Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Jarin Stevenson: Alabama men’s basketball’s next impact player?

Courtesy of UA Athletics

On June 11, head basketball coach Nate Oats and his staff got the news that the 2022-23 Gatorade high school basketball player of the year for North Carolina, Jarin Stevenson, would be reclassifying and joining the Crimson Tide.

The 6-foot-11-inch power forward out of Greensboro, North Carolina, chose the Crimson Tide over the University of Virginia and the University of North Carolina after narrowing down his offer list to just three schools.

Stevenson fits right into Oats’ system, which relies heavily on the efficiency of his players’ shots. Stevenson averaged 21.5 points and 11.6 rebounds per game, shooting 60% from the field. He is another tall player who can get the rebound and push the ball in transition after an opponent’s miss.

“He’s excellent at rebounding down low, pushing the break and finishing in transition with body control and touch,” ESPN’s national recruiting director Paul Biancardi said.

The coaching staff was after this type of player all offseason, as evidenced by the commitment of North Dakota State transfer Grant Nelson and freshman Sam Walters.

Stevenson can contribute quickly to an Alabama team that lacks frontcourt depth and experience. His rebounding and ability to push the ball in transition is what will get him the most playing time, as Alabama was top in the country last year in rebounding and sixth in possessions per game.

His defense will also help to improve an Alabama team that ranked 119 out of 363 in points per game allowed last year. His 3.7 blocks and 1.3 steals a game last year should help to fortify the paint this year in the wake of Noah Clowney and Charles Bediako going to the NBA.

According to basketball analyst Jordan Harper, the Crimson Tide played TCU in a closed scrimmage Sunday. In this game,  Stevenson played 31 minutes, finishing with 10 points and five rebounds and shooting 5-6 from the free throw line.

Last year, the Crimson Tide finished No. 151 in the country in free throw shooting percentage at 72.5%. Having a big man who can not only draw fouls but make his free throws as well will be essential in crucial games and moments throughout the season.

Of the tenured frontcourt players on the roster with whom Stevenson will be competing for playing time, Nelson has the best free throw percentage from last year, shooting 72% from the line. Returning player Nick Pringle shot 47.3%, while West Virginia transfer Mohamed Wague was slightly better at 53.3% from the charity stripe.

Stevenson will suit up in a charity exhibition against Wake Forest on Sunday before the regular season starts on Monday, Nov. 6, against Morehead State in Coleman Coliseum.

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