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Tide Hoops lands their missing piece as star center heads to Tuscaloosa

Arguably the biggest hole on the 2023-24 version of the Alabama Crimson Tide, despite making its first-ever Final Four, was a rim-protecting big.

The staff expected Charles Bediako to return following the 2022-23 season, but Bediako caught them by surprise when he announced he would be staying in the draft and not returning to school, leaving a massive issue open that Nate Oats was never able to fully fix this past season.

At the top of the transfer portal wish list for the Tide was to land a tall, defensively-minded, and experienced big man, and Alabama did just that.

Clifford Omoruyi, a 6 foot 10 center who has spent the last four seasons at Rutgers, was the No. 3 ranked center in the transfer portal.

He selected Alabama over North Carolina and Kansas State.

Omoruyi led the Big Ten in shot blocking with nearly three per game and was named to the Big Ten All-Defensive team. He also averaged over 10 points per game and over eight rebounds:

With much of its talent returning in addition to the potential return of Mark Sears, Alabama is setting itself up to be one of the favorites in all of college basketball next season.

Nate Oats continues to recruit at a high level both out of high school and out of the transfer portal, and as a result, the Tide will boast perhaps the most talented roster in the entire sport and the best team on paper that Oats has had.

Michael Brauner is a Senior Sports Analyst and Contributing Writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @MBraunerWNSP

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