Nate Oats was named Alabama’s new basketball head coach on March 27 and hit the ground running. In less than a month, he managed to add West Virginia graduate transfer Jordan “Beetle” Bolden and incoming freshman Raymond Hawkins to the program. On Friday, he shared his thoughts on the two newest members of the Crimson Tide.
“Beetle Bolden gives us an experienced guard who has played in a lot of big games over the course of his career,” Oats said, via the team website. “He is a terrific three-point shooter, and we felt like we needed to add another shooter to roster. That will give our current guys more space on the floor in order to better execute our offense. Beetle is a combo guard, so he is someone I expect to spell Kira (Lewis) at the point guard position as well. We played against West Virginia last year when I was at Buffalo, and he was someone who stuck out to me. His toughness and experience will be a great addition to our roster, as well. We would like to welcome Beetle and his family to Tuscaloosa.”
Hawkins, a 3-star center on the 247Sports Composite, announced his pledge to UA days after Oats was hired. The Henderson, Nevada product is rated the No. 4 recruit from Nevada, No. 36 center and No. 175 player overall on the Composite.
“Ray gives us a big man that’s skilled in multiple areas and fits our system very well,” Oats said. “He will give us some interior depth and has a huge upside. Ray is a big, strong, physical presence who can handle the ball and play inside-outside. We’ve targeted him since I was at Buffalo, because we felt like he was a great fit. He is a terrific young man, and we have really enjoyed getting to know him and his family throughout the recruiting process. We look forward to having him join our program.”