On Alabama Basketball ascension and a Nate Oats discount

Alabama Basketball got a Nate Oats discount on its new big man and it came from the Crimson Tide's style of basketball attracting players.
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Until Nate Oats Alabama Basketball was an April through October afterthought. Alabama's small group of 'basketball-first' fans mostly spent offseasons lamenting either failed seasons or NCAA Tournament runs that ended in disappointment.

Nate Oats and making a Final Four changes everything for Alabama Basketball. Attention to Crimson Tide hoops on message boards and social media has soared. The college basketball world has embraced the fact the Crimson Tide is ascending to being one of the sport's few elite programs.

Fans of other SEC basketball programs will disagree, but Nate Oats has built the Crimson Tide into the top SEC program. Jon Rothstein is a credible college basketball expert. He tracks all roster movements and updates a ranking of college basketball's top 45 teams. After Bama's transfer addition of Cliff Omoruyi, Rothstein has the Crimson Tide at No. 2 nationally.

Rothstein has 11 SEC teams in his preseason Top 45. The second highest-ranked SEC team is Auburn, well down Rothstein's list at No. 11. The others are Texas A&M at No. 12, Florida at No. 17, Tennessee at No. 18, Texas at No. 27, Arkansas at No. 31, Mississippi State at No. 38, Georgia at No. 41, Kentucky at No. 42 and Ole Miss at No. 43.

Joe Lunardi provides a detailed weekly Bracketology during the offseason. In last week's Alabama was a 2-seed, as the projected SEC Tournament Champion. After the roster addition of Omoruyi, it will be no surprise if Lunardi bumps the Crimson Tide to a 1-seed. Lunardi had 10 SEC teams making the 2025 Big Dance field. Auburn is a 3-seed; Tennessee and Texas are 4-seeds; Texas A&M a 5-seed; Florida a 6-seed; Ole Miss a 7-seed; Kentucky an 8-seed; Mississippi State a 9-seed and Arkansas a 10-seed. Lunardi also has Missouri as the first team out.

There will be thousands of Bracketology projections from hundreds of sources between now and 2025's Selection Sunday, but never in a basketball offseason has the SEC looked so powerful. On the crest of that SEC wave is Nate Oats.

Assuming Joe Tipton has correct information, how much did Nate Oats have to put on the table? Multiple Alabama basketball insiders claim the Tide's package for its new big man was far below a $2M offer. If so, an Alabama discount similar to one that came with Nick Saban appears to have been gained by Nate Oats.

Why Alabama Basketball does not have to out-bid for players

There is a simple reason Alabama does not have to win bidding wars. Players believe their best NBA shot will come from playing on a Nate Oats team. Omoruyi explained his decision for Alabama as "I love their NBA style offense as well as the pace they play. I feel that this is the best situation to direct me to the NBA, which is my goal."

Alabama Basketball ascending does not mean 'arrived'. Any talk about Alabama and an NCAA Tournament Championship is just that - talk. But Nate Oats is building something special in Tuscaloosa. And for Alabama fans, it's making this offseason the most exciting one of all.