This is our first mailbag as a site. The thought behind this is to allow the members of the site drive the conversation and allow members to ask the staff of the site any questions they have surrounding the basketball program. A few questions will be selected and included in each of these segments.
Starting off with Nimari Burnett, it seems Alabama is very confident in their chances of landing them. I want to preface the rest of this by saying Burnett is not a done deal yet. There is still a ways to go and Oats and Co. will have work to do to seal the deal.
Another name to watch in the 2020 class would be Earl Timberlake who will visit the same week as Nimari Burnett, per Corey Evans of Rivals.com. From what I have heard, Timberlake has been pitched on the idea of suiting up alongside Burnett in crimson and white. Recruiting analysts seem to think South Carolina is the front runner here, but there is a long way to go in his recruitment. Josh Hall is another name to watch on the wing. The long, athletic wing would be a great addition and has stated his recruitment is wide open. Sardaar Calhoun is a recent Alabama offer who just announced Alabama is in his top 5 schools. Calhoun is a guard who can light it up and score with ease. He is coming off a season where he shot over 40% from deep as a freshman. Calhoun is a rising sophomore JUCO prospect at Missouri State-West Plains. Jalen Bridges will also officially visit Alabama after quickly rising up every rankings board this summer.
It’s important to remember this is year 1 of the Nate Oats era and for expectations not to get too high. With that said, fans have every reason to be optimistic and to have great expectations for this season. That is something that I would like to think Coach Oats would tell the fans himself. I would consider 20 or more wins and an NCAA tournament bid a very successful start to this new era of Alabama basketball. Not only would this be a great start for Coach Oats, but I believe it is a very realistic expectation. The roster at Alabama has an abundance of talent between the returning players and the newcomers. Alabama fans have a lot of reason for optimism for year 1.
This is a question that I believe a lot of Alabama fans are wondering. Alabama may not have a lot of depth at the 5, but they have enough to handle opponents I believe. Galin Smith is a very skilled rebounder and can handle big men down low. He can handle himself and has put in a lot of work this offseason to improve. Alex Reese has gotten in much better shape and looks better than he has the last two years. Reese will see minutes at the five due to being able to shoot the ball plus having good size. Defense and rebounding has always been a worry with Reese over the last two years, but given the offseason work he has put in I think we could see a transformation of the player Reese is. Other players with size that Alabama could potentially see playing some center this year would be James Rojas in certain lineups and potentially Javian Davis could get some minutes here and there depending on matchups.
Have any questions you want featured next week? Drop them below. A forum post and a tweet will be posted weekly to field questions to be answered in each weekly mailbag.