'They've done an amazing job': See coach Nate Oats speech at Alabama basketball Senior Day

Erik Hall
The Tuscaloosa News

Alabama men's basketball head coach Nate Oats spoke to the assembled crowd and his players at center court as part of Saturday's Senior Day ceremony. 

Alabama held Senior Day to honor its seven seniors after Saturday's win against Vanderbilt at Coleman Coliseum. 

The seven seniors honored were Tyler Barnes, John Petty Jr., Jordan Bruner, Kendall Wall, Herbert Jones, Alex Reese, and Britton Johnson.

"I wish these seniors could have experienced a packed-out Coleman, because they deserve it and they worked hard to turn this thing around," Oats said to a reduced crowd as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. "It's really their team and their program, and they've done an amazing job getting us to the level we're at. I think we're one win away from clinching the regular season (Southeastern Conference) title. 

"These guys deserve it. Thank you for staying. Thank you for the noise you bring. Let's make sure we keep supporting them. I can't say enough about the leadership these guys have brought, so Roll Tide."

Oats spoke after Petty. 

"On behalf of all the seniors and the team, we want to thank all our fans," Petty said. "Our new coaching staff, who came in and helped us turn this program around. We just want to thank you all, our families. We thank you all for the support. Let's make a run in the tournament."

Alabama defeated Vanderbilt 82-78 on Saturday. 

Alabama, ranked No. 9 in the Ferris Mowers Men's Basketball Coaches Poll, improved to 18-5 overall and 13-1 in the SEC. Vanderbilt went to 6-12 overall and 2-10 in the SEC.

Here's more Alabama, Vandy men's basketball news: 

Feb 20, 2021; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nate Oats talks to guard John Petty Jr. (23) during the first half against the Vanderbilt Commodores at Coleman Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

After Saturday, Alabama leads the all-time series 73-70 vs. Vanderbilt. 

Erik Hall is the lead digital producer for sports with the USA Today Network. You can find him on Twitter @HallErik