After three days in which the University of Alabama men’s basketball coaching staff has been able to conduct brief skills instruction, head coach Nate Oats said Wednesday that “it’s been hard to form an impression yet” on the 2020-21 Crimson Tide team.

“It’s good to back in the gym, that’s about the best thing I can say,” Oats said. “We’ve mainly done shooting drills and the time is so limited, we have multiple drills going at the same time. So I’m watching tape this afternoon as some of the drills that our assistant coaches ran.”

Oats said Alabama was not at full strength in terms of numbers this week because of “a variety of reasons.” No specific players were named, as Oats  cited  a UA policy that any statistics regarding COVID-19-related testing or quarantine are confidential. He did confirm that UA players were tested regularly but would not confirm or deny any positive results.

“We had about 10 guys today including walk-ons that we worked in there,” Oats said. “We have some guys that are rehabbing from (off-season) surgery and they are limited, so it’s different things.”

Earlier reports have indicated that transfer point guard Jahvon Quinerly had shoulder surgery in the off-season. Sophomore Javian Davis is in the transfer portal and is expected to announce a new school next week so he is no longer participating in UA team functions.  Senior John Petty, who has yet to announce whether he will remain in the NBA Draft or return to school, has also not been a part of skills sessions although he has participated in some Zoom meetings with the team this summer

“We talked this week,” Oats said of Petty. “He is still talking to some NBA teams. I think he is close to a decision but he has not made one yet.”

All but one of the Crimson Tide’s six-man recruiting class is on campus, although Oats again cited confidentiality when asked if all were participating. The Crimson Tide’s most recent signee, Alex Tchikou, is expected to report next week after finishing academic work and other obligations in Arizona.

This week, Oats said, the drills have mainly been “mix-and-match” due to availability.

“It’s been a little bit frustrating this week, but we should be closer to a full roster next week and we will be able to tell a little more,” he said.


Reach Cecil Hurt at or via Twitter @cecilhurt.


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