Alabama Basketball Signing Day Preview: Top Recruits

Avery Johnson has done a lot so far to improve basketball at the University of Alabama, but one of his biggest tests, recruiting, is coming up.

Avery Johnson has done a lot so far to improve basketball at the University of Alabama, but one of his biggest tests, recruiting, is coming up. As the second phase of signing begins on Nov. 9 (college basketball’s version of national signing day), Johnson and the Tide will look to land a solid recruiting class.

Before getting into the team’s goals for this week, it’s important to take a moment to recognize Johnson’s early accomplishments in signing two players this spring, guard Ar’Mond Davis and forward Braxton Key. These players were both four-star recruits, and their presence on the court makes the Crimson Tide immediately better. They also chose Alabama over several other competitive programs, speaking to Johnson’s skill as a recruiter.

Both played in the team’s exhibition win, and are already contributing in Tuscaloosa. However, Alabama is still searching for top-level high-school prospects, hoping to make the kind of recruiting splash that could significantly increase Alabama’s reputation and reach as a basketball school.

Alabama as a football program can compete with any team in the country for any given prospect. That’s a remarkable status, and one that’s easy to take for granted. But in basketball, the odds are significantly tilted toward other programs, schools like Kentucky, Duke, or Kansas. That’s why Alabama’s pursuit of two prospects, Collin Sexton and John Petty, is so important.

Collin Sexton is a point guard from Mableton, Georgia, listed at 6-foot-2. He’s a 5-star recruit, and would immediately become a key piece of a Crimson Tide team if he signs with Alabama. According to 247Sports, he is currently undecided between Alabama and Kansas, and will make a decision soon.

John Petty, a four-star recruit from Huntsville, Alabama, is nearly just as impressive. He is listed at 6-5, and is currently deciding between Alabama and Kentucky.

The exact profiles of these two players are important, as each project to be very good college players. What may be most significant is that each of these two players (at the time of this writing) are leaning toward Alabama over Kansas and Kentucky. To just sign one of them would be a huge victory. This victory would not be just because of talent, but also because of the prestige that beating out a top-tier program for an elite prospect would bring.

Alabama’s future as a basketball program doesn’t hinge on signing a top-tier prospect, but it would go a long way toward establishing the Crimson Tide and Avery Johnson as a program and a coach to watch for the next few years. This year’s signing period will be an especially important one for Alabama.

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