Alabama Crimson Tide 2020–21 Preview
Alabama basketball is underway! The Crimson Tide look to have a successful season, looking to be on top of the SEC. The program believes they had one one of the best offseasons to prepare for the 2020–21 season and get in gear for what’s ahead of them.
Looking at last season, the team never exceeded expectations that were set prior to the season beginning. The Crimson Tide finished the season with a 16–15 record and went 8–10 in their conference. With a very competitive conference in the SEC, it was important for the team to grab wins by executing well and keeping each other together. Many have blamed Coach Nate Oats for the failures that occurred throughout the season. Given the experienced failures that the team had, Coach Oats will make sure his team is better prepared for what’s in store for the year.
Alabama has a very well rounded roster on paper. The team brought back eight familiar faces in the lineup that seek to make huge progress from last season. With last season being a new experience for the team, there is much to anticipate this season with everyone understanding each other’s tactics.
The one player that will be the leader on the floor is John Petty Jr. Petty Jr has been a player that has taken a huge leap from his freshmen to his junior year. He is excellent at keeping himself in rhythm by creating space to allow himself to release his shot. He can also be a great defender as he is quick to make things difficult for the man who is in front of him.
Petty Jr has proven that he can be the player who drives this team to where they want to be. He has big shoes to fill with Kira Lewis Jr. departing. The important thing that Petty Jr has shown is that he stays ready for the challenge ahead. Coach Oats will appreciate his leader for keeping the mindset forward and leading the team to success.
Heading into his sophomore season, Jaden Shackelford will be another huge threat on offense. Shackelford was such an assertive scorer. His 15 points per game were pivotal in Alabama’s wins through the season. As November 25 approaches, Shackelford should only elevate his play from last year. The challenge for him is to become a better team player overall and figure out how his scoring can impact the roster as a whole. As Shackelford continues to mature into a great player, we will watch him transition into a better team player, which could potentially result in more wins in the W column.
Other returning players for the Crimson Tide include Alex Reese, Herbert Jones, and others. It’s shown that the Crimson Tide have a deep roster with key vets and experienced talent. Now it will be time for Coach Oats to figure who’s going to play in the rotation.
The Recruits and Transfers…
Alabama had an excellent recruiting season by grabbing some top names in the High School portal. Josh Primo is the first freshman who stands out to me with his phenomenal skillset. Primo will change the dynamic of this Alabama team in a tremendous fashion with his skillset on the offensive end. Primo shows to be a great perimeter scorer and also is very skilled at penetrating and drawing fouls. Whether starting or coming off the bench, Primo will let his presence known for Alabama. He shows to not be afraid of key situations and continues to play at a high level.
Alex Tchikou is another four star player that Alabama did a great job at recruiting. As the years went by, Tchikou’s stock continued to grow even more. If you ask him, playing for the Crimson Tide was the perfect decision he ever made.
Tchikou is a highly talented stretch forward who is very athletic. He uses his length to his advantage on the defensive end and is very lethal on offense as he spaces the floor and can attack the rim. Watching Tchikou, I often refer to him as another version of Giannis Antetokoumpo. The connection of being from overseas is amazing when you look at these players and their development. It’s unfortunate that the young prospect will have to sit out this season due to an Achilles injury. Tchikou is a player who can thrive on Coach Oats offense, and on many occasions be the driving force in the team’s success.
It’s safe to say that Alabama’s future is in good hands with the way they recruit. It seems as if they find prospects that stand out in the most productive manner. Other new recruits they brought in include Keon Hylton and Darius Miles. Their transfer portal included bringing in Keon Ellis and Jordan Bruner from Yale.
Having new additions looking to learn how to play under the system, the Crimson Tide have key contributions who can come in and understand their position. Each new piece has shown to be a smart player and understand how to adjust to another brand of basketball in Alabama.
Conclusions and Expectations
As expected, the Crimson Tide were suppose to have a better year than what was displayed on the court. Their record speaks for their inconsistent play and things need to be tightened up in order to be a Top 25 team in the NCAA.
First, the team has to communicate better on the defensive end. The Crimson Tide gave up easy baskets in crunch time and the team would be out of sync. Coach Oats must continue to preach defense to his roster. If he can get more effort out of his team to be in sync late in the game, it could make Alabama a more physical and attention-to-detailed team.
The team must send a message in their early matchups on the season. Setting the tone in the SEC is very important for the Crimson Tide. They want the rest of the teams to understand that they believe they’re the team to beat in the country. Their system is ran by the best players and everyone is in the right spots to dominate their opponents. The team began last season 2–4 within their first six games of the season. Starting the season with a chip on their shoulder could mean a long, successful season for Alabama.
Nate Oats has a good amount of optimism in his team come this season. The pandemic opened a great opportunity for his players to keep themselves focused and look forward to this season. The sports world will anticipate what Crimson Tide basketball will have in store for a potentially great season.