First, Oats started his coaching career at his alma mater Maranatha Baptist and Wisconsin-Whitewater as an assistant coach. Then, he got an opportunity coaching at Romulus high school from 2002-2013 with great success going 222-52. He became an assistant coach at Buffalo under Bobby Hurley for two seasons. After Bobby Hurley left for Arizona State, Oats was named the head coach. Further, over his four seasons at Buffalo, he made the NCAA tournament three times going 96-43. Nate Oats has a diverse background as a high school coach giving him great insight into how to recruit.
Now the opportunity at Alabama will give him the chance to recruit higher level players. They have already been able to bring in three top 100 players according to 247 sports. He landed Juwan Gray, Jaylen Forbes, Jaden Shackleford and a top JUCO recruit in James Rojas. Also, he has already added a great addition to the transfer market in Jahvon Quinerly. The ability for Oats to recruit top-level talent will be key to compete against the best teams in the SEC. Oats has a very good track record on the recruiting trail and gets the most out of his players. He will have the opportunity to make a major impact on the recruiting trail.
Style of Play
The style of play will be very up-tempo, as they will be one of the fastest playing teams in the country. They will need players who are very skilled and can shoot the ball to create great spacing. The offense will operate at a very high level with the schemes Oats will implement. Moreover, he will have the guards to set the tone with the style of play that is wanted. Kira Lewis, John Petty, James Bolden, Herbert Jones and Jahvon Quinerly are all dynamic guards who will bring this style up to speed quickly. Alabama will have a very exciting style of play under Nate Oats. The defense of Alabama will be opportunistic and will bring great toughness and energy on that end with the dynamic wings in Petty and Jones.
Oats has an opportunity to have immediate success with Alabama. He brings back a very dynamic perimeter in Lewis, Petty, Bolden, Jones and Quinerly. The ability of the frontcourt to develop will be key with Alex Reese and James Rojas. Culture is a big part of the identity for Nate Oats, that will be a focal point for immediate success. Getting off to a great start would really boost the future outlook for the Alabama basketball. Alabama can become a place where recruits want to play with space, pace and free-flowing offense.
Being a Football School
There is a big task to create an environment where basketball is not the main priority. Alabama has been a dominant football school with the great success of Nick Saban since 2009. To draw enough attention to be a priority to the people of Tuscaloosa will be important for building the culture. Creating a sense of importance for Alabama basketball will be important to build a successful long term. In addition, they must ultimately win at a high level in order to become a major priority at Alabama. This is a very tough task for Nate Oats trying to grab any attention away from Nick Saban’s football program.
Nate Oats has the opportunity to get off to a great start at Alabama with a returning core. They have the ability for a great perimeter with Lewis, Petty, Bolden, Jones and Quinerly. Next, the implementation of Oats’ system will be very important as he wants to be a very high tempo team with great spacing offensively. Oats having the ability to relate to his players effectively will make him very good on the recruiting trails. He will have the ability to bring in talented players who will fit his scheme. Now, for Alabama basketball to bring attention to themselves they need major success in Tuscaloosa, a football town. Lastly, Nate Oats has the style of play and the passion to get the most out of Alabama. Now, time will tell if he can succeed long term.
Images Courtesy of, 247 Sports, Alabama Crimson Tide
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