Basketball

Alabama Men’s Basketball Finalizes One of the Nation’s Top Signing Classes with Three Additions

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Fresh off a historic season, Alabama men’s basketball head coach Nate Oats announced Wednesday the team has added three signees to its 2021 signing class during the late signing period. Four-star center Charles Bediako along with transfers Noah Gurley (Furman) and Nimari Burnett (Texas Tech) have all signed to continue their playing career with the Crimson Tide, joining fall signees JD Davison (Letohatchee, Ala./Calhoun HS) and Jusaun Holt (Roswell, Ga./St. Francis HS) to make up the five-man class.

According to 247sports.com, Alabama’s signing class is ranked No. 11 in the nation and No. 3 in the Southeastern Conference. The rankings do not factor in transfers.

“We’re excited about the three guys we signed today,” Oats said. “All three players are big additions to what we have going. All three are high character guys who will be a great fit in our program and with our culture.”

Below is a breakdown of each of the newest signees and a quote from coach Oats on each player. For the fall signees, click HERE to view their bios and quotes.

Charles Bediako (6-11 | 215 | Fr. | C)

Brampton, Ontario – IMG Academy (FL)

  • Rated as a four-star prospect by 247Sports, who has him ranked No. 26 overall and the No. 4 player at his position
  • An athletic player with a 7-2 wingspan and the ability to run the floor at the power forward and center positions
  • Holds a four-star rating with Rivals, who has him ranked as the No. 29 overall player and the No. 4 center in the country, while ESPN has him ranked as the No. 29 player in the nation and the No. 7 player at his position
  • Rated by North Pole Hoops as the No. 2 player in the nation in the 2021 class (couldn’t find update for this)
  • Competed for Team Canada at the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup where he was teammates with current Alabama freshman Joshua Primo
  • Finished that event averaging 8.2 points and 5.2 rebounds per game while scoring in double figures in four of his final five contests
  • Had a 19-point, 12-rebound performance to highlight the stretch vs. Latvia
  • Competed for UPLAY Canada under head coach Dwayne Washington where he was teammates with Alabama freshmen Keon Ambrose-Hylton and Joshua Primo
  • Also played alongside Ambrose-Hilton at Andrews Osborne Academy in Willoughby, Ohio during the 2018-19 season before transferring to IMG Academy
  • Competed alongside Primo at the Basketball Without Borders Global Camp which was held in Chicago during All-Star Weekend in February of 2020, where he impressed numerous NBA Scouts with his raw athleticism and high motor
  • Chose Alabama over the likes of Duke, Texas, Ohio State, Michigan and Baylor, among many others

COACH OATS ON CHARLES BEDIAKO: “Charles Bediako committed first. He is a big and runs the floor hard. He is athletic and protects the rim while rebounding well. He is a great kid. We have the Canadian relationship with (Joshua) Primo and Keon Ambrose-Hylton. Those three had a relationship already. We are excited about getting him here because we have been recruiting him a while and we’ve built a relationship with him over a long period of time. He will give us a different type of big than what we have played with this year. He can give us rim protection more than we have had and athleticism. We are excited to develop his skill level.”

Nimari Burnett (6-4 | 190 | So. | G)

Chicago, Ill. – Texas Tech | Prolific Prep (CA)

Texas Tech (2020-21)

  • Played in 12 games for the Red Raiders and averaged 5.3 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.4 steals in 17.8 minutes per contest, while connecting on 88.9 percent from the foul line (32-of-36)
  • Scored a season-best 12 points on 2-for-3 shooting and made all seven of his free throw attempts while earning a season-high of six steals in 15 minutes of play versus Grambling State
  • Registered a season-high 30 minutes and collected 10 points, four rebounds and three steals against Abilene Christian
  • Logged more than 20 minutes four times on season
  • Chose Alabama over LSU, Illinois, Vanderbilt, Oregon, USC and Auburn

 Prep Highlights

  • Held a five-star rating with ESPN, who has him ranked as the No. 22 overall player and the No. 4 center guard in the country
  • Rated as a four-star prospect by 247 sports, who also has him ranked No. 38 overall and the No. 8 player at his position (2020)
  • Rated by Rivals as a four-star recruit, who has him ranked as the No. 39 overall player and No. 11 center guard for the 2020 class
  • Competed for Team USA at the FIBA 3×3 U18 World Cup and helped the team win a gold medal. Burnett accumulated 40 points, which was the fifth-most in the tournament
  • For his senior season, Burnett averaged 25.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game at Prolific Prep
  • Selected to play in the McDonald’s All-American game, joining teammates Jahvon Quinerly and JD Davison as fellow honorees
  • The trio are three of 14 McDonald’s All-Americans to suit up for Alabama in program history
  • Received offers from Michigan, Ohio State, Arkansas, Louisville, Indiana and USC, among many others

