Preseason College Basketball Rankings: #11 Alabama Crimson Tide

The last thing that people who love parody in sports wanted to see was Alabama becoming good at basketball again. But that is exactly what head coach Nate Oats has done. This is the second straight year that the Crimson Tide have brought in a top 15 recruiting class. This year’s class includes two players ranked in the top 40 overall. Another high-major transfer is coming to town too.

You can read about the defending champion #12 Baylor Bears right here.

The Crimson Tide

Alabama lost multiple key contributors. Joshua Primo was a lottery pick, Herb Jones was drafted in the second round, and John Petty signed with a team and will be playing in the G-League. One guy that comes in is Noah Gurley. Gurley is a graduate transfer from Furman. He was a second-team All-SOCON performer a season ago. He brings plenty of experience with him, having started 83 of 88 games in three seasons with the Paladins. Gurley will help fill the void left by Herb Jones. Nimari Burnett transferred in from Texas Tech but he tore his ACL in September, causing him to have season-ending knee surgery.

Five-star point guard JD Davidson is huge for this squad. He chose to stay near home instead of going to a “bigger” school. Davidson has drawn comparisons to Ja Morant. So that is saying something already. He can do pretty much anything you need him to do. Alabama is also bringing in the big Canadian seven-footer Charles Bediako. He has a nice touch and is a good rebounder and effective around the rim already. If he were to bulk up and add some more weight and strength, then he would be one of the best bigs in the country.

Leading the returners is last season’s leading scorer on the team Jaden Shackelford. A lot of the offseason was spent not knowing if they were going to get him back. First, he flirted with leaving for the NBA Draft. Then he entered the transfer portal. But in the end, Shackelford decided to return and the Tide get his 14.0 points per game back. Jahvon Quinerly returns. If you remember, he did not play a lot at Villanova before transferring and redshirting in 2019-2020. He was pretty good in his first season in Tuscaloosa last year. Quinerly is also a good scorer and might be the team’s best passer. His younger brother Jaden Quinerly is also on the team.

Keon Ellis performed well last year in his first season at Alabama. He spent two years at the JUCO level at Florida SouthWestern College before coming to Alabama. Ellis has mostly flown under the radar and the team can use that to their advantage. Juwan Gary didn’t play big minutes during the regular season but did play a key role in the Crimson Tide’s run to the Sweet Sixteen.

Projected Lineup:

C – #10 Charles Bediako (#34 overall recruit on 247 Sports)

PF – #0 Noah Gurley (15.4 PPG/ 5.8 RPG/ 2.5 APG/ 1.1 BPG at Furman)

G – #5 Jaden Shackelford (14.0 PPG/ 3.8 RPG/ 2.0 APG)

PG – #13 Jahvon Quinerly (12.9 PPG/ 2.2 RPG/ 3.2 APG)

PG – #3 JD Davidson (#12 overall recruit on 247 Sports)

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