Nate Oats

Nate Oats at his introductory news conference.

It’s hard not to like Nate Oats for at least dreaming aloud.

The new Alabama men’s basketball coach said he wants to see Nick Saban-era football success waft its way into Coleman Coliseum, and that would set college basketball on its ear.

Alabama, making like Florida in the Billy Donovan-Urban Meyer peak years? Hey, bring it on.

The reality, however, is it would be nice to see Alabama just be that team it was, when Wimp Sanderson threatened to make plaid jackets about as popular as houndstooth hats in Tuscaloosa.

Be a consistent NCAA tournament team.

Be a regular round-of-16 threat.

Win an SEC tournament or two.

Make a recent memory for Alabama basketball, besides being one of two teams that played in the Tornado Game in the Georgia Dome. There were NCAA cups of coffee in 2012 and 2018, but it’s high time for one of the outposts that can help make college basketball matter in this state lit up.

Jacksonville State has won 20 games each of the past three seasons and made an NCAA tournament during that span.

UAB had an era, followed by fits and starts.

South Alabama had, well, Ronnie Arrow, Junie Lewis and Jeff Hodge.

For college basketball to matter in Alabama, however, both SEC locales need to join the Madness regularly. Auburn has it going, and Alabama needs to get out of Joe Lunardi’s friend zone, also known as last four in/first four out.

The two state Power Fives need to be good together. Here’s hoping the latest hot-name coach Alabama will try makes it happen.

Sports Writer Joe Medley: 256-235-3576. On Twitter: @jmedley_star.

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