The former math teacher is talking chemistry again, and Nate Oats seems to like what he sees in that regard from his 75 per cent new roster.

“We had a really tight-knit group last year,” Oats said at Friday media confeence. “They understand you’ve got to have some chemistry and you’ve got to have some love for your brother. Everybody really needs to want their teammate to succeed, and I think we’ve got a lot of that going.

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“Now, we haven’t played a game yet, so we haven’t had somebody not get as many minutes as they think they deserve. So some of those chemistry issues start to get really hashed out once games start. Did you play well? Did you play bad? How poorly did you play? If you played poorly and get a win, are you still super happy for all your teammates?

“I think that’s going to be great, but we kind of got to wait and see before the games start to see how great the attitudes stay. But they’ve been great so far.”

Oats emphasizes character when recruiting. It seems to be paying off.

“I think we’ve got really good kids, like really good,” Oats noted. “We’ve got high-character guys, and I think they’ve been looking out for each other.”

Oats continued by providing examples of returning players keeping their teammates in mind.

Nick Pringle has done a really good job kind of organizing different stuff in the offseason,” Oats said. “I’m in a text with the players and our operations people let them know where they have to be at certain times. There was a text they sent out basically saying all the scholarship guys need to be at Coleman to do a video shoot for the intro video.

“Really within a minute of it coming out, I saw a text from Pringle, like ‘I’d give up some of my screen time if we get [walk-ons] Kai Spears and Max Scharnowski in there.’ Just trying to make sure that the walk-ons that have been here get included. I thought that was great.

“You have guys like Rylan Griffen; [freshman] Sam Walters is playing really well. Him and Rylan, you could easily play them together, but they kind of play the same position. Sam was struggling in practice a couple days ago, and Rylan went up and put his arm around him and ran sprints next to him even though Rylan’s team won and didn’t need to run a sprint.”

Alabama takes the floor to open the season Monday Nov. 6 against Morehead State at 7 p.m. CT in Coleman Coliseum. You can hear the game on 95.3 The Bear or on the app.

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Gallery Credit: Jacob Harrison

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