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Alabama Basketball To Sign Three 4-Stars

Avery Johnson reels in another top 20 class

NCAA Basketball: SEC Basketball Tipoff
Coach Avery Johnson with another solid class.
Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Basketball signing days do not quite have the drama and attention that football has held onto for the last couple of decades. Hoops has long had an early signing period and frankly that is when most of these kids sign with their selected teams. Only the tip top recruits who love the attention and lower ones hoping for something better wait until the final signing period in April.

It does not appear that Alabama will need to wait until April. The Tide is expected to sign three incoming freshmen for the Class of 2019.

Juwan Gary is a forward attending school in Charlotte, NC though he is originally from Columbia, SC. He is 6’5”/200 and rated 4-stars by 247sports, ESPN and Rivals. ESPN considers him the 55th best player while the other two rank him in the 70s.

Coach Avery Johnson and staff scouted Gary at the summer leagues where the young forward was a standout, averaging 17.3 points and 5.3 rebounds on the Nike EYBL and 25.2 points and 6.4 rebounds a game at the Peach Jam. As a junior, he averaged 20.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.9 steals and was named the Class 2A Player of the Year in South Carolina.

Gary chose Alabama over hometown South Carolina. He also had offers from UConn, Wake Forest, Clemson, Florida, North Carolina State, Texas A&M, UNLV, Georgia, Maryland, and others.

Jaylen Forbes is a 6’4”/185 shooting guard out of Florence, MS. He is rated 4-stars by the three recruiting sites. ESPN: 66, Rivals: 110, 247sports: 84.

On the Nike EYBL circuit this summer, Forbes averaged over 19 points, five rebounds and close to two steals per game. He also made 62 3-pointers in 19 games.

Decent size for a shooting guard. Not an explosive athlete, but a smooth player with great body control. A tremendous shooter with an effortless release. Can score off the dribble or the catch. Needs only a small window from defender to score. Needs to get stronger. Solid all-around skill set but niche is scoring. Average defender and rebounder. Should be a multi-year starter in college.

He picked the Tide over Kansas State, Ole Miss and UAB.

Jaden Shackelford is also a shooting guard. He is 6’3” 185, from Hesperia, CA. ESPN and Rivals give him 4-stars, Rivals has him at three.

A quick athlete with average size, at best. Quick with the basketball, but not a leaper at the rim. Scoring-oriented guard with a dangerous pull-up jumper who can make a slick pass. A good lefty shooter with some range. Needs to get stronger and more physical on the defensive end.

ESPN rates the Tide class #11, 247sports has them at #15 and Rivals ranks them #25.

The Bama staff isn’t finished with this class just yet. They are still working to land 5-star in-state prospect Trendon Watford from Mountain Brook, AL. Hopefully, the 6’9”/230 power forward does not fall for Penny Hardaway’s BS in Memphis.

Also on the wish list is Texas high 4-star center Drew Timme who took official visits to Gonzaga, Illinois, Texas A&M and Alabama. I would LOVE to get this 6’10”/237 prospect. The Tide does not really have a true center. Plus with Donta Hall graduating, Alabama will need an inside presence on the court. UPDATE: Committed to Gonzaga.