basketball Edit

Alabama basketball lands Texas Tech transfer Nimari Burnett

Texas Tech guard Nimari Burnett announced he will transfer to Alabama this offseason. Photo | Getty Images
Texas Tech guard Nimari Burnett announced he will transfer to Alabama this offseason. Photo | Getty Images

After putting together one of its greatest seasons in program history, Alabama basketball is reloading for another promising run. The Crimson Tide continued its busy start to the offseason Thursday as Texas Tech guard Nimari Burnett announced his intentions to transfer to Alabama. Burnett’s decision comes two days after the Tide received a commitment from four-star forward Charles Bediako on Tuesday.

Currently, Burnett would need an NCAA waiver in order to gain immediate eligibility at Alabama next season. However, the NCAA appears to be on the brink of passing legislation that would allow players to move to a new school once without penalty.

Burnett, 6-foot-4, 180 pounds, was heavily pursued by Alabama during last year’s recruiting cycle. The four-star shooting guard instead committed to Texas Tech where he averaged 5.3 points and 1.8 rebounds over 12 games before leaving the program in January.

Burnett was unhappy with his role at Texas Tech where he played 20 or more minutes in just four of his 12 appearances. His best performance of the season came during a game against Grambling State where he recorded 12 points and six steals over 15 minutes.

Burnett’s athleticism should translate well into Nate Oats’ fast-paced system at Alabama. The dynamic guard was viewed as one of the top scorers in the 2020 class after averaging 25.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game during his senior season at Prolific Prep basketball academy in Napa, Calif. He’s also shown the ability to contribute on the defensive end and figures to fit into the Tide’s blue-collar approach. Burnett was rated as the No. 39 overall player and No. 11 shooting guard in last year’s class. He was selected to play in the 2020 McDonald’s All-American Game.

While the addition of Burnett figures to strengthen Alabama’s roster for next season, he’ll need to improve his shooting to reach his full potential at the next level. During his limited action last season, he shot 28 percent (14 of 50) from the floor, including just 17.4 percent (4 of 23) from beyond the arc.

The additions of Burnett and Bediako this week currently put Alabama one player over the NCAA’s scholarship level of 13, meaning it will need one of its players to transfer out of the program to make room. Last season, the Tide saw four players transfer from the program as it reshuffled its roster.

Alabama basketball's current 2021-2022 scholarship count

1. Keon Ambrose-Hylton — 6-foot-8, 210 pounds, sophomore

2. Charles Bediako — 6-foot-11, 220 pounds, freshman

3. Nimari Burnett — 6-foot-4, 180 pounds, sophomore

4. JD Davison — 6-foot-3, 180 pounds, freshman

5. Keon Ellis — 6-foot-6, 170 pounds, senior

6. Juwan Gary — 6-foot-6, 218 pounds, redshirt sophomore

7. Jusaun Holt — 6-foot-5, 175 pounds, freshman

8. Darius Miles — 6-foot-6, 185 pounds, sophomore

9. Joshua Primo — 6-foot-6, 190 pounds, sophomore

10. Jahvon Quinerly — 6-foot-1, 175 pounds, redshirt junior

11. James Rojas — 6-foot-8, 220 pounds, redshirt senior

12. Jaden Shackelford — 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, junior

13. Alex Tchikou — 6-foot-11, 225 pounds, redshirt freshman

14. Langston Wilson — 6-foot-9, 190 pounds, freshman