Alabama Basketball: How Nate Oats replaces Brandon Miller


How will Nate Oats replace the best Alabama basketball player? He won’t. There’s more on that below, First, a dive into what Miller has brought to Alabama that Tide fans hope can be replaced.

Labeling players as ‘generational’ is overused. But it is accurate for Brandon Miller. Over the decades, Alabama has had many very good players. Some of them were great college players. Several became even better after college, in the NBA.

The Alabama Crimson Tide has never had a player with a package of skills better than Brandon Miller.

Miller is the sixth Alabama basketball player to win the SEC Player of the Year Award. The first was Wendall Hudson in the 1973 season. Reggie King won it twice in 1978 and 1979. Derrick McKey won the award in 1987. Erwin Dudley won it in 2002, The most recent, before Brandon Miller, was Herbert Jones in the 2021 season.

Though never an SEC Player of the Year, the highest honor bestowed on an Alabama basketball player went to Leon Douglas. Douglas was a Consensus, Second Team, All-America in the 1975 season.

Note: Historical player records provided by

Alabama Basketball and All-America Players

The Alabama Crimson Tide basketball program has never had a unanimous All-Amercia player. That might change this year. The NCAA calculates football and basketball All-America honors differently. Unlike the process for football, the NCAA uses a point system to distinguish each season’s Consensus All-America players.

In order for a basketball player to be considered a Unanimous All-America, all four organizations recognized by the NCAA must so designate the player. Those organizations are the Sporting News, the United States Basketball Writers Association, the National Association of Basketball Coaches, and the Associated Press.

The first of the groups, Sporting News has announced its 2022-23 All-America teams.

  • First Team – Zach Edey (Purdue), Tracyce Jackson-Davis (Indiana), Jalen Wilson (Kansas), Drew Timme (Gonzaga) and Alabama’s Brandon Miller
  • Second Team – Jaime Jaquez (UCLA),   Azoulas Tubelis (Arizona), Marcus Sasser (Houston), Jalen Pickett (Penn State), Tyler Kolek (Marquette)
  • Third Team – Kendric Davis (Memphis), Kris Murray (Iowa), Oscar Tshiebwe (Kentucky), Markquis Nowell (Kansas State), Armando Bacot (North Carolina)

Nate Oats and Alabama will have Brandon Miller for at most nine more games. A one-and-done exit to the NBA is inevitable. At this point, Alabama has three, 4-Star recruits and one 3-Star joining the Crimson Tide in the 2023 class. The Crimson Tide has another 4-Star who enrolled early and is redshirted this season.

The additions bring exciting potential to the Crimson Tide. But none of them is a Brandon Miller. Nate Oats will strive to make the Crimson Tide aggregate stronger next season, without this season’s best component, who is close to irreplaceable. Theoretically, a player, equal in caliber to Miller could be added through the transfer portal. But the reality is players so exceptional, rarely transfer, so the odds of Oats pulling that off are small.

Next. Crimson Tide NCAA Tournament History. dark

Speaking of generational players and Brandon Miller truly being one, Alabama was rather lucky to get Miller. His father playing football for Gene Stallings and Brandon growing up an Alabama fan was pivotal.