Alabama basketball's Nate Oats says some prospective transfers 'a little scared' to join crowded roster

Nick Kelly
The Tuscaloosa News

BIRMINGHAM — Alabama basketball coach Nate Oats didn't seem optimistic about how his round of golf would go Wednesday. 

He was set to take part in the Regions Tradition Pro-Am minutes after talking with reporters and said it would be maybe the third round he's played this year. 

"Last year, I had a lot more practice going into this," Oats said. "Not as much practice this year. We'll be alright, though." 

Why so little time for golf? Well, he's had a few things taking up his schedule. 

"Spring recruiting has gotten a little busier with the whole transfer portal," Oats said. 

The Crimson Tide has two open scholarships remaining for its 2022-23 roster. Oats has already added one transfer in Ohio's Mark Sears. Oats would like to add at least one more, though. 

"We're trying to use them," Oats said. "We've got to get somebody. A couple guys we’ve gone after have gotten a little scared with our current roster, so we need somebody who is willing to fight for minutes." 

Minutes might not be easy to come by on this roster. 

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Although Alabama is losing starters such as Jaden Shackelford and Keon Ellis, who both declared for the NBA Draft, it is adding its highest-ranked recruiting class yet with five newcomers. The Crimson Tide is ranked No. 3 in the 247Sports Composite for 2022, led by five-star McDonald's All-Americans Jaden Braden Bradley and Brandon Miller. 

"We’ve got a pretty good roster right now," Oats said. "With (Jahvon) Quinerly being hurt and not available to start the year, we have 10 healthy scholarship players to start the year if we don’t have any more injuries. We need to add at least one. We don’t have to play 13 guys, but we’d like to add at least one, if not both of those open scholarships." 

Quinerly is recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. 

Oats does not anticipate any more additions in the portal being guards, saying that Alabama doesn't really need any more guards. He wants bigger wings that can play multiple positions. 

"If we can get a big wing that can make shots, that's ideal," Oats said. "We'd like to add some shooting." 

Nick Kelly covers Alabama football and men's basketball for The Tuscaloosa News, part of the USA TODAY Network. Reach him at nkelly@gannett.com or follow him on Twitter: @_NickKelly