People who cover college basketball and Alabama fans were all arguing the same point about the Crimson Tide last season, they needed a rim protector. Nate Oats and Alabama were expecting Charles Bediako to withdraw his name from the NBA draft and expected him to be the Tide's 2024 rim protector, but Bediako remained in the draft and signed an undrafted free agent deal with the San Antonio Spurs, leaving Alabama short on big men on the 2024 roster.

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The Tide had Nick Pringle on the roster and got Grant Nelson out of the transfer portal, but neither player is considered a traditional five, rather, they play better as a stretch four. Both players were playing out of position, which hurt their development. After Alabama's game plan was ruined by the seven-foot-two tall Donovan Clingan in the NCAA Final Four, it was clear Oats and Alabama needed a shot blocker themselves if they wanted to get over the championship hump.

The Crimson Tide had been linked to several centers in the transfer portal, including names such as Clifford Omoruyi from Rutgers, Jonas Aidoo from Tennessee, and Ugonna Onyenso from Kentucky. The Tide had picked up a crystal ball prediction for Onyenso, and Omoruyi was on campus Monday for his visit to Alabama.

The Crimson Tide have landed a commitment from arguably the best rim protector in the transfer portal, with former Rutgers center Clifford Omoruyi committing to Alabama, per Joe Tipton of On3 Sports.

Omoruyi has spent four seasons with the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, taking over as the team's starting center in 2021. In 2023, Omoruyi averaged 10.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 0.5 assists per game. He shot 51.2% from the field and 20% from beyond the arc for Rutgers in 2023.

Omoruyi immediately comes in and takes over as the starting center for Alabama, allowing Grant Nelson to play his more comfortable position in the four. Alabama will return at least two starters from a season ago with Wrightsell Jr. and Nelson, and with the additions via the transfer portal, could put together one of the more talented rosters Nate Oats has had. Alabama is still awaiting if Mark Sears will remain in the NBA draft or return to Alabama. Sears has until May 29 to make the decision.

Tide 100.9 is keeping a roster tracker of the Alabama Men's Basketball roster ahead of the 2024-2025 season. You can view the roster tracker here.

Alabama's Final Four Loss to UConn

Gallery Credit: Wyatt Fulton

Sights from the Airport as the Tide Head to Phoenix

Gallery Credit: Wyatt Fulton

Alabama Advances to Their First Final Four

Gallery Credit: Wyatt Fulton

Alabama's Elite Win over North Carolina in the Sweet 16

Gallery Credit: Wyatt Fulton

Alabama's Hard-Fought Win Over GCU

Gallery Credit: Wyatt Fulton

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