Transfer turnstiles are spinning in college basketball, leading to a busy offseason for Alabama.
A slew of draft starts and transfers left the Crimson Tide with just four scholarship players – Charles Bediako, Nimari Burnett, Darius Miles and Jahvon Quinerly – from last year’s roster. Of that group, Quinerly will likely miss the first half of the season while recovering from a torn ACL. Meanwhile, Burnett is yet to play for Alabama after missing all of last season with a knee injury.
Alabama added Ohio transfer Mark Sears this offseason and is also bringing in a five-person signing class that includes SI99 members in small forward Brandon Miller (No. 11 overall), point guard Jaden Bradley (#16), forward Noah Clowney (#11). 55) and shooter Rylan Griffen (#58) as well as highly rated JUCO forward Nick Pringle.
Factoring in the incoming signing class, Alabama currently has 11 scholarship players — two under the NCAA’s 13 limit. Here’s a breakdown of the current state of the Crimson Tide as well as a look at some transfer targets.
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Expected current starting lineup
G | Mark Sears | 6-1, 185 | Jr.
With JD Davison and Jaden Shackelford moving up to the pro ranks and Jahvon Quinerly still recovering from his ACL injury, Alabama entered the offseason desperate for guard experience. The Crimson Tide appears to have found that in Sears, who led Ohio with 19.6 points and 4.1 assists per game while shooting 44.4% from the floor and 40.8% from outside the league. arc last season. He also finished second on the team with an average of 1.7 steals. Sears, a native of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, is listed as Crimson Tide’s starting point guard to start the season.
G | Nimari Burnet | 6-4, 190 | R-So
After transferring to Alabama from Texas Tech last year, Burnett was expected to be one of Crimson Tide’s key players before suffering a season-ending knee injury in early September. In his first year with the Red Raiders, the former McDonald’s All-American averaged 5.3 points and 1.8 rebounds while shooting 28% from the floor in 12 games.
In January, Burnett posted a video of himself shooting with a brace on his right knee. The combo guard should be complete by the start of the season.
F | Brandon Miller | 6-9, 200 | Prof.
Miller is Alabama’s highest-rated signing since Collin Sexton in 2017. The McDonald’s All-American was named Tennessee Gatorade Player of the Year after averaging 24.1 points, 8.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.3 steals per game for Cane Ridge High School last season. Miller is projected here as a small forward but could serve as a stretch four if Alabama signs a guard out of the gate worthy of starting minutes.
F | Noah Gurley | 6-8, 215 | Gr.
After joining Alabama as a graduate transfer from Furman last year, Gurley is taking advantage of the NCAA eligibility waiver due to COVID-19 to play one more season with the Crimson Tide. Last year, the veteran forward made 14 starts in 33 appearances, averaging 6.8 points and 3.5 rebounds while shooting 48.3% from the floor and 25.4% from deep. Although projected as a starter here, Gurley could end up being the first big Alabama player on the bench depending on who the Crimson Tide brings out of the transfer gate. Either way, he will provide a welcome veteran presence to the unit.
C | Charles Bediako | 7-0, 225 | So.
Bediako’s first season in college basketball was not without some growing pains. However, the Ontario, Canada native showed great promise, especially in Alabama’s upset win over Gonzaga where he recorded a career-high six blocks. Bediako earned SEC All-Freshman honors in his first season with the Crimson Tide, leading the team in blocks (51) and field goal percentage (69.2) while averaging 6.7 points and 4.3 rebounds. If he’s able to add a little more toughness to his game this offseason, the 7-footer could be one of Alabama’s greatest weapons.
Current projected bench
G | Jahvon Quinerly | 6-1, 175 | Sr.
Quinerly was originally expected to pursue a professional career this offseason. However, the five-star point guard announced last month that he would return for a final year while recovering from the ACL injury he suffered in the NCAA Tournament loss to Notre Dame on March 18.
Quinerly plans to give the Crimson Tide a big boost whenever he can return to the field next season. Last season, he was second on the team in points (13.8 ppg) and assists (4.2 per game) while shooting 41.1% from the floor and 28.1% from outside the arch.
G | Jaden Bradley | 6-3, 185 | Prof.
