Nate Oats Named Finalist for Major Coaching Awards
Nate Oats, after guiding Alabama to their first SEC Tournament victory since 1991, has been named a finalist for the Naismith and United States Basketball Writers Association Coach of the Year Awards, per Charlie Potter of BamaOnLine.
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Oats joins three other coaches as a finalist for each list: Scott Drew (Baylor), Mark Few (Gonzaga) and Juwan Howard (Michigan).
In just his second season at the Capstone, Oats has coached the Tide to a 24-6 (16-2) record and a No. 2 seed in the 2021 NCAA Tournament. Alabama's 16 SEC wins this year tied a program record previously held by the 1986-87 team that is widely heralded as one of the greatest in program history.
Oats has brought a championship mentality that was severely missed in the Alabama basketball program in previous years, and the team has completely bought into his style of play. The high volume shooting and aggressive play at the rim is a style of basketball that appeals to nearly everyone, and is incredibly hard to stop.
Alabama, sitting as a No. 2 seed in the East Region and No. 5 overall, is set to face the Iona Gaels, led by Rick Pitino, in round one of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday, March 20 at 3:00 p.m. CT and opened as a 17 point favorite. The Tide will have their hands full with the Pitino led squad, but if Alabama plays their game, they will be very hard to beat.