While football season being only a week away, basketball is slowly but surely making it’s way back. The NCAA announced plans to start the season on Thanksgiving week and Coach Nate Oats was available to the media to give Tide fans a quick preview for the upcoming season.

Although a 16-15 is one step from mediocre, Oats has created an excitement for the program with his up-tempo philosophy and solid recruiting. The invitation to the Maui Invitational tournament bring a chance to show what the team has on the national stage. Oats seems to embrace the pre-season expectations.

“I think we should be competing for championships. SEC championships, Tournament championships, making a run in the NCAA tournament and I think we have to talent to do that.”

The Tide has a solid foundation to build around returning an All-SEC performer in John Petty and an SEC All-Defensive team member in Hebert Jones. In addition to Jahvon Quinerly being eligible to play this season James Rojas is returning from an ACL injury and the No.14 graduate transfer Jordan Burner committed to the Tide in April. Alabama’s roster seems to have the talent and experience to make a serious run.

“We’re not going to slow down. In order to cut down on turnovers with the pace we play at, you have to have skilled players. So we went out and got more skilled players,” said Oats.

A recruiting class including 4-star recruits Josh Primo, Keon Ambrose, and Alex Tchikou adds depth, length, and shooting across the board making Alabama one of the deepest teams in the country. Although last season was Oats' initial season in Tuscaloosa, he now has a roster built to play his brand of basketball.

Can Nat Oats lead the Tide to a tournament appearance this season or further? Let us know in the comments.

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