Charles Bediako plans to remain in NBA Draft, leave Alabama basketball | Report

Nick Kelly
The Tuscaloosa News

The departure of SEC player of the year Brandon Miller to the NBA Draft after the 2022-23 season was always expected for Alabama basketball. Charles Bediako, arguably the other most important piece in the historic season, wasn't expected to join him.

Yet Bediako declared for the NBA Draft in late March and has decided not to withdraw his name, according to a report Monday from ESPN. That means Alabama will lose at least three starters to the NBA Draft with Miller, Bediako and Noah Clowney.

Jahvon Quinerly and Mark Sears also declared for the draft and have not yet announced their decisions, although both are likely to return to Alabama.

The deadline to withdraw and retain college eligibility is May 31.

ALABAMA BASKETBALL:Why Alabama basketball, Nate Oats are in a new era of assistant coaching

DARIUS MILES:What to expect for Darius Miles' hearing Wednesday in capital murder case

The loss of Bediako is significant and a surprise to those within the program. Teammates and coach Nate Oats raved about Bediako's role throughout the season. Oats frequently called Bediako an elite rim protector.

"Scheme-wise, we're trying to send a lot of stuff down to Charles, who does a great job protecting the rim," Oats said. 

The Crimson Tide finished No. 3 in KenPom's adjusted defensive efficiency when the season ended in the Sweet 16. Alabama also won the SEC regular-season title, SEC Tournament and earned the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Bediako, a 7-foot, 225-pound center from Brampton, Ontario, averaged 6.4 points, 6 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game en route to being named a member of the All-SEC defensive team.

Without Bediako, Nick Pringle is a likely candidate to see a bump in minutes. But Alabama now doesn't have much depth at the center spot, and Oats will have to update his roster.