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Alabama Basketball Recruiting Update: Courting a Big Man

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The basketball recruiting Class of 2016 could eclipse the Class of 2011.

Big Al needs a Big man to play center.
Big Al needs a Big man to play center.
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Crimson Tide hoops fans have marveled at what new coach Avery Johnson has been able to accomplish in less than one year on campus. One aspect we have yet to see is what he can do in a full recruiting cycle.

Last year, Alabama already had 3-star recruits Brandon Austin and Donta Hall signed in the early period when Anthony Grant was canned. Johnson was able to convince underrated 3-star Dazon Ingram to follow through with his pledge to the Tide. Also added were transfers Nick King (Memphis) and Avery Johnson Jr. (Texas A&M) plus preferred walk-on Lawson Schaffer.

For 2016, Alabama welcomes in a pair of 4-stars who signed during the early signing period in November, Braxton Key and Ar'Mond Davis. Five-star guard Terrance Ferguson is committed to Bama and expected to sign when the regular signing period begins April 13.

But WAIT! There's more!

Bruno Fernando took an official visit to the Capstone last weekend and by all accounts had a very good time. The 4-star Montverde, FL (Montverde Academy) center is 6-10/225 and ranked among the top 70 to 100 players in the nation.

Originally from Angola, Africa, Fernando would fill a need for a large presence under the hoop for Alabama. This hold more truth with the fact that forwards Shannon Hale, Michael Kessens, and Jimmie Taylor will all be seniors next season. He has many offers but appears to be down to Bama, Florida State, and Marquette.

NUMBERS

If you pulled out your trusty roster, you might wonder how Alabama can sign four players to the Class of 2016.

Name Pos Year
Brandon Austin Guard FR
Donta Hall Forward FR
Dazon Ingram Guard FR
Lawson Schaffer Guard FR
Christian Clark Forward SO
Justin Coleman Guard SO
Riley Norris Guard/Forward SO
Avery Johnson Jr. Guard SO
Shannon Hale Forward JR
Michael Kessens Forward JR
Nick King Guard/Forward JR
Jimmie Taylor Forward JR
Arthur Edwards Guard GS
Retin Obasohan Guard SR

Obasohan and Edwards are seniors. Lawson Schaffer and Christian Clark are walk-ons. That leaves ten players. Adding in four new guys puts Bama one over the scholarship limit of 13. The pessimist might think Bama is losing their grip on Ferguson but I have a theory: Avery Johnson Jr. could be taken off scholarship next season. I would think papa can afford tuition.

#NSD2016

#RollTide