Alabama received a major boost to its roster with the addition of former North Dakota State star forward Grant Nelson, who committed to the Crimson Tide via the transfer portal, CBS Sports' Matt Norlander confirms. Nelson was one of the top remaining available players in the transfer portal and
Alabama was in an intense recruiting battle with Eric Musselman and Arkansas, with Nelson deciding between the SEC programs after he canceled a visit to Baylor earlier this month. Nelson also received significant interest from Florida State and Iowa, among others.
Nelson is a polarizing prospect at 6-foot-11 and will likely have a different role at Alabama this season than he did last season with the Bison. He is a modern-day point-forward with a solid handle and shot 29.4% on catch-and-shoot 3-pointers last season. He averaged 17.9 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists and shot 52.1% from the floor in 2022-23.
Nelson withdrew his name from NBA Draft consideration at the early withdrawal deadline to return to school. When he declared for the 2023 NBA Draft, he also entered the transfer portal, giving him the flexibility to attend a different school if he withdrew from the draft. Nelson would've likely gone undrafted or been a late second-round pick had he stayed in the draft.
Impact at Alabama
Nelson gives the Crimson Tide an instant boost. The roster as constructed looks more like a team that will start the season ranked. Alabama last season was the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament and finished the season 31-6 before falling to San Diego State in the Sweet 16.
It's no secret that Alabama lost a major part of its team with Brandon Miller, Noah Clowney and Charles Bediako all declaring for the 2023 NBA Draft. Nelson will have a chance to come in right away and secure a starting position at either PF or center and help Alabama compete for an SEC title.
Nate Oats does it again
Nelson isn't the only big addition to the Crimson Tide roster this season via the transfer portal. Alabama already landed commitments from Hofstra guard Aaron Estrada and CSU Fullerton guard Latrell Wrightsell Jr. via the transfer portal. Estrada is a two-time Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year and Wrightshell earned All-Big West honors last season.
This is a major boost for Alabama after guard Jahvon Quinerly, who was the co-Sixth Man of the Year in the SEC last season decided to enter the transfer portal. Quinerly started five games last season and was expected to receive a larger role had he stayed in Tuscaloosa one more season. The Crimson Tide has the No. 2 recruiting class in the SEC coming to campus this fall and received a commitment from four-star PF Jarin Stevenson last month. Stevenson announced he would be reclassifying up to join the Crimson Tide this season. With the talent coming in, this could be declared the best offseason of his tenure at the school.