How Alabama basketball roster, staff could look different for 2023-24 season
LOUISVILLE, Ky. ― Alabama basketball fell short of its goal of winning the NCAA Tournament with a Sweet 16 loss to San Diego State on Friday night.
Now the attention turns to 2023-24.
Alabama will likely lose some of the critical pieces that led to the first No. 1 seed in program history this season, but it's not going to be starting over.
As the Crimson Tide moves into a pivotal offseason, here's a look at who could be staying and who could be leaving.
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There are going to be significant changes on coach Nate Oats' staff heading into his fifth season in Tuscaloosa. He's losing Charlie Henry (Georgia Southern) and Bryan Hodgson (Arkansas State) to head-coaching jobs.
That means Oats has to replace his defensive coach in Henry and his top recruiter in Hodgson. Henry has orchestrated a top-five defense two of the past three seasons, and Hodgson was the primary recruiter for four of the five recruits in Alabama's third-ranked Class of 2022.
Antoine Pettway remains, and he's an important recruiter and coach. But the additions Oats makes for the other two positions will be crucial for Alabama not to lose a step in the short and long term.
Oats' former assistant in Buffalo, Jim Whitesell, could be a name to watch. He replaced Oats as coach of the Bulls, but Buffalo fired him after four seasons, so he's available.
Oats might also turn to the professional ranks, which could make sense to fill Henry's spot with another coach who has an NBA background.
Players with expiring eligibility
Noah Gurley and Dom Welch both played in their last season of college eligibility in 2022-23.
After missing time with an injury early in the season, Welch never found a way to get consistent minutes. He finished the season with 174 total minutes in 19 games played.
Losing Gurley won't help. While he was eighth on the team in minutes played and points scored, he was an important voice and leader for this team, no matter how much playing time he was receiving.
Players expected to return
The transfer portal and professional options can always lead to surprises, but Alabama should have a good portion of this season's team back.
That wasn't the case a year ago, when everyone left except Jahvon Quinerly, Charles Bediako and Gurley.
Speaking of Bediako, he should be back for another season, which is crucial. His rim protection was at the center of Alabama's defensive success. He will be a junior and likely the anchor of the defense once again.
As for the freshmen, guard Jaden Bradley and Rylan Griffen figure to stay.
For upperclassmen, Mark Sears and Nick Pringle will likely be back for their senior seasons. Nimari Burnett will also be heading into his junior season and figures to stay.
That gives Alabama six probable returnees to serve as the foundation.
Players who could leave
Brandon Miller is all but gone, and who can blame him? He's expected to be a lottery pick in the NBA Draft. ESPN has him as its No. 3 overall prospect right now. Miller said postgame in Louisville he hadn't made a decision yet, but it would be hard for the SEC player of the year to turn down that opportunity.
Noah Clowney is not a top-five prospect like Miller, but has a good shot to be a first-round pick if he decides to declare for the NBA Draft. ESPN has him ranked as its No. 19 prospect. That might be tough for him to pass up. He said he also hadn't made a decision yet, as of Friday night.
Perhaps the biggest question mark is Quinerly. Believe it or not, he has one season of eligibility remaining. He's 24, but a combination of redshirt and COVID-19 seasons mean he could return.
In other years, Quinerly almost certainly could go professional and make money. But NIL opportunities have changed the game. Oats noted during the season Quinerly has had bigger NIL opportunities than some.
"He's been able to capitalize on it now more," Oats said in February.
Quinerly had a strong March that he could turn into a good professional opportunity. Or, he could stay for one more season. He also said postgame Friday he hasn't made a decision.
Davin Cosby is already with the team, having redshirted this season and will be available next season. Alabama also has three players signed to national letters of intent in Sam Walters, Mouhamed Dioubate and RJ Johnson. Kris Parker was also a late 2023 commit.
The Crimson Tide will likely turn to the transfer portal to complete the roster.
This article originally appeared on The Tuscaloosa News: Alabama basketball roster 2023-24: Draft, transfer, recruiting impact