COACH OATS ON NIMARI BURNETT: “We recruited Nimari right out of high school and built a great relationship with him and his family. We really enjoyed getting to know his parents. When we didn’t get him initially, we kept the relationship with him. They watched us play a lot and let us know that. He is one of the best two-way players out there and we let him know that. He can really shoot the ball well and defend at a high level and fits the way we want to play in that regard with a lot of guards. He wants to play in a system with a lot of guards and think he will be great in our system. He can drive and shoot well and has a high IQ. He was a McDonald’s All-American and JD Davison as well with Jahvon Quinerly gives us three on the same team. I think he will make our backcourt one of the strongest in the country.”

Noah Gurley (6-8 | 210 | Gr. | F)

Fayetteville, Georgia – Furman | Fayette County HS

Career Highlights

  • Three-time All-SoCon honoree
  • Scored double figures in 59 contests with 14 games of scoring 20 or more points
  • 2021 SoCon All-Tournament First Team
  • Has 1,118 points, 405 rebounds and 88 career games played (83 starts) in three seasons at Furman
  • Chose Alabama over Auburn, Duke, Florida, Marquette, Miami, San Diego State and Tennessee

Furman (2018-21)

  • Played in 88 career games making 83 starts, including 62 consecutive heading into the 2021-22 campaign, across his three seasons for head coach Bob Richey at Furman University
  • Helped lead the Paladins to an overall record of 66-24 (.733) which included a 38-13 (.745) mark in Southern Conference (SoCon) play during his time
  • Scored 1,118 points and pulled down 405 rebounds while shooting 49.8 percent from the floor and 34.4 percent (96-of-179) from beyond the arc over his three-year career
  • A three-time All-SoCon performer who has career averages of 12.7 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.52 threes made in 27.4 minutes per game
  • As a junior in 2020-21, he started all 25 contests and averaged 15.4 points, 2.5 assists and 5.8 rebounds on his way to earning second team All-SoCon honors
  • Finished his season off in grand fashion by averaging 26.0 points and 8.3 rebounds per game across his final four contests, including a career-high 30-point performance in the season finale vs. VMI (3/6)
  • Closed the season with 20 games in double figures and six of scoring 20 or more points
  • Averaged 14.3 points, 1.9 assists and 4.6 rebounds while starting all 32 contests on his way to earning third team All-SoCon honors
  • Registered double figures 25 times in his sophomore season
  • Netted a season-high of 29 points, scoring 11-of-14 shots versus USC Upstate (2/18/19)
  • As a freshman, Gurley averaged 8.8 points and 3.6 rebounds per game as he earned SoCon All-Freshman honors
  • Recorded a season high of 19 points versus VMI (2/16/19)
  • Registered 13 points and season-high eight rebounds in an away overtime victory against defending national champion Villanova (11/17/18)

Prep Highlights

  • Named first team Atlanta Journal-Constitution AAAAA All-State and first team AAAAA all-state and senior player of the year by Hoop Seen as a senior at Fayette County High School
  • Averaged 18.5 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.1 blocks per game in 2017 to help Fayette County to a 23-8 record, region title and state final four appearance
  • Netted 17 points, eight boards and four blocks per game as a junior to earn AAAA all-state honors and Region 5-AAAA Player of the Year accolades while leading the Tigers to a 15-12 mark.

COACH OATS ON NOAH GURLEY: “We have played him twice and had a hard time guarding him. We did not have an answer for him so when the staff saw his name in the transfer portal we really wanted to go after him. He plays the way we want to play. He can make threes, he can play multiple positions across the frontcourt, he has size and athleticism. He is a high character kid and Coach Ritchie at Furman said great things about him. He gives us that versatile big that can play multiple positions that has a high IQ. He can post up, play the perimeter, and shoot the three. He fits what we want in a forward and is a big addition for us.”

For all the latest information on the team, follow AlabamaMBB on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. General athletic news can be found @UA_Athletics on Twitter and Instagram and Alabama Athletics on Facebook.

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