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Alabama basketball: Nate Oats is sounding a lot like Nick Saban


Nick Saban’s personality is rubbing off on Alabama basketball coach Nate Oats.

Can we be surprised that Nate Oates has a Nick Saban-esque quote? Saban is king at Alabama and has built an empire of excellence with the Crimson Tide football program. Oats is trying to do the same thing. He is certainly off to a good start. The Alabama basketball program is at the top of the SEC with a 17-5 (12-1 SEC) and in contention to get a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Nate Oats is demanding perfection, just like Nick Saban

Oats said of the Crimson Tide’s 12-1 SEC record: “I’m a little irritated we’re not 13-0, to be honest with you.”

Can you blame him? Granted, their only loss came against a very talented No. 18 Missouri Tigers team. They lost that game, 68-65, behind Dru Smith’s 16 points, eight rebounds and four assists.

The Crimson Tide got solid minutes off the bench from Jahvon Quinerly and Keon Ellis. They combined for 24 points.

Missouri was just the better team that night. The Crimson Tide didn’t go down without a fight. They came all way back from a 21-point deficit early in the second half, but free throws sealed the Tigers’ victory.

These two teams are going to meet again in the SEC Tournament and the result may be different.

Oats has done a wonderful job of turning Alabama basketball around. It started this past offseason when they added Jordan Bruner from Yale and got John Petty and Herb Jones back. Since then, they have had key wins against the No. 7 Tennessee Volunteers, Florida Gators, Auburn Tigers, LSU Tigers twice and Kentucky Wildcats twice.

Alabama is good hands with Oats at the helm. He has had a top 25 recruiting class the last two seasons, and they were ranked a two seed in the NCAA Tournament bracket reveal.

For more NCAA basketball news, analysis, opinion and features, check out more from the FanSided college basketball section to stay on top of the latest action.





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