Alabama basketball continued to schedule and recruit aggressively last week, even as the landscape of the Southeastern Conference remained in flux for the 2021-22 season with transfers and early departures likely to continue until the July 7 deadline for players to withdraw from NBA Draft considerationand maintain college eligibility.
Alabama has two players considering an early exit for professional basketball, guards Josh Primo and Jalen Shackelford.
In his most recent NBA mock draft released Tuesday, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony projects Primo as the No. 40 overall choice, going to the New Orleans Pelicans in the second round. Whether Primo, a likely first-round selection in the 2022 draft, would leave for a less lucrative second-round option is not certain.
While Alabama could find itself with an open scholarship for 2021-22 should both Primo and Shackelford choose not to return, much of the Crimson Tide’s focus has been on Class of 2022 recruiting, which will accelerate as NCAA restrictions on on-campus visits are lifted June 1.
Jaden Bradley of IMG Academy, rated as one of the top point guards in the nation, is expected to take an official visit to Alabama in mid-June, following an official visit to Michigan next week. One of Alabama’s top 2021 signees, 6-foot-11 center Charles Bediako, was a teammate of Bradley’s at IMG Academy last season.
Other top prospects in the most recently released Rivals Top 100 who Alabama continues to pursue are 6-7 forward Brandon Miller of Cane Ridge High School in Nashville, 6-8 forward Jalen Washington of Gary, Indiana, 6-5 guard Nick Smith of Sherwood, Arkansas, and 6-4 guard Rodney Rice of DeMatha Catholic in Hyattsville, Maryland, among several others.
Crimson Tide coach Nate Oats continues to schedule aggressively for the 2021-22 nonconference season. While Alabama has not yet confirmed a Dec. 4 contract to play 2021 Final Four participant Gonzaga in Seattle, numerous reports indicate that confirmation will be soon. The Crimson Tide also has a pending contract with another 2021 Final Four participant, Houston, and has confirmed an early season event that would include a possible matchup with perennial power Kansas. As the defending SEC champion, Alabama is also expected to host a January game in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.
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