The Alabama Crimson Tide finished with one signee in the early signing period after being involved with a few high-profile recruits in this cycle. The Crimson Tide signed a skilled wing in Keon Ambrose-Hylton who brings a versatile skill set to the table that should add value to next year’s team. Ambrose-Hylton is a top 80 player nationally according the 247sports Composite Rankings. A question many Alabama fans have is where does Alabama go next in this recruiting cycle? No one knows for certain where Alabama may strike next. It could come from recruiting high school players, or it could come from the transfer portal. Outlined below is a few options I think Alabama has. These options include players with offers from Alabama and players who do not currently hold offers.
The top option that I think Alabama has remaining is Charles Bediako. Bediako is a top 40 recruit and one of the top big men in the 2021 class. He is also currently teammates with Tide signee Keon Ambrose-Hylton at Andrews Osborne Academy in Ontario. Bediako has the option to reclassify and enroll in college next year if he chooses, an option many Canadian prospects have the chance to do. Bediako would bring Alabama the type of center that Nate Oats needs in this system. He’s a 7-footer who has an improving jump shot with range from 3pt land, an exceptionally long wingspan, good rebounding ability, and is someone who will get out and run on offense. One of the big knocks on Alabama is their lack of a dominant frontcourt presence on the defensive end. Bediako fixes this issue from day one. He also is a big man who can spread the floor. He has an improving outside shot that can continually improve and demand respect from defenses when he isn’t down low. Bediako would be an enormous pickup in this cycle. He has not visited Alabama, but I would not be surprised at all if he was to visit in the coming months. Bediako is also being recruited by Duke, Michigan State, Ohio State, as well as many others so this will not be an easy road ahead for the Tide as they try to land his signature.
Mane is one of the top remaining guard prospects in the country as an undecided senior. Mane is a top 25 talent and a 5-star according to 247sports and is a NBA draft prospect as well. In ESPN’s latest big board, they have Mane graded as a first rounder. Mane, like Bediako and Ambrose-Hylton, is a Canadian born prospect. Mane has not yet decided if he will play college ball or pursue the NBA. If he decides to play college basketball, the Tide will be one of many pursuing him. Marquette, DePaul, Michigan State, and Illinois among others are competing to land Mane should he go the college route. Mane has the potential to be an elite guard at the college level given his frame, size and skill. He is a bigger guard standing at 6’5” and weighing 195 pounds. He is a good defender with potential to be a great one. He excels when attacking the rim and using his athleticism to create for himself and create for others. In Nate Oats spread out offensive attack Mane could be an elite guard for the Tide. He has a continuously improving jump shot which only adds to his arsenal of attack. Mane has had one of the quieter recruitments so its hard to read what he will do, especially given the pro option. This is a prospect Tide fans will have to wait and watch what he will do in the coming months. Mane has not scheduled a visit with Alabama at this point.
Yet another Canadian born prospect that Alabama is targeting is Josh Primo. Primo is a 6’5” guard who is ranked in the top 50 of the 2021 class according to 247sports. Like Bediako, Primo is a reclassification candidate. Primo is a talented scoring guard with limitless potential. He would be young for the class should he reclassify, but many believe his game is ready to contribute on the next level. Primo is a score first type of player who can score from all 3 levels. He can attack and finish around the rim, pull up and shoot it off the bounce, and light teams up from behind the arc. He’d be a great fit in Alabama’s system due to his ability to score however he pleases, high energy and confidence, and solid defensive ability. Aside from his scoring prowess, the most notable part of his game is the confidence and energy he plays with. He talks on defense, plays hard each play, and has complete confidence in himself. Being mentally tough and confident in yourself game-in game-out is a huge trait that not every player has. This helps give him the ability to be a great college player with NBA upside. He is being recruited by Oregon, Ohio State, Utah, and Creighton among others. Primo will visit Alabama on December 28th. He would be a great pickup by the staff and is a name to watch going forward.
Detrick Reeves is a senior guard out of Marion, Arkansas. He is a name that many Tide fans may not be familiar with but is a name to watch going forward in this cycle. His game is starting to get recognized by power conference schools such as Alabama and Texas A&M. Reeves is a score first player who has the potential to be a capable defender as well. He is a 6’3” guard who has offers from many smaller schools such as Arkansas Little Rock, Arkansas State, SMU, Fresno State, and others. Reeves is a guard who can light up opponents from deep but also has ball skills to get to the rim whenever he pleases. He’s more than capable of knocking down shots off the catch but has the skill of creating and finishing long range and mid-range jumpers just as well off the bounce. He is an under the radar prospect who came to watch the Tide in their win over Stephen F. Austin earlier this month. He does not have an offer from Alabama at this time but has received interest. This is a name to watch going forward to see what Alabama decides to do. If they decide to offer, it would not surprise me to see Reeves in Crimson one day. With that being said, there is no guarantee Alabama decides to pull the trigger. Reeves is solely a name to watch and see how Alabama handles this recruitment.
There will be plenty of opportunities to land players from the transfer portal in the spring if the staff decides to go that route. There should once again be a slew of graduate transfers and undergraduate transfers hitting the portal and looking for a new home. Should the staff miss on or decide not to pursue the prospects listed above (or any new prospects that enter the picture), this will be viable option to land another ball handler and scorer to replace Kira should he turn pro, an athletic big man to take our front court to the next level, or a go-to scorer on the wing. Something to keep in mind is that Alabama currently does not have any scholarships available for the 2020 roster. Beetle Bolden is the only senior on the current roster and Keon Ambrose-Hylton is filling that roster spot. It is expected that Kira Lewis Jr. will turn pro which would open up one more. I wouldn’t be shocked if we had a player or two on the current roster opt to hit the portal which could open up another spot. It will be interesting to see how the spring shapes up to finalize the roster for the 2020-2021 season. Fortunately, the staff has many great options and will be able to put together a solid roster for next year.
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