Bradley joins a growing list of ultra-talented point guards to cross Tuscaloosa, Alabama in recent years. The McDonald’s All-American comes to IMG Academy’s Crimson Tide. While playing for the Cannon School during his freshman year of high school in 2020, he was named North Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year, averaging 23.1 points, 6.4 rebounds , 6.1 assists and 2.9 steals. It may take some time for Bradley to develop to the next level, but he should be able to learn from behind Sears and Quinerly as he works his way up the court.
G | Rylan Griffin | 6-5, 180 | Prof.
Griffen isn’t talked about as much as other SI99 prospects in Alabama’s signing class. However, the sniper from Dallas, Texas could be a lethal weapon off the bench. During his senior season with Texas powerhouse Richardson High School, Griffen earned District Offensive MVP honors 7-6A averaging 20.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.7 interceptions.
F | Darius Miles | 6-6, 185 | Jr.
Miles had a second year of ups and downs while in Alabama’s rotation last season. The 6-foot-6 winger started two games in 30 appearances, averaging 5.8 points and 3.3 rebounds while shooting 37.6% from the floor and 29.4% from deep. While he still thinks he’s a bench option, his familiarity with Nate Oats’ system should be key in helping Alabama settle in after their roster upheaval.
F | Noah Clowney | 6-10, 210 | Prof.
Clowney thinks he’s an end-of-the-bench option for Alabama this season. However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing as it will allow the lanky striker to fill his frame 6-10. Clowney has the athleticism Alabama loves in its bigs and looks like a good fit for Oats’ system going forward.
F | Nick Pringle | 6-9, 220 | Jr.
Keon Ellis worked his way into a starting role at Alabama after joining the Crimson Tide as a transfer from a junior college in 2020. Pringle hopes to take the same path he arrives at Tuscaloosa after averaging 9.2 points and 8.9 rebounds for Dodge City (Kan.) Community College last season. He could become a nice deep piece in Alabama’s frontcourt.
G | Jarod Lucas | 6-4, 195 | Sr | Oregon State
After visiting Alabama last week, Jarod Lucas could be set to become Crimson Tide’s second transfer this offseason. The former Oregan State combo guard announced Thursday that he will make his college decision this weekend. Alabama is battling Nevada as the frontrunner for its commitment.
If Lucas chooses Alabama, he has the talent to fit into Crimson Tide’s starting lineup. Last season, the hard-shooting fullback made 38.6 percent of his shots from beyond the arc while leading Oregon State with 13.5 points per game. Pairing him with Sears and Burnett would provide Alabama with a dangerous three-headed monster at the guardhouse.
G | Emmanuel Akot | 6-8, 210| Gr | Boise State
Could another Canadian talent be heading to Tuscaloosa? Oats hasn’t been shy about bringing in players from north of the border, adding Josh Primo and Keon Ambrose-Hylton to the 2020 class before signing Bediako last year. Alabama could tap into that well again with Boise State transfer Emmanual Akot, who averaged 10.6 points and 3.1 rebounds while shooting 40% from the floor and 37.5% from deep on the season. last. The Winnipeg native has exceptional length and plays with an aggressive physical style that should match Oats’ blue-collar mentality.
G | Michael Jones | 6-5, 210| R-Sr. | davidson
Alabama witnessed Michael Jones’ scoring ability when the former Davidson guard recorded 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting in Crimson Tide’s 79-78 loss to the Wildcats last season. Alabama could have that production on its side this year as Jones named the Crimson Tide as one of three finalists along with Northwestern and Stanford, according to a report by CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein earlier this week. Jones averaged 11.8 points and 3.6 rebounds last season while shooting 46.1% from the floor and 42.1% from 3-point range.
G | Advice Ricky IV | 6-6, 205 | So. | Wichita State
Alabama was in the top six for Wichita State transfer keeper Ricky Council IV, which also included Arkansas, Georgia Tech, Iowa State, Kansas and Texas State. Mississippi. as his favorites at the start of the week. Council made seven starts in 28 appearances for Wichita State last season, finishing second on the team in points (12.0 ppg), rebounds (5.4 rebounds per game) and steals (1.1 per game). He shot 43.7% from the ground and 30.6% from deep.