In less than a month Brandon Miller’s Alabama basketball career will be over. It could possibly be over in days, though there is no sound reason to think it will end before the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Much has been written and said about Brandon Miller in recent weeks. Too much of it has been nothing but baseless, sleazy attacks from individuals unworthy of being called professionals.
Brandon Miller has moved forward with determination. As a cooperative witness in a future murder trial, there is little he can say. It is unfair to define his terseness as anything more than the young man doing what he has been advised to do.
What he has done during the period is put the Alabama basketball team on his back and carry it to a pair of championships. Make no mistake, what Alabama has earned has been won by a team and not an individual. From the distance of being a fan, this Alabama team is a tightly knit group of young men who share immense trust and faith in each other.
More than a few of them are team leaders. There is Jahvon Quinerly, who for much of the season did not have a game to match his tough, aggressive determination. In recent weeks, Quinerly has become one of the best point guards in the nation. There is backup Noah Gurley, an emotional leader who for an interval saw his play diminish to almost an afterthought. Not diminished was his enthusiasm and support for his teammates. Called upon late in the season, Gurley has delivered on the court.
More players and more examples of their team-first attitudes could be mentioned. In terms of team cohesion, Nate Oats has an exceptional roster. Oats and each member of his staff deserve to share credit.
Is Brandon Miller the best Alabama basketball player ever?
And there is Brandon Miller. His life situation is sadly unique. The same can be said about his game – minus the sadness. 6’9″ college basketball freshmen are not supposed to have the game Miller has. He plays position-less basketball for Nate Oats and he does it magnificently. Layered on top of his considerable basketball skills is a fierce, but contained attitude of refusing for his team to lose.
Even when Miller’s game is off in some ways, he finds other ways to lead his team. The most recent example was Sunday in Nashville. Miller leads the SEC in 3pt-shooting accuracy at 40.35%. Against the Aggies, in the SEC Tournament Final, Miller was 4-of-14. A couple of the four long-range makes were pivotal, but Miller did much more. While scoring 23 points, he snagged 12 rebounds and dished out four assists. Whatever it takes for his team to win is what Brandon Miller does.
Hopefully, the 2022-23 Alabama Basketball season has another six games. What happens in however many games there are – at the end, Alabama fans may be saying Brandon Miller is the Crimson Tide’s best – ever. He may already be this season’s best college basketball player.