The Alabama Crimson Tide come off a positive season that ended poorly. After losing multiple players to the NBA Draft, they will look to reload with a top-ten recruiting class in the nation.
CBB Review is once again ranking the top 100 teams heading into the 2022-23 season. Each day we will reveal the next team until we reach the team slotted at number one. Coming in ranked number 19 is the Alabama Crimson Tide.
It was a pretty up-and-down season for Alabama. Coming off of a Sweet Sixteen appearance the year before, there were plenty of expectations in Alabama. They showed lots of flashes that included beating both Gonzaga and Houston within a week, and a couple of big wins in the SEC. However, they ended up losing their last four games, getting knocked out in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Now the Alabama Crimson Tide returns only four players from their regular rotation, with one being Jahvon Quinerly, coming off a torn ACL and not expected to return until around SEC play. However, Bama got two high-level transfers, and the sixth best ranked recruiting class per 247Sports that includes two 5-stars and two 4-stars.
To those who have not, click here to learn more about our preseason top 100 teams in the 2022-23 college basketball season.
Head Coach: Nate Oats (8th season overall, 4th season at Alabama)
2021-22 Record: 19-14 (9-9)
2022 Postseason Finish: Lost in first round of NCAA Tournament
PG: Mark Sears (6-1, 185, Jr.)
2021-22 stats: 19.6 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.7 steals, 40.8 3P% (Ohio)
SG: Jaden Bradley (6-3, 185, Fr.)
247Sports Composite #25 overall ranked recruit
SF: Dom Welch (6-5, 205, Gr-Sr.)
2021-22 stats: 12.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.3 steals, 37.4 3P% (St. Bonaventure)
PF: Brandon Miller (6-9, 200, Fr.)
247Sports Composite #15 overall ranked recruit
C: Charles Bediako (7-0, 225, So.)
2021-22 stats: 6.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.5 blocks
6: Jahvon Quinerly* (6-1, 175, Sr.)
2021-22 stats: 13.8 points, 4.2 assists, 3.0 rebounds
*coming off ACL injury. Expected back around SEC play, and will project to eventually be in starting lineup
7: Noah Gurley (6-8, 215, Gr.-Sr.)
2021-22 stats: 6.8 points, 3.5 rebounds
8: Nimari Burnett (6-4, 190, So.)
2020-21 stats: 5.3 points, 1.8 rebounds (Texas Tech)
9: Noah Clowney (6-10, 210, Fr.)
247Sports Composite #75 overall ranked recruit
10: Darius Miles (6-6, 185, Jr.)
2021-22 stats: 5.8 points, 3.3 rebounds
11: Rylan Griffen (6-5, 180, Fr.)
247Sports Composite #56 overall ranked recruit
12: Nick Pringle (6-9, 220, Jr.)
2021-22 stats: 9.2 points, 8.9 rebounds (Dodge City Community College)
Team MVP: Mark Sears
Mark Sears is a junior transfer from Ohio that will fit in perfectly at Alabama. At Ohio he LOVED to push it in transition, creating shots for himself and for others. You know who else loves to run? Alabama. Although 6’1, Sears will battle for rebounds which would allow him to grab and go.
On top of the transition offense, Sears was very good with the ball in his hands whether that be in isolation or in pick and roll. He did take a lot of pull up 2s, which are not going to happen much at Alabama. This is going to increase his efficiency and force him to take more 3s, which he was very good at.
Alabama has a trio of point guards that they will play, so Sears will have to be able to play off ball at times this season. He showed very efficient numbers in limited catch and shoot opportunities at Ohio, so I fully believe it will translate to Alabama.
Make or Break Player: Brandon Miller
Brandon Miller comes to Alabama as the 15th-ranked prospect per 247Sports, and he is projected to be a first-round pick in next year’s NBA draft.
He is a super versatile wing that is comfortable playing on the ball and off of the ball, and he can defend multiple positions. He basically is everything Alabama wants.
Miller has shown that he can both hit stand still jumpers and self-created shots. It will be key for him to be able to develop a consistent 3-pointer as that may be the big swing skill for him.
He is going to be asked to do a little of everything at Alabama. He will have to be able to play inside and outside at any given time, and he will need to be able to guard any wing and most guards. It is a lot to ask of a freshman, but Miller will be up for the task.
Analytic to Know: 12th in 3PA Rate (47.6% of shots were 3s)
Alabama wants to shoot 3s, and they want to do it often. Last season they shot a higher percentage of their shots as 3s than almost everyone else in college. This should be expected again.
The 3P% will be key as well, as they ranked 303rd in 3 point percentage. If that takes a big jump then this will once again become a high octane offense.
Alabama will come in with new players but the same philosophy. Play fast, get to the rim, shoot free throws, and shoot 3s. On defense, force teams to take mid-range pull-ups.
In his three seasons at Alabama, Coach Oats has really turned it around. Last season was one of the better seasons for the school in recent history, but it was considered an underperformance by most. That is just a testament to what Coach Oats has done there.
This will be a team that relies a ton on transfers and freshmen, but luckily for them, they have some of the best out there. We will really get to see them come late November and early December. They are in the Phil Knight Invitational, and they will take on Michigan State in the first round. In December, they have a three game stretch of Houston, Memphis, and Gonzaga. The Houston and Gonzaga games will be really important as those two teams are projected to be two of the best in the country.
If things go right, this team has all the talent needed to go far. They have players that can buy into the system, and it is a system that can really allow players to excel. The SEC is going to be tough this season, but they will have a legitimate chance to sneak out a championship.