Chris Dortch's annual Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook made its 40th anniversary debut this week featuring thre SEC teams ranked in the preseason top 25.  Alabama, coming in at 14, is joined by two other SEC teams: Tennessee (5) and Kentucky (13).  Nate Oats, in his second year with the Tide, has helped create a lot of hype around this years team and has helped secure one of the best recruiting classes in recent memory for Alabama basketball.

Alabama lands in the rankings ahead of teams like UCLA, North Carolina, and Creighton.  Coming off an impressive offseason of recruiting, the Tide look to build on the flashes they showed last year under Oats.


Alabama signed three 4-stars and two 3-stars to give them the 12th ranked recruiting class this year.  Alex Tchikou, a 4-star recruit, is a 6-foot-11 forward with a guard-like ability to stretch the floor and play from the perimeter and will likely see a lot of time on the court.  Josh Primo, another 4-star signee, comes in to replace Kira Lewis at the guard spot and will likely split time with Jahvon Quinerly.  Primo, unlike Lewis and Quinerly, possesses elite size and should be able to play effectively around the rim as well as from outside, something that Lewis, because of his small frame, was often unable to do.

Although the team will feature some new faces this season, the veteran leadership will play a major role.  Alabama returns three starters coming into their senior year with John Petty, Herb Jones, and Alex Reese.  All three have significant playing experience having all seen playing time since their freshman seasons.

SEC Basketball Tournament - Semifinals
Getty Images

Oats has done great things in the short time he has been at Alabama.  This year could very well be a turning point for the basketball program as a whole.

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