The Best Is Yet to Come: Nate Oats Revitalized Bama Hoops
This is an opinion piece.
As the adage states, “history repeats itself.”
That couldn’t be closer to the truth in the Druid City. In only his second year at the Capstone, Alabama head basketball coach Nate Oats has given the Crimson Tide faithful a case of deja vu.
Sunday night’s Sweet 16 loss to the UCLA Bruins hurt, to say the least, but it is eerily reminiscent of Nick Saban’s 2008 football season that was prematurely ended after an SEC Championship game loss to the Florida Gators.
Now, I’m not going to say that Oats is destined to win six national titles with the Crimson Tide, but it is hard not to feel optimistic about Bama Hoops after witnessing the historic 2020-21 season.
Much like Alabama football pre-Saban, Crimson Tide basketball suffered an era of underachievement and mediocrity. Besides short NCAA Tournament runs in 2012 and 2018, Alabama had nothing to show for when it came to basketball.
This is about to change.
I am relatively young, so I was not alive to see the great Wimp Sanderson-coached teams of the 80s, but for the first time in my life, I feel like I am witnessing something great occurring in Coleman Coliseum.
Just as Bama Online's Charlie Potter references in the Tweet above, this Alabama basketball season tied the second-best record in school history. They also broke records for three-pointers and gave Bama fans an electric defense that was one for the ages.
For many years, the month of March in Tuscaloosa has been ruled by softball and spring football practice, but now, Oats has given Alabama fans a reason to believe.
The 2020-21 basketball season gave Tuscaloosa a starting point. From regular season and SEC Tournament titles to the Tide’s first Sweet 16 trip in 17 years, there is a lot to be happy about for fans of the Crimson Tide basketball team.
“Blue Collar Basketball” is alive and well in Tuscaloosa, and the future for the program is bright. Like Saban giving hope to Bama football fans in 2008, Oats and the entire 2020-21 team have ushered in a new era of basketball, and for that, I say thank you to the seniors: Herb Jones, John Petty, Alex Reese and Jordan Bruner.
You have changed the culture in Tuscaloosa, and the best is yet to come for Alabama Basketball.