The Alabama basketball program is fresh off of a magnificent Final Four run, one that ultimately ended in a loss to eventual national champion UConn. On Wednesday, Alabama got even better with both Mark Sears and Jarin Stevenson deciding to withdraw from the NBA Draft and return to the Crimson Tide.

As such, Alabama basketball head coach Nate Oats has high expectations for the 2024-2025 team, even mentioning a national title in an interview with college basketball insider Andy Katz.

“The resources are here to win…We're competing for national championships…We're gonna try to win it all this year…I think we’ve got a roster that we’re gonna compete for a national championship this year.”

Nats Oats ‘ roster is loaded once again from top to bottom, and bringing back Sears and Stevenson he's in that regard as well. They also brought in Rutgers transfer big man Cliff Omoruyi, who had plenty of interest from other bluebloods in the sport.

Here is a full look at the key pieces for the Alabama basketball program this upcoming season, and there is reason to believe they can enter the season as the top overall ranked team.

  • Mark Sears
  • Aden Holloway
  • Jarin Stevenson
  • Grant Nelson
  • Cliff Omoruyi
  • Derrion Reid
  • Latrell Wrightsell Jr.
  • Chris Youngblood
  • Houston Mallette
  • Aidan Sherrell
  • Mo Dioubate
  • Labaron Philon
  • Naas Cunningham

So, Oats is right on the money with his national title take.

Mark Sears, Jarin Stevenson returning helps Alabama

Alabama coach Nate Oats with Mark Sears
Patrick Breen/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

Even if Sears and Stevenson stayed in the NBA Draft, the Alabama roster would be one of the best in college basketball. So, bringing back two key players such as them only makes the roster more dangerous.

Sears drew some attention during the NBA Draft process, something Oats mentioned during the interview with Katz: “He got good feedback from the NBA…He wasn't going to get a guaranteed contract…He would've been a two-way, and with the way NIL is working in college, a kid like him is much better off in college than in a two-way. So the way college basketball rules are now probably helped us a little bit.”

Sears, a senior guard from Alabama, averaged 21.1 PPG with 4.0 rebounds and 4.1 assists this past season for the Crimson Tide. He was the team's leading scorer by a large amount. Stevenson averaged just 5.2 PPG with 2.6 rebounds in just over 16 minutes a game, but the 6-foot-11 big man has lots of potential and also gained some eyeballs during the NBA Draft process.

But, he made his mark in the Elite Eight win over Clemson as Stevenson scored 19 points including five three-pointers and a pair of blocks, so there is a ton of hype swirling about the big man.

With all of the pieces that are back in Tuscaloosa, there are a lot of reasons to believe that the Crimson Tide will be one of the best teams in college basketball this season.