What to expect from decisions by Alabama basketball players and Nate Oats

In the new annual rite of college basketball it is roster rebuilding time for Nate Oats and Alabama Basketball.
Patrick Breen/The Republic / USA TODAY

In college basketball, the word development has a changed meaning. It did mean bringing in top recruits and developing them as college players for one to four years. Unlike traditional blue-blood programs, Alabama Basketball has never attracted a large number of one-and-done players.

Now, almost every player fits the description of potentially being one-and-done. For a large majority of them, it is not one-and-the-NBA, but a move to new college programs. Frequently when the word development is used today, it applies to getting a player ready to play in the NBA.

Nate Oats and his assistants have become quite good at developing players for the NBA. Last season, Brandon Miller and Noah Clowney were NBA Draft, first-round home runs for Charlotte and Brooklyn.

There are no 2024, NBA First-Rounders on the Alabama Crimson Tide 2023-24 roster. If selected for the NBA Combine, and if they perform well Mark Sears, Grant Nelson, and Rylan Griffen might be late second-round selections. Based on most current predictions, Sears has the best shot as a late second-rounder.

Sears and Nelson have completed four years of college play. While they can opt for an additional college season, they are not NBA Early Entry players. Rylan Griffen would be an early-entry prospect. All 2024 early-entry players must apply before midnight on Apr. 27.

The NBA Combine is May 5-12. Early-entry NBA prospects have until June 16, to withdraw from the Draft in favor of another college season. In addition, undrafted players who participated in the NBA Combine can return to college, With a 5 PM deadline the Monday after the Draft. The 2024 Draft will take place on June 26th and 27th.

What will Alabama Basketball Players do?

It is close to a 100% probability that Sears and Nelson will enter the NBA Draft process. For discussion purposes, let's call it a 50-50 decision for Griffen. Having no more college eligibility, Aaron Estrada's only option is the NBA or another professional league. Entering the 2024 Draft would make no sense for other players on the roster, but based on last season's abrupt decision by Charles Bediako, anything is possible.

There will be more roster turnover. There must be, to get down to 13 scholarship players for 2024-25. The only sure exit is Estrada. Nate Oats is already bringing in three freshmen signees and one transfer player. Grant Nelson has said, "If I do come back to college, I'm hoping it's Alabama."

What will Nate Oats do?

Nate Oats must and will create a 2024-25 roster with the 13 best available scholarship players. Three to five current (maybe more) players will likely decide their college basketball fortunes lie elsewhere.

Having seen the magic Nate Oats performed in the last offseason, Alabama basketball fans need not worry. Playing for Oats, in his NBA style, attracts the interest of top players. When the roster transition is complete, Alabama will be better and deeper next season.

Next. The incredible year for Alabama Athletics. The incredible year for Alabama Athletics. dark