Alabama basketball’s Nate Oats likes new rules

Christopher Walsh

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — New University of Alabama men's basketball coach Nate Oats doesn't just like the NCAA rules that will go into effect for next season, he's embracing them.

He especially likes that that the 3-point line is moving back to the international distance (22 ft., 1 3/4 in.), and believes the shot clock resetting to 20 seconds after an offensive rebound can only be a positive.

“We give four points for an NBA three in practice because I’m trying to get them to stretch their range back anyways," Oats said. "The further you can space the floor and open it up the better it is for us.

"And then the offensive rebounding, ideally if we get an offensive rebound we're scoring within two seconds on a put-back, or throwing it out and hitting a three in the next two seconds. I'm not trying to milk the clock ever really unless we have a lead late in the game. So it helps us."

Last year at Buffalo his team was among the national leaders in quick possessions, but near the bottom defensively because opponents almost always tried to slow the game down.

Oats made the comments while speaking at the annual Alabama Sports Writers Association convention, which was being held in Tuscaloosa on Sunday.

He touched on everything from the schedule to the roster:

• Oats said the first priority was getting the roster right, to play at the pace he wants. "We want to play a lot faster, a lot more wide open," he said. The second priority is the 2020 recruiting class, although Alabama is on target to have just one senior next season. As for on the court, it's getting the players in shape to be able to pay at the pace they want.

• Although the details have yet to be announced, the Crimson Tide will play a game in Birmingham this season. CBS Sports had already reported that Alabama will face Belmont in Huntsville on Dec. 21.

"We're going make it a priority to play games around the state," Oats said.

• Although it won't happen this season, Alabama will likely schedule more in-state opponents on a regular basis including some on the road.

• Villanova transfer Jahvon Quinerly will apply for a waiver to not sit out for a year, and play this season.

• Oats confirmed that he told reserve big man Daniel Giddens he should probably transfer in order to play significant minutes because he didn't fit in well with his system. "It made a lot more sense for him to transfer, to go playa lot more during his last year," the coach said. Giddens transferred to Vermont.

• One of the things that's becoming evident with the NCAA transfer portal is that a lot of players who are entering their names aren't landing with new teams because there aren't roster spots for them. "There's more kids in the portal than there are scholarships available," Oats said. "Some of these kids better start thinking long and hard about whether they want to actually leave or not." He believes many will end up at a junior college or Division II school.