Welcome to the 2020 NCAA Men’s Basketball offseason (gagging noise). Hopefully, I will never have to write that sentence before a National Championship game is played in my life. Ever. Again. To be frank, I would much rather be writing a recap on how Providence just beat Butler on a buzzer-beater to the roar of Madison Square Garden, but instead, here I am…
Starting today, I will be doing a season recap and next season preview for every team in the “Power-6” conferences, and will also do some for more intriguing mid-majors, as well as some A10 and AAC teams (what do we count those as anyway). These are in no way shape or form rankings so don’t panic. Thank you, and hopefully, these will excite you for the 2020/21 season as much as me – Tommy Fahey.
Recap: In Alabama’s first year under former Buffalo Coach Nate Oats, the Tide were squarely on the bubble until late-season losses to Vanderbilt and Missouri left them hanging by a ledge. The Tide finished the season with a 16-15 record in total and an 8-10 record within the confines of the Southeastern Conference. The biggest positive for the Tide was probably the breakout of sophomore Kira Lewis Jr, who averaged a line of 18.5/4.8/5.2, earning him a spot on the First Team, All-SEC. However, it is more than likely that Lewis does not return for his junior season, with Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley projecting Lewis as a first-round pick, at number 23 to the Miami Heat. If Lewis has played his last game, it is more than likely Bama will turn towards Jaden Shackelford, an All-SEC freshman team member, John Petty, an All-SEC second-team member, and Jahvon Quinerly, the former 5-star prospect who will be eligible come next year, after sitting out due to his transfer from Villanova. Assuming those 3 key pieces stay, the Tide should be in the running for an NCAA tournament spot.
Look Ahead: As mentioned before the Tide have several key pieces returning, only losing one key senior (James Bolden) and possibly the formerly talked about Lewis. From a recruiting standpoint, Alabama has one commitment, 4-star forward Keon Ambrose Hylton (115th nationally according to 247) and has a good chance to land 4-star guard Josh Primo (47th nationally) and 3-star guard Austin Harvell (331st nationally). The recruiting database gives the Tuscaloosa team a smaller chance to land guard Jayden Stone (193rd nationally), but still are in the mix for his services. There is currently no information regarding Alabama’s non-conference opponents are this time, however, we do know that this team will be in the field for the 2020 Maui Invitational, along with Providence, Texas, UNLV, UNC, Davidson, Indiana, and Stanford, so the opportunity to boost their metrics early in the season will be there.