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Jumbo Package: Coach Oats kills the press conference, courts Kira as football readies for first scrimmage

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Basketball: Alabama at Arkansas Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, everyone. Softball is in town this weekend, hosting a decent Mississippi State squad. They need to dominate this one as the schedule is extremely backloaded. After this weekend, the Tide will finish with five consecutive series against ranked opponents, including two top ten squads in Florida and LSU.

The improving baseball squad has more tough sledding this weekend as they head to Gainesville to take on the #15 Gators. Such is life in the SEC.

Of course, the big news of yesterday was the introduction of basketball coach Nate Oats, and seemingly everyone came away impressed.

“I’d like to play for national championships. I’m a competitor, I’m ultra-competitive on everything. Can you do that here? Yeah, I believe you can,” Oats said Thursday in a meeting with reporters following his news conference. “I mean, they proved it in I don’t know how many other different sports (at Alabama). … Football competes for it every year. (And) there’s no reason we can’t get to that level.”

-- Byrne said the NCAA gave Oats a clean bill of health as far as compliance goes. Strong academics as well. Said he checked all the boxes they wanted.

-- Calling former players of Oats was part of the plan. Had nothing but good things to say.

-- Oats said he wasn’t planning on leaving Buffalo but the right opportunity came along.

It’s hard not to be excited about this guy. He is young, energetic, and a great teacher of fundamentals. There is little doubt in my mind that his Buffalo squad from this past season would have finished in the top half of the SEC, and he’s already proven the ability to make some noise in the tournament. He has immediately gone to work on the Tide’s best player:

Kira, surely you can see the opportunity in front of you. Your ability to drive-and-kick as well as shoot the three will be showcased in a big way, and there are three more big time shooters signed to help spread the floor. This doesn’t include Alex Reese, and Petty if he decides to return.

Hope for the best.

Tomorrow marks the first scrimmage of the spring, and Dylan Moses is fully embracing his leadership role.

Needless to say, outstanding play on the field will go a lot further in establishing him in that leadership capacity. A few practice clips for you:

Coach Sal is getting after those dudes. This is a pretty distinct contrast from the ultra-positive vibe we got from Tosh Lupoi’s videos.

Last, Xavian Marks is going to transfer for his final season.

Xavian Marks, a senior for the Crimson Tide last season, has been granted an extra year of eligibility by the NCAA and went into the transfer portal on Thursday, has learned.

Marks is set to graduate from Alabama in May and will join another team as a graduate transfer, according to a source.

Good luck to the little dude. Hope to see him taking a punt to the house next season.

That’s about it for today. Have a great weekend.

Roll Tide.