crimson Tide season.
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Nate Oats and Alabama Basketball got exactly what was needed on Wednesday. Both All-American Mark Sears and highly regarded Jarin Stevenson decided to withdraw from the 2024 NBA Draft. Instead, they will return to Tuscaloosa for another Alabama Crimson Tide season.

The Alabama roster is now set and the word most used to describe it is loaded. A more complete description must carry the claim that Alabama Basketball has its most national championship-capable roster - ever.

One knowledgeable Alabama fan tweeted that the Crimson Tide "could have the most experienced starting five in the country." If Nate Oats chooses a starting five of Sears, Latrell Wrightsell, transfer Chris Youngblood, Grant Nelson, and transfer Cliff Omoruyi, every starter will be a fifth-year player.

Almost as impressive as the experienced potential starters is that Nate Oats solved his rim protection problem from a season ago while adding three perimeter shooters to go along with Sears. Oats recently explained that every transfer added to the program will also improve the Crimson Tide defensively. And beyond all that infusion of championship pieces, Oats plugged in college basketball's No. 2 high school signing class per 247Sports.

Alabama will have the deepest roster in college basketball. On Wednesday night when it was learned Jarin Stevenson was not jumping to the NBA, it was similar to Oats adding another transfer talent. Stevenson was slow to develop as a freshman, but without him, late in the season, there would have been no Alabama Crimson Tide Final Four. He could easily be one of Bama's five starters, as could transfers Houston Mallette and Aden Holloway. Without listing all the new names on the roster, it should suffice to say all of them can be key contributors.

Nate Oats must decide how to share minutes with a roster deeper and more talented than last season. Whatever rotation and distribution of minutes Oats chooses, Alabama can play at its preferred torrid pace and never risk tired players.

Nate Oats and Alabama Basketball in 2024-25

Any pundit not naming the Crimson Tide as the SEC front-runner is delusional. Marc Torrence provided added perspective, explaining that Alabama Basketball will be "a bigger favorite to win a national title this year than will football."

Based on expecting Sears and Stevenson to return, some preseason rankings already had Alabama No. 1. Others will quickly follow suit. College basketball national titles are most difficult to win, but Alabama will be in a group of 8-10 teams with the talent to do it.