1] Obviously, the big news this week was Braxton Key's decision to transfer.
Thank you University of Alabama, Roll Tide! 🙏🏾🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/9MksP60Qsc— braxton key (@btwice_11) April 20, 2018
. Good luck to @btwice_11 Appreciate the opportunity to work with you. Really Love getting to know and spending time with your Family!! Thanks https://t.co/Klm169ItCe— Avery Johnson (@CoachAvery6) April 20, 2018
I can't say this comes as a surprise. Transfers have become normal in college sports, and Braxton was at the top of my own list of Bama guys that I thought may transfer. It was a tough season for Braxton. He suffered a knee injury, missed ten games, was rushed back into action (my opinion), and never seemed to find a comfort zone. I think he struggled with his health, his role on the team, and his confidence in dealing with both. I can only speculate but my guess is he looked at the roster for next season and there remained a concern for him about where he would fit in. I do hate to see him go. At full health, Braxton is a very good player, versatile on both ends. The school that lands him will be very fortunate, assuming he can get back to full health. I hope nothing but the best for him.
2] Prior to Braxton's announcement, the team was one over the scholarship limit. The question now is will there be another guy(s) leaving? If recruiting is any indication, the coaching staff may be expecting further changes. Earlier this week the name Dmitry Rivny started popping up on social media.
A potential new target to Alabama’s 2018 recruiting class: Central Park Christian forward Dmitry Rivny. Staff saw him last week, expected to see him again this week— Roll Hoops Roll (@RollHoopsRoll) April 15, 2018
I'll be honest: I had never heard of Rivny prior to this week. He's Russian. He's only been in the United States for six months. There's also some confusion what class he's in, 2018 or 2019. The tweet I included lists him as 2018, but what little I could find online about him via articles at Bama Mix Tape and HoopSeen suggests he's part of the 2019 class. He's listed as a 6'8 small forward, athletic, with the ability to shoot the deep ball. My guess is the tweet was wrong, and Rivny is part of the 2019 class, which is the next big class for the Bama coaching staff.
3] Recruiting never stops, and the Alabama coaching staff are already looking well into the future. This past week, they offered Keshawn Murphy, a 6'7 forward from Birmingham in the 2021 class. Yes, 2021. In that HoopSeen article I linked above, the author writes "Murphy used this event as a coming out party. Many are not aware of his talent and potential right now, but that will change in a matter of time. There will be plenty of high-major programs involved when it’s all said and done. In fact, excluding the 2019 big three of Trendon Watford, Kira Lewis, and Jaykwon Walton, Murphy may be the best long-term prospect in the state of Alabama. He’s that good and he’s only going to get better."