No Final Four without Alabama Crimson Tide trio

It took many players on a deep Alabama Crimson Tide roster to reach the Final Four. Without the three returning players it would not have happened.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
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Rylan Griffen from backup wing to team leader

Coming out of high school in Texas, Rylan Griffen was a highly touted 6' 5" 4-Star. His slim frame held him back some as a Crimson Tide freshman. There was no mistaking his potential to become an outstanding player.

As an Alabama freshman, Griffen played in 37 games with no starts. He averaged 15.7 minutes per game. Griffen did not quite live up to his 'shooter' reputation in his first Crimson Tide season. He made 50.8% of his shots but only 30.1% of his three-point attempts. His average of 5.9 points must have been well short of his expectations.

No doubt other programs targeted Griffen as a transfer. Thankfully he spurned the offers and stuck with Nate Oats. This season Griffen has sometimes not been given enough credit. Along with becoming a team leader, Rylan was Alabama's best defender who repeatedly asked to be assigned the best opposing guards and wings. In the Elie Eight, his defense against RJ Davis was outstanding.

Griffen has played in 35 games this season with 32 starts. In an average of 26.3 minutes per game, his scoring almost doubled to 11.3 points per game. He made threes at a 39.1% pace, was 82.1% at the foul line, and averaged 3.5 rebounds. Griffen was the difference maker in the Crimson Tide winning multiple games.