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Alabama Basketball Recruiting: Early signing day nets a great class with big bodies and scorers.

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Welcome Herb Jones, Galin Smith, and Alex Reese.

NCAA Basketball: SEC Tournament-Alabama vs Mississippi
Be excited, coach! You’ve done a great job.
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Along with turnover-to-assists (327th in the nation,) another area where the Tide struggled last season (and has since 2012) was in rebounding. The Tide were 293rd in rebounding margin last year, getting cleaned up on the boards to the tune of an average -3.5 rebounds per game (thanks, Kentucky!)

Three Alabama commits submitted their LOI during today’s early signing period, and should help remedy that rebounding deficiency. Coach Johnson and his staff brought in some big bodies to help a thin Alabama frontcourt. The Tide also added size to the backcourt, netting a 6’7” guard/forward with a nose for the basket.

Herb Jones, from nearby Moundville, is an ESPN300/Rivals 100 F/SG and the No. 5 player in the state (22nd SG in the 2017 class.) Jones has great length at 6’7”, 183, and good athleticism. He’s not a very developed defender or ball handler, but he is an excellent pop-out shooter, especially mid-range and from the perimeter. He loves coming off screens and spotting up on the wing and baseline. His game is very similar to Arthur Edwards’ last season: He is a scorer.

Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, and Georgia Tech were his final four schools.

Galin Smith PF/C, hails from Clinton (MS,) and is the big man Alabama greatly needs to help Donta’ Hall in the post. At 6’10”, 220 Smith is a banger down low. He’s the No. 2 player in Mississippi and an ESPN300/Rivals100 player.

Smith distributes the ball very well from the post, is strong enough to power through contact and finish from the basket, and he has a short- to mid-range jump shot that he will take if undefended. He is very good on the break, a good defender and shot blocker, and can use his body to clear space and back into the basket. He will probably need to work on diversifying his skills set, including facing up to the basket, but he is a little more polished a player than Donta’ Hall was entering his freshmen year. Both should see plenty of work this season.

Smith had offers from nearly every SEC program and Memphis, among others.

Alex Reese (PF,) a Pelham product, is another post player Alabama’s frontcourt desperately needed. Reese is an ESPN100/Rivals100 forward, the No. 3 player in the state, and in the top-20 at his position.

Reese plays more fluidly and explosively than his 6’9” 225-pound frame would suggest. He is an exceptional ball handler, has a well-above average perimeter shot as a spot-up shooter from the top of the key, and he has a nice little baby hook from either the left or right hand. One of the things that impresses most about Reese is his body control. He can create his own shot, go after rebounds, and contest shots without committing fouls or being reckless with the ball.

Reese was coveted by nearly every SEC program, UNC, Kansas, Duke, Michigan, Murray State and other programs, large and small. While still a raw player, his ceiling is very high.

With the No. 3 and No. 5 player in the state, and with the addition of the No. 2 player in Mississippi, Alabama’s recruiting class presently stands at No. 24 in the nation. The Tide presently leads for both John Petty (Mr. Basketball in Alabama and the No. 1 player in the state,) and Collin Sexton (the No. 2 point guard in the nation and the No. 7 scorer in the country.) If Alabama lands both, it will have the nation’s No. 2 recruiting class and a bellwether for the program.

Even if Alabama stands pat with these three, it will be another excellent haul for Coach Johnson and for a staff that is rapidly making inroads to high schools across the state and region. The key to being a player on the national stage is keeping Alabama players in Alabama, where too many schools have had free-range lately. Coach Johnson (and notable Coach Pettway) are doing that. The rebuild is certainly ahead of schedule, and exciting days are ahead.

Welcome to the Capstone to Galin, Alex and Herb.

Roll Tide and #BuckleUp