Alabama head coach Nate Oats continues to stay blazing hot on the recruiting trail this offseason. Highly coveted transfer Noah Gurley, a 6-8 forward from Furman, has committed to Alabama, giving the Tide its third commitment in the past week. Gurley chose Alabama over the likes of Auburn, San Diego State, Florida, Marquette, Duke, Tennessee, and Miami. Gurley appears to be the final piece of the 2022 roster that the staff was looking to add, and there is a whole lot that the Fayetteville, Georgia native brings to the table.
Standing at 6 foot 8 and weighing in at 210 pounds, Gurley provides even more depth underneath to an Alabama team that struggled dealing with size down low last season. During his junior season at Furman, Gurley averaged 15.4 points and 5.8 rebounds per game while shooting 49% from the field. Additionally, he was named to the second team All-SoCon team, truly showing the impact has had in that conference last season.
Offensively, Gurley will be able to be utilized in a variety of ways this upcoming season. He possesses a plethora of post moves and stellar footwork when he wants to go to work on the block, and he also favors facing up his defender at the high post and driving to the basket. Additionally, Gurley has the ability to make tough finishes around the basket, even through contact, an area where Alabama was not at its best at the end of the season. Alabama will likely use him as a stretch four, but he will be able to play any position out of the three, four, or five depending on what size lineup Oats wants to run. The pick-and-pop opportunity will be put to use very often, with Gurley’s career three point percentage being a respectable 35.3%. There is no doubt the scoring ability is there for Gurley, as he averaged 26 points per game over Furman’s final four games just over a month ago.
On the defensive side, Gurley should also be able to thrive for Nate Oats, who makes sure his teams pride themselves on that end. He averaged a block and a steal per game in 2021 and has incredibly active hands to pair with his huge wingspan and uniquely long frame. His long build will allow for him to clog passing lanes and be an irritant for opposing big men as he can be an additional rim protector, showing yet another weakness last season that Gurley can provide some relief for this upcoming season.
Gurley’s commitment makes him the sixth member of Alabama’s impressive class of newcomers. He joins incoming freshman JD Davison, Charles Bediako, and Jusaun Holt, and JUCO transfer Langston Wilson, who all collectively rank as the 3rd overall recruiting class according to 247. On top of that, Alabama also landed Nimari Burnett, a former 5 star prospect and transfer from Texas Tech. With the amount of talent coming in and the way Oats, Antione Pettway, and Bryan Hodgson continue to coach and recruit, this past season looks to simply be a preview for what is to come for Alabama in the next few years.
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