Rumors point to prized transfer picking Bama basketball, no official announcement yet

Pic Grant Nelson I

By WVUA Digital Reporter Peyton Davis

After a Monday morning tweet suggested that there would not be a decision made for another day or two, Joe Tipton at On3 Sports reports that top remaining transfer, Grant Nelson has committed to Alabama on Monday afternoon.

An official announcement hasn’t yet been made by Nelson, but multiple sources “expect” there will be a confirmation in the coming days.

The race came down to Alabama and Arkansas for the versatile North Dakota State big man, and this is another display of recruiting prowess that Nate Oats has continued to display in his time as the head of the Tide basketball program.

The fit was always the main selling point for Alabama, and it is exciting to contemplate the potential that a front court of Grant Nelson and Nick Pringle possesses – given the combination of skill and athleticism that the pair has. This was also an essential need for the Tide’s roster, following the departure of forwards Brandon Miller, Noah Clowney and Charles Bediako – who are entering the draft, as well as Noah Gurley, who is out of eligibility – meaning the team was left scrambling to add size to their roster. Additionally, the combination of size, skill and versatility of the 6’11-235 pound Nelson is a dream fit in Oats’s system because of his ability to handle the ball and play in space – as well as athletic enough to crash the offensive boards and play over the rim.

For those unfamiliar with Nelson, the highlight mixtape is as exciting as any player in country. He averaged 17.9 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 30 games during his junior season with the Bison.

Now, the team is down to two roster spots and will pivot their attention to rounding out the front court, already reported to be targeting multiple other centers in the remaining in the transfer portal. Another name to keep an eye on is the Class of 2024 high schooler Jarin Stevenson, who Jamie Shaw of On3 reports to be between Alabama and North Carolina if he decides to reclassify to the this years class. The 6’9, 200 pound forward from Pittsboro, North Carolina has an ideal skillset to replace what Noah Clowney did for the Tide last year, with his combination of shooting and defensive versatility. All in all, Oats and co. appear to not be done replacing their depth at the forward/center positions for the Winter of 2023.

Still, landing Nelson (awaiting an official announcement) is a dream scenario for beginning to replace the production of Brandon Miller, although it will be an interesting to see how he will adjust from Summit Conference competition to the SEC. However, the initial reason Arkansas was pushing so hard for him was his performance against the Razorbacks last year on November 7th, where Nelson put up 17 points on nine shots in just 21 minutes that night. Also, there is no doubt playing with one of the deepest backcourts in country will take pressure off of him that he had at North Dakota State – who finished 16-17 last year, starting the season 0-8 in non-conference play. Additionally, Nelson’s combination of size and athleticism should make the competition transition smooth, and the 21-year-old clearly believes in his abilities to be an elite player in the conference next season.

Alabama basketball appears to have began the week with great news, and a major step to the team’s bid for back to back SEC Championships – and maybe even a deep run in March 2024.

Categories: Alabama, College Sports, Local News