After moving on from Avery Johnson as the head coach of the Alabama Men’s Basketball Program, Athletic Director Greg Byrne and co. didn’t wait long to fill the position, going out and hiring Buffalo head coach Nate Oats. Oats had recently signed a contract extension with the Bulls before the NCAA Tournament began, but now he has passed up that original extension to coach in a power five conference.
Ever since taking over for Bobby Hurley, Oats has won 69% of his games in four seasons, posting a record of 96-43, including a 59-13 record the past two seasons, which included winning the MAC regular season title each season and winning the conference tournament each season when the roster was full of his own players.
During his four seasons as the coach at Buffalo, Oats lead the Bulls to the NCAA Tournament in three of those seasons and they won two tournament games in total and got Buffalo as high as 14th in the AP poll, which is a school record.
According to 247 Sports, the Bulls lead the MAC in recruiting during each of Oats’ first three seasons and Oats was responsible for landing the five highest-rated recruits in school history, including the only four-star recruit in school history, Jeenathan Williams.
Oats was very good at going the JUCO route to get talent to Buffalo, but now he will have better resources at Alabama and while Alabama is definitely known as a football school, Avery Johnson was able to get highly-rated recruits to Alabama, most notably Collin Sexton.
The Crimson Tide are going to be losing some good players for this upcoming season either due to graduation or to entering the transfer portal in the cases of Kira Lewis and Dazon Ingram. They are also looking at the rumored possibility of losing John Petty and Daniel Giddens, so it could be a much different Alabama roster going into next year but Nate Oats knows how to coach and the Crimson Tide do have three four-star recruits signed for this years recruiting class, plus Oats has shown that he can recruit while at Buffalo, so they should be able to quickly replenish the talent pool in Tuscaloosa.
Top Photo: Harry Scull Jr/The Buffalo News