BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Alabama’s Herbert Jones was named the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, while Nate Oats was tabbed the league’s Coach of the Year, as the league office announced the 2021 postseason awards on Tuesday.
In addition to those honors, John Petty Jr. joined Jones as All-SEC First Team honorees, while Jaden Shackelford earned All-SEC Second Team recognition. Joshua Primo became the fifth straight UA rookie to earn a spot on the league’s all-freshman team, while Jones was also one of five named as an all-defensive team performer, earning the accolade for a second consecutive year.
Jones and Oats become the first Alabama duo to sweep the Player of the Year and Coach of the Year since Mark Gottfried and Erwin Dudley achieved the feat in 2002. Jones is the first Alabama player to earn the league’s Defensive Player of the Year honor and is just the third player in SEC history to sweep both the Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year awards, joining Kentucky’s Anthony Davis (2011-12) and Tyler Ulis (2015-16).
Both Jones (National Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year) and Oats (National Coach of the Year) are semifinalists for Naismith Trophy postseason awards, which will be announced during the Final Four on April 4, 2021.
Nate Oats, SEC Coach of the Year
- After finishing last season with a 16-15 record and 8-10 mark in SEC play, Oats has guided Alabama to a 21-6 overall record in 2020-21 and a 16-2 mark in Southeastern Conference play in his second season at the Capstone
- The Tide clinched the program’s first regular season title in 19 years since earning the 2002 regular season crown
- The 16 league wins tied for the most in program history (1986-87 team finished SEC play 16-2)
- Alabama’s 10-game winning streak earlier in the year was the longest in 25 years dating back to the 1996-97 campaign
- Owns an overall record of 37-21 (.638) across his two years at UA and a 24-12 (.667) mark against SEC competition
Herbert Jones, SEC Player of the Year/Defensive Player of the Year/First Team/All-Defensive
- Becomes the fifth player in program history to earn SEC Player of the Year honors, joining Wendell Hudson (1973), Reggie King (1978 and 1979), Derrick McKey (1987) and Erwin Dudley (2002)
- First-ever UA player to be named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year since the award’s inception in 2004
- Third player in SEC history to earn both awards in the same season, joining Kentucky’s Anthony Davis in 2011-12 and Tyler Ulis in 2015-16
- Anchors the nation’s third-ranked defense in terms of defensive efficiency, according to KenPom.com
- Leads the team in assists (3.2 apg), rebounding (6.1 rpg), steals (1.7 spg), three-point field goal percentage (45.5 percent), offensive rebounds per game (2.03), defensive rebounds per game (4.1), deflections (92), floor dives (18) and total blocked shots (27)
- Has collected a team-leading 541.5 Blue Collar Points (BCP) – a system that includes players receiving points each game for deflections, steals, blocks, rebounds, floor dives and charges
- The 6-8, 210-pound point forward is 164 points better than the next closest player in Blue Collar Points
- Has earned the team’s “Hard Hat Award” as the BCP single-game point leader in 14 of the Tide’s 27 games, with the next closest player earning three Hard Hat Awards
- Across the Crimson Tide’s 27 games on the season, Jones is averaging 10.9 points per game while shooting 45.1 percent from the floor and 72.3 percent from the foul line – all career-best numbers
John Petty Jr., First Team
- Earns first-team honors after garnering second-team accolades a year ago
- Two-time SEC Player of the Week, picking up the honor twice in the month of January (Jan. 4 and Jan. 18)
- Also named the NCAA National Player of the Week for Jan. 18
- Leads team in minutes per game (31.2) and threes made (64) and attempted (166) and ranks second in scoring (12.8 ppg), double-figure scoring games (19) and rebounding (5.1 rpg)
- School’s all-time leader in three-pointers made (64) and attempted (166)
- Broke the mark for career threes made at UA against Arkansas on Jan. 16 by sinking five treys and finishing with 17 points in the win
Jaden Shackelford, Second Team
- Collects second-team accolades after collecting all-freshman honors a year ago
- Named SEC Player of the Week for the week of Dec. 30 when after he scored 26 points on the strength of a career-best eight three-pointers to lead UA past ETSU, 85-69, on Dec. 22.
- Leads team in scoring average (14.5 ppg), double-figure scoring games (21), 20-point scoring games (4) and charges taken (14), while ranking second in threes made (49) and attempted (148)
- Ranks second on team in threes made (49) and attempted (148) and minutes per game (29.6)
- Has hit double figures in 35 of his last 40 games played dating back to last season
Joshua Primo, Freshman Team
- Becomes the fifth consecutive Alabama freshman to earn a spot on the league’s all-freshman team (Braxton Key – 2017, Collin Sexton – 2018, Kira Lewis Jr. – 2019, Jaden Shackelford – 2020)
- Named SEC Freshman of the Week for the week of Jan. 25
- Had a season-high 22 points including career-best marks of 4-of-8 from beyond the arc and 8-of-8 from the free throw line, to go along with five boards and three assists in the win at Auburn on Jan. 19
- Matched that with 22 points at LSU (1/19), knocking down a career-best six three-pointers in the victory
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