5-Star Forward Jarin Stevenson Chooses Crimson Tide, Shocks UNC and Virginia
Jarin Stevenson, a five-star forward, declared his commitment to Alabama on Wednesday and said he would reclassify to play for the Alabama Crimson Tide this summer. What you need to know is as follows:
- According to the 247Sports Composite, Stevenson was the third-ranked power forward in the 2024 recruiting class and ranked as the No. 22 player overall.
- The Pittsboro, North Carolina, native choose Alabama over North Carolina and Virginia, two other contenders. He received the Tar Heels’ first bid for the 2024 class.
- In 2024, UNC will still have the top class.
Stevenson’s Commitment Sends Shockwaves Through Alabama, Signaling a New Era of Basketball Dominance
His pledge fills the vacancies left in Alabama’s frontcourt by Brandon Miller, Noah Clowney, and Charles Bediako, who are all projected to go in the NBA Draft. Coach Nate Oats fits the 6-foot-10, 200-pound prospect like a glove. He is a solid help-side defender, and last season, he averaged nearly four blocks per game because of his agility and timing. He can turn those blocks or rebounds into quick plays in transition, either for himself or others, which is a key component of Oats’ approach.
Stevenson was persuaded by Alabama’s ability to develop him using an NBA-style system. Stevenson is a physical wonder, but he knows that to make himself more appealing to NBA scouts, he needs to improve all aspects of his game, especially on offense. Stevenson will have opportunities in catch-and-shoots dribble-drives while still being able to work in pick-and-rolls and near the basket as a big man thanks to Oats’ five-out strategy (he was a 36 percent three-point shooter last season).
Alabama’s possible 2023 draft choices demonstrate Oats’ ability to assist and attract frontcourt players to the NBA. Signing one of the country’s top recruits and defeating blue blood like North Carolina in head-to-head competition is a significant recruiting victory for the school.
Unraveling the Drama Behind Stevenson’s Recruitment Journey, a Tale of Suspense, Surprises, and Triumph
Credit Oats and his team are here to overtake North Carolina, which has held the lead in Stevenson’s recruiting for most of that time. Why? The family’s closeness to Chapel Hill—less than an hour—and that Nicole Stevenson, S. Stevenson’s mother, played for UNC under former Tar Heels coach Sylvia Hatchell contribute to their success. Hubert Davis also gave Stevenson the first scholarship offer from UNC for the class of 2024 after just one visit.
But as time passed, Stevenson’s potential for reclassification became more of a factor in his hiring. Even though the Tar Heels still had vacant scholarships this summer, other schools did, and Alabama seized the chance. In recent weeks, rumors have circulated in recruiting circles that Stevenson would most likely choose the Crimson Tide if he reclassified to 2023 (and enrolled in college this summer). Thoughts were that Stevenson would strengthen North Carolina’s already-ranked No. 1 recruiting class, including fellow five-star talents Ian Jackson and Drake Powell if he remained in the 2024 class.
Given Alabama’s current depth chart—the Tide lost three players, Brandon Miller, Charles Bediako, and Noah Clowney, to the NBA Draft—SStevenson has a realistic chance of receiving early playing time in the upcoming season. Stevenson is the most recent top 2024 talent to reclassify, joining players like Trentyn Flowers of Louisville and Elliot Cadeau of North Carolina, among others.
Brandon Miller, a star forward and unanimous All-American, will be in the locker room. Miller won’t have to wait long because he will likely go to the Trailblazers at No. 3 overall and may go as high as No. 2 to the Hornets. When selected, he will be Alabama’s first top-three choice since Antonio McDyess was selected in the second round in 1995. Even if that in and of itself is unique for Alabama, there is another potential that is equally, if not more, important.
Over the weekend, forward Noah Clowney also earned a green room invitation. Sam Vecenie of The Athletic’s most recent mock draft has Clowney going to the Rockets at pick 20. Alabama is one of four schools with multiple first-round forecasts by Vecenie (Arkansas, Duke, and Michigan). If that forecast comes to pass, Jason Caffey (No. 20) joining McDyess would be the first time since 1995 that Alabama had two first-round choices in the same draft.