Tuesday, September 24, 2019

2019-20 Roster Preview: Guards

Well, here we are again; another college basketball season is looming. The university made a coaching change at the conclusion of last season, wrapping up Avery Johnson's tenure after four rather frustrating seasons. An efficient coaching search by AD Greg Byrne led to the hire of Nate Oats, formerly the head coach at Buffalo. Oats will be the third head coach hired by Alabama in the last ten years.

Nate Oats will be 45 years old when the season tips off. He began his coaching career in 1997 when he joined the staff at his alma mater, D-3 Maranatha Baptist in Wisconsin. In 2000 he joined the staff at D-3 Wisconsin-Whitewater. Following two seasons there, Oats landed his first head coaching gig at Romulus High School in Detroit. In eleven seasons he compiled an impressive 222-52 record, leading the team to the 2013 state championship. This success led to Bobby Hurley hiring him as an assistant at Buffalo. Following Hurley's decision to accept the Arizona State job two years later, Oats was promoted to head coach.

In his four seasons as head coach, he elevated the Buffalo program. He compiled a 96-43 record, two MAC regular season titles (2018, 2019) and three MAC tournament titles, which resulted in NCAA Tournament bids in three of his four seasons at the helm. Not too shabby. And not only did the program make the tournament, but it won round one games in both the 2018 and 19 tournaments. In addition, Oats was named the MAC Coach of the Year in 2018 and 2019. The program also finished higher in the final KenPom rankings each season of his tenure (138 in 2016; 122 in 2017; 67 in 2018; 22 in 2019).

Monday, September 16, 2019

Predicting the season- game by game

Penn- We can't lose at home to a bunch of nerds! W
FAU- Lane Kiffin isn't walking through that door! W
@ Rhode Island- you don't travel to nowhere RI and expect to come out the victor! L

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

SEC Schedule Released

The conference released its basketball schedule on Tuesday. The league office didn't do our guys any favors. In the first four games of league play, Alabama will travel to Florida and Kentucky as well as host Mississippi State and Auburn. All four teams are likely projected NCAA Tournament teams this season. Kentucky and Florida are expected to be favorites to win the league when the preseason polls are released. Click here for the full schedule. The season opener is 56 days away.

Saturday, September 07, 2019

James Rojas Out For Season With Knee Injury

It wouldn't be an Alabama basketball offseason without some bad news, and this one is a doozy. Juco All-American James Rojas, who just got to campus in August, has suffered a torn ACL and will miss the 19-20 season. Rojas was likely going to be a rotation player this season, and maybe more than that as he brought a high ceiling with him to Tuscaloosa. With the season sixty days away, I believe the team can adjust to this loss, but it sucks for James. He will have two seasons of eligibility when he returns next season.

While Nate Oats wants to play at a quick pace with much of the focus on the perimeter and scoring easy points in transition the loss of Rojas still hurts the interior depth for the team, which was already a question mark entering the season. Rebounding is a particular concern; an area where Rojas likely would have helped. Not to mention he's a guy that could run the floor and shoot. It's a tough loss.