Fresh off of the commitment from top-ranked 2021 big man Charles Bediako earlier this week, Nate Oats just continues to keep it rolling in Tuscaloosa. The latest addition to next year’s squad? Oh, just former five-star combo guard Nimari Burnett, who chose Alabama over a host of other potential suitors, most notably Illinois, Auburn, Oregon, and LSU. The former Texas Tech Red Raider played in 12 games for Chris Beard’s team in Lubbock before deciding to make the move to the transfer portal. In those 12 games, he averaged 5.3 PPG on 28.0%/17.4%/88.9% to go along with 1.8 RPG, 1.0 APG and 1.4 SPG.
Don’t let the poor shooting numbers from the small sample size fool you though, as Burnett is a solid scorer. He’s also a big-bodied guard who could end up being an elite defender (there’s a reason why Beard and his notoriously stingy defense was so adamant about getting him last year). At 6’4 with good athleticism, Burnett will be a force on both ends of the court, as well as on the glass. Make no mistake about it, he’s going to be tough to keep on the bench. Take a look at some of his highlights from this past season:
Nimari just has a knack for the basketball, making hustle plays all over the court. His passing is also featured quite a bit in the above video, showing that he has a good feel for the game.
Overall, Burnett is just an extremely solid guard in just about every facet. He’s the kind of guy who finds a way to make good things happen when he is on the court. Nate Oats recruited him heavily last year, and most considered the Tide to have finished right behind Tech in securing his services. Obviously, that relationship paid huge dividends in the end for Oats and Alabama.
Burnett’s signature obviously won’t affect any 2021 class rankings, but he will join the 3rd-ranked recruiting class in the nation as another high quality player that Oats and company (let’s give a big shoutout to Bryan Hodgson and Antoine Pettway) have added to the cupboard. As I mentioned after Bediako’s commitment the other day - Alabama haters better get used to this, because Tide Hoops isn’t going anywhere.