A good example of it from Alabama’s John Petty, Jr. that says a lot about the culture Nate Oats has built in a short time.
Much like persuading a score-first guard to become a reliable defensive cog, Oats sold Petty on the notion that tapping the pause button was the best thing for him. Oats brought Petty’s mother into the discussion. He remained in contact with the player. Petty returned after missing one game, and he’s now Alabama’s second-leading scorer (13 points per game) and leads the team in 3-pointers (56). He watches full games, per Oats, and offers thoughts on Alabama’s keys to winning instead of waiting for the coaches to tell him. In a loss at Oklahoma, Petty was at the scorer’s table, set to check in, as the group on the floor went on a run. At the whistle, Oats couldn’t decide whom to take out. So Petty solved the issue: He told Oats to leave that group on the floor, and he returned to the bench.