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UPDATE: Alabama Basketball’s New Look Roster for 2023-2024

Nate Oats has only one returning starter and only returning three with Bama playing experience.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament South Regional-San Diego State vs Alabama
Alabama guard Rylan Griffen is one of only three Tide returning players with play experience.
Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

Turn and face the strange

~ David Bowie

The Alabama basketball team will be back on the hardcourt in late fall. They will be wearing the familiar crimson and white, but the faces may take some time to become familiar with. The Crimson Tide return only three players from last season’s roster who have playing time in Coleman Coliseum.

A trip to reveals only eight names on the current roster. Of those eight, three (Max Scharnowski, Kai Spears, Jaden Quinerly) are walk-ons, one (Davin Cosby) enrolled in January and redshirted, and then Jahvon Quinerly is still listed though it doesn’t seem likely that he comes back to the Capstone from the transfer portal. That leaves Alabama with three returning experienced players:

  • Starting guard Mark Sears
  • Reserve guard Rylan Griffen
  • Reserve forward Nick Pringle

But don’t despair. Nate Oats has refilled the tank with some nitrous oxide. To begin with, Bama adds in a quartet of four-star freshmen:

  • Jarin Stevenson PF 6-8/210 - newly committed.
  • Mouhamed Dioubate PF 6-7/200
  • Sam Walters PF 6-9/190
  • Kris Parker SF 6-6/175

Also new to Tuscaloosa this year are three transfers with a possible fourth and fifth on the way:

  • Latrell Wrightsell CG 6-3/189 Jr. (Cal-Fullerton) two seasons of eligibility remaining.
  • Aaron Estrada SG 6-4/207 Grad. (Saint Peter’s/Oregon/Hofstra) final season.
  • Grant Nelson F/C 6-11 235 Year 4 Sr. (North Dakota State) Although he has yet to officially announce his commitment to the Tide, it has been widely reported that it will happen. He has two seasons of eligibility remaining.

NCAA Division 1 basketball teams can offer a maximum of 13 scholarships per team. With the inconvenient departure of Quinerly, Alabama is currently at eleven. Oats is likely shopping for a point guard and perhaps one more warm body. Though the pickings are mighty slim right now (THANKS A TON, JQ!), at least one player is on the Bama radar.

  • After Bob Huggins epic meltdown, guard Joe Toussaint is leaving West Virginia. Some observers compare the 6-0 guard to Beetle Bolden who joined the Tide for a grad season in 2019. In addition to Alabama, he is looking at several schools including Texas Tech, Kansas State, Gonzaga and Miami. This coming season will be his last in terms of college eligibility.
  • In addition to Toussaint, WVU teammate Mohamed Wague is shopping around. Some reports have said the 6-10/225 former JUCO All-American is planning to tag along with Toussaint to Tuscaloosa, but it is unclear as to the level of interest from the Tide staff. Wague played a reserve role in his one season with the Mountaineers.
2022-2023 2023-2024
Mark Sears Guard Returning > Mark Sears Guard Sr.
Rylan Griffen Guard Returning > Rylan Griffen Guard So.
Nick Pringle Forward Returning > Nick Pringle Forward Sr.
Davin Cosby Jr. Guard Redshirt > Davin Cosby Jr. Guard RS-Fr.
Nimari Burnett Guard Michigan Jarin Stevenson Forward Fr.
Jaden Bradley Guard Arizona Mouhamed Dioubate Forward Fr.
Jahvon Quinerly Guard TP Sam Walters Forward Fr.
Noah Gurley Forward Graduated Kris Parker Forward Fr.
Dom Welch Guard Graduated Latrell Wrightsell Guard Jr.
Charles Bediako Center G-League Aaron Estrada Guard Gr.
Noah Clowney Forward NBA Grant Nelson Forward Sr.
Brandon Miller Forward NBA ? - -
Darius Miles Forward Jail ? - -
Adam Cottrell Guard Walk-On Max Scharnowski Forward Walk-On
Delaney Heard Guard Walk-On Kai Spears Guard Walk-On
Max Scharnowski Forward Walk-On Jaden Quinerly Guard Walk-On
Kai Spears Guard Walk-On
Jaden Quinerly Guard Walk-On

If that is not enough, Oats has the unenviable task of replacing all three of his assistants. Bryan Hodgson (Arkansas State), Charlie Henry (Georgia Southern) and Antoine Pettway (Kennesaw State) have all left the program for head-coaching jobs.

Two of those three positions have been filled by Ryan Pannone (most recently of the New Orleans Pelicans) and Austin Claunch (former head coach of Nicholls). One lieutenant has yet to be named.

UPDATE 7/3/2023: The third assistant position has been filled by former Creighton assistant Preston Murphy. He spent the last two years serving an NCAA show cause penalty - a punishment many thought was way too harsh. From CBS: “He was captured on surreptitious FBI video in Las Vegas in July 2017, in a posh hotel suite, accepting $6,000 from undercover FBI agents. Murphy was never charged with a crime, and (Christian) Dawkins testified that Murphy never kept any of the money, which was offered under the guise of helping to funnel players to Dawkins’ company.” Murphy said he returned the money to Dawkins - a childhood friend from Saginaw, Michigan - and did not act upon the payment. It is a good assumption that Alabama is getting him at a bargain salary.

In addition to Creighton coach Greg McDermott, Murphy has worked under current UConn coach Dan Hurley when he led Rhode Island and now-retired Al Skinner at Boston College.

UPDATE 7/5/2023: West Virginia forward/center Mohamed Wague will transfer in. Toussaint is heading to Texas Tech.