John Petty has had a curious career. During his freshman season as a spot-up shooter, he had several games where he flat went-off. The freshman wall hit, and there were long stretches where he was ice-cold. This season, he added some new elements to his game, notably using his length to his advantage and becoming a more active player near the basket on both ends of the floor. And, as we saw in the Tennessee game, he can still those moments where he is red-hot and cannot miss.
But, as the Tide’s season deteriorated, so too did Petty’s interest in staying in Tuscaloosa. And, why would he? It was a frustrating year. And, when Johnson was released, those players had no idea who the coach would be. After Kira Lewis entered the transfer portal, everyone sort of held their breath: would his entry be the start of a deluge of transfers?
Sure enough, Petty did enter the portal less than 12 hours later, joined by Daniel Giddens. While Lewis’ fate remains up in the air, and Giddens has realized the new offense doesn’t suit his game, Petty is very much the kind of player that can thrive under Nate Oats new up-tempo scheme. It’s one he’ll love too: launching 28+ shots from beyond the arc per game. Yesterday, I opined that in many ways, keeping the core of guys not named Kira Lewis may be more important than retaining the freshman point guard — Alex Reese, Tevin Mack, Herb Jones, and John Petty chief among them.
It looks like Petty felt the same way, and today announced that he would be returning to the University of Alabama for his junior season.
He broke the news to Stadium Sports, then retweeted the following from his account:
BREAKING: Alabama sophomore guard John Petty told @Stadium he plans to return to the Crimson Tide and play for new coach Nate Oats.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) March 29, 2019
This was a big pickup for Oats — his first major recruiting win — and it is crucial to the success of next season. As Petty evolves his game even further, perhaps he can even provide some veteran leadership and accountability that this team has sorely lacked. Maybe. In any event, he’s going to thrive in the new scheme, and I am happy to welcome him back.