Nate Oats has put Alabama Basketball in a very different situation

Some are calling 'now' a Golden Age for Alabama Basketball and while that might be a tad premature, the Crimson Tide appears on track for its greatest success.
Patrick Breen/The Republic / USA TODAY

Something different is going on with Alabama Basketball in this offseason. Nate Oats has elevated the Alabama Crimson Tide to a program that attracts a never-before level of interest from elite recruits and top transfers.

Gone are the days when college basketball's big boys snatched up top players, even when Alabama had pursued them long and hard. An example of the difference is last year's addition of Jarin Stevenson, who was heavily pursued by North Carolina. This offseason, UNC lost out to the Crimson Tide again when high-profile transfer, Clifford Omoruyi moved from Rutgers to Alabama.

Incoming Crimson Tide 2024-25 freshman Derrion Reid had 20 offers, including Kansas, Kansas State, Creighton, Indiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Auburn. Incoming Tide freshman, Aiden Sherrell held offers from more than 20 programs, including Michigan State, UConn, and Kansas. The Crimson Tide's third incoming freshman, Naas Cunningham had 32 offers, including UConn, North Carolina, Duke, UCLA, Texas, and Kentucky. Fourth in the Tide's freshmen additions, Labaron Philon flipped from Bill Self and Kansas to Nate Oats and Alabama. It is impossible to predict the four will have great college careers. But four players in the top 39 of a signing class is a milestone for the Crimson Tide.

It is too simplistic to claim the incoming freshmen quartet chose Alabama only because of Nate Oats. But without Oats, all four would have likely chosen what have been 'higher profile' programs. Alabama is one of those programs now.

In-season poll rankings are next to useless, but they mean something after a season is complete. This post-season the AP Poll ranked Alabama as tied with Houston at No. 3. The Coaches Poll had the Crimson Tide slightly behind Houston at No. 4. Alabama and Tennessee were the only SEC teams in the Top 10 of either poll.

What makes the Tide's new roster worthy of being discussed as one of college basketball's best is more about the Alabama Crimson Tide's four transfers than it is about the four freshmen. Omoruyi, Houston Mallette, Chris Youngblood, and Aden Holloway will be ready from day one. The freshmen will benefit from not having to make immediate impacts beyond supporting roles. When the games matter most next spring, the complete roster could be Alabama's best ever.