Bama loses out on top basketball transfer, awaits decision from another
By WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Peyton Davis
UPDATE 12:01 p.m. June 12, 2023: It’s being reported that North Dakota State’s Grant Nelson may not make his decision on his transfer today. Original story is below.
TUSCALOOSA – University of Alabama men’s basketball continues being an active presence in the transfer portal, and has been linked to some of the top players who remain available.
At the top of the list are players in the front court, where Alabama’s depth has been depleted this offseason.
Over the weekend, the Tide scheduled a visit with former Creighton forward Arthur Kaluma, but the 6-foot 7-inch junior instead announced his commitment to Kansas State Sunday morning.
That’s disappointing news for head coach Nate Oats, but the program is still waiting on an announcement from No. 1-ranked transfer in North Dakota State’s Grant Nelson.
Nelson will-reportedly make a decision today, but the Tide still has a need for bigger bodies at the forward/center position. Missing out on Kaluma hurts, but landing Nelson would soften that blow and give the Tide another Top 10 transfer from this year’s class.
Alabama’s use of the transfer portal is far from over, as the team has reached out to two of the top centers left in the class: UNLV rising fifth-year senior David Muoka and Washington State rising sophomore Adrame Diongue.
These names aren’t prolific, but it’s emblematic of the Tide’s scrambling in an offseason dealing with major roster turnover.
The program also has had to replace a trio of assistants who moved on to a head coaching gig elsewhere: Brian Hodgson, who went to Arkansas State; Charlie Henry, who went to Georgia Southern; and Antoine Pettway, who went to Kennesaw State.
Oats began the coach replacement process earlier in the offseason; he hired former Nicholls State head coach Austin Claunch on April 18, and hired New Orleans Pelicans’ assistant Ryan Pannone earlier this month.
The offseason has forced Oats to channel his inner Nick Saban in the search for new players and coaches, but it’s also a sign of a strong program getting national respect after a historic 2022 season.