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Turns out defending SEC basketball champion Alabama has too many players for 2021-2022.
With the Crimson Tide potentially over the scholarship limit of 13, Incoming junior college star Langston Wilson asked Monday to be released from his National Letter of Intent. The 6-foot-9, 200-pound Wilson was rated as the No. 1 juco power forward and No. 2 juco prospect overall by the 247Sports composite.
Why is Wilson asking out? Because head coach Nate Oats has picked up two transfers to go with a stellar freshmen class. Furman forward Noah Gurley has committed to the Tide as a grad transfer. Former Texas Tech guard Nimari Burnett is also relocating to Tuscaloosa. The 6-8 Gurley averaged 15.4 points and 5.8 rebounds as a junior last season for Furman. Burnett averaged 5.3 points last season for the Red Raiders as a freshman after being No. 34 in the 247Sports Class of 2020 rankings.
Oats has already signed five-star point guard JD Davison out of Letohatchee, Ala., and four-star forward Jusaun Holt out of Roswell, Ga. He also has a commitment from four-star 6-11 center Charles Bediako from IMG Academy in Florida.
Alabama is expected to lose Herb Jones, John Petty, Alex Reese and Jordan Bruner off the team that reached the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament. But Bama could have back leading scorer Jaden Shackelford, as well as top contributors Jahvon Quinerly, Josh Primo, Keon Ellis, Juwan Gary and James Rojas.
The Tide also is expected to get back Alex Tchikou, a four-star prospect, ranked No. 36 overall by Rivals, who missed the 2020-21 season with a torn Achilles.
No wonder the Washington Post’s Patrick Stevens ranked Alabama No. 1 in his early preseason top 25 for 2021-22. “At this point, Alabama might be in line to have more answers than anybody,” Stevens wrote.
And Gary Parrish has Alabama at No. 3, behind No. 1 UCLA and No. 2 Gonzaga in his Top 25 for 2021-22 rankings. “The addition of five-star point guard JD Davison and four-star big Charles Bediako gives Nate Oats a chance at back-to-back conference championships,” wrote Parrish.
Alabama went 26-7 last season in Oats’ second year as head coach. The Crimson Tide went 16-2 in SEC to win the regular season title, then beat LSU in the SEC Tournament championship game. UCLA knocked off Bama 88-78 in overtime in an East Region semifinal.
As for Wilson, Juco Recruiting reports that Western Kentucky is among the schools that have already contacted the former junior college star.