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Hey, Coach: This time, it was Oats doing the toasting — New basketball coach promises culture change

One day, we shall grow tired of Oats puns. Today is not that day.

NCAA Basketball: Buffalo at Duke Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

New basketball coach Nate Oats made an appearance on “Hey Coach” at Baumhower’s last night. And, buddy, was the hyperkinetic head man spitting fire.

From demanding Bob’s staff tear down posters of Avery Johnson...

To knocking the team’s lack of conditioning and rudimentary skills level...

“Things were definitely a lot different,” Oats said at Baumhower’s Victory Grille. “The pace of play is nothing like any of them had been accustomed to. They were a little gassed and worn out. We’re not doing any conditioning, just the drills we’re running (laughs) at a little bit of a different pace than they’re used to doing. We were third in the country in offensive pace of play at Buffalo, we were ... first in transition points per game. We’re going to run that system.

To their accustomed effort...

“We’ve athletes down here to run it, and we’ve just got to get the culture right to where they’re going hard every day in practice.”

But, it wasn’t all tough love.

Oats also singled out Herbert Jones as a player that they need to get downhill and to the rim; John Petty as a tremendous shooter who needs to get going off the dribble; and Kira Lewis Jr. as the “perfect” point guard for the offense.

Our own Roger Pat Myers met coach Oats and said that Oats met with Lewis on a few occasions, including yesterday morning at 7:00, before KLJ went to his first class.

The general consensus around here is tentatively that we believe Lewis winds up staying. He will participate in team drills today and get a chance to run the new offense. Perhaps the effusive praise, the crop of shooter recruits, Watford’s high praise, and the frenetic pace of the offense — with more ball movement and assist oportunities — will convince Lewis to stick around in Tuscaloosa for one more year. We’re cautiously thinking that he does.

It appears that Nate Oats is bringing two of his staff with him from Buffalo:

At least two members of Nate Oats’ staff at Buffalo are coming with him to Alabama.

Oats is bringing Bryan Hodgson with him as an assistant coach and Mike Snowden with him as strength and conditioning coach, Oats said during an appearance on the Hey Coach radio show Monday night.

But, for now, Yasir Roseland and Antoine Pettway are still on staff, and perhaps may remain. The pair are the team’s chief recruiters, and have been accompanying Oats on home visits to Watford and Lewis. There is no word on Assistant Head Coach John Pelphrey yet. Though Oats is evaluating all the remaining personnel.

Oats is still in the process of trying to decide whether to retain any of the three assistants from the previous Alabama staff.

“They’ve got three really good assistants here (John Pelphrey, Antoine Pettway and Yasir Rosemond) that I’m getting to know pretty well,” Oats said. “I can’t keep them all. I’ll probably keep at least one just to keep some continuity. We’ll figure it out from there. The Final Four, there’s a lot of jobs going around. We’ll see what happens. I’m in the process of sorting through all that.

There’s a lot of great stuff in the links above: recruiting, the Quitter Hole, pace of play, more comments from Oats on the offense, staffing and personnel.

You should read it, because Oats was...on a roll (not sorry.)

Ed Note: The JP will be along shortly, probably 9:45 or so Central. Hang tight.