What will Bama Hoops’ facility upgrades mean for recruiting?

Alabama v Connecticut
Alabama v Connecticut / Jamie Squire/GettyImages

An upgrade for Alabama’s basketball facilities is probably long overdue, and there is finally tangible progress being made on that front. Unfortunately, however, that does not mean the Tide is getting a new hoops arena any time soon. 

Instead, Alabama will be getting a brand new practice facility. The $58 million dollar project will include a renovation to Coleman Coliseum as well as an addition to the building. Construction is slated to begin this fall and is expected to take roughly two years to complete. In addition to the practice facility, Bama Hoops will be getting a new weight room, new locker rooms, new training rooms, and more. 

For those that wanted a new arena for Tide Hoops to play its games in, this announcement may have been slightly disappointing. However, it is far more than a consolation prize. Both basketball programs spend much more time in practice and training facilities than they ever would in the main gym.

Of course, the game gym is a primary attraction on campus and Alabama should want Coleman Coliseum to be as pleasant and attractive as possible. But the truth is that each of Bama’s basketball teams will only play games on that court about 20 times a year. By comparison, an upgraded practice facility will add more value to the everyday lives and experiences of the players. 

Of the new facility, Coach Nate Oats said the following:

“As a program, we spend a majority of our time in the practice gym, the weight room and studying film, so the potential for us to have a new and expanded space for our student-athletes to develop is big for our program."

Improving the day-to-day experience of the players within the program will also have a direct impact on recruiting. Bama’s shiny new practice facility will be just one more thing the coaches can show recruits to get them to come to Tuscaloosa. It will be another useful tool for a coaching staff that has had no problem on the recruiting trail, even with outdated facilities. In fact, Alabama has been one of the best programs in the country at talent acquisition under Nate Oats. With the new practice facility on the way, that train isn’t slowing down any time soon.

Athletic Director Greg Byrne still intends to one day introduce a new arena for Alabama Basketball. However, that project seems to be on the back burner for now. In the meantime, both basketball programs appear to be in good shape. Kristy Curry's women's team is coming off of an NCAA Tournament appearance. Oats' squad just made a Final Four and looks poised to have even more success next season.

The upward trajectory for Bama Hoops is steep, and this new practice facility is the necessary next step in the process.