Is Brandon Miller the Wave that Pushes the Tide Over the Top?
After a frustrating 2021-22 campaign, Nate Oats & company decided to completely revamp their roster. Bringing star transfers Mark Sears from Ohio and Dom Welch from St. Bonaventure into the program adds much needed leadership and experience. The Tide also took home the 3rd best recruiting class in the nation, signing Jaden Bradley, Rylan Griffen, Noah Clowney, and top JUCO recruit Nick Pringle, but possibly the biggest X-Factor for this upcoming season is 5-star freshman Brandon Miller.
Miller, the 15th ranked recruit in the 2022 class out of Cane Ridge High School, was heavily pursued by many elite programs, such as Auburn, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Kansas. The Antioch, TN native committed to the Tide on November 1st, 2021. Miller racked up 26.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 2.0 steals per game during his senior season at Cane Ridge which earned him a spot as a McDonald's All-American alongside Alabama teammate Jaden Bradley.
Miller is the type of talent that Alabama Basketball has needed to consistently compete with the Blue Bloods of college basketball. Miller adds a mix of athleticism, size, and offensive finesse that Alabama has rarely had. The 6-8 small forward possesses an ability to knock down a shot from anywhere on the court, a gift for driving to the rim with ease, top tier ball handling, and elite court vision. Despite his offensive prowess, Miller isn't a slouch on defense. Miller has a nice feel for stealing the ball away from opposing players and protecting the rim.
The buzz around Miller was loud as soon as he stepped on campus, but he really started to turn heads when Alabama hosted an open scrimmage on June 30th. Miller shined in the game, dropping 30 points for the Crimson team, which led all scorers. Miller continued to excite fans during the Tide's international tour in Europe, where he averaged 22 points and led the Tide to a perfect 3-0 record. This includes a win over the Chinese National Team, that is ranked as the 29th best team in the world. This summer's tour prepped Alabama for their upcoming season, which is regarded as one of the toughest schedules in the country.
Miller is potentially the key piece that Nate Oats and his staff have been searching for, and they hope that he will put them over the top in March. Fans hope that the mix of Miller and other young talent alongside talented veterans can help lead the Tide to their best season in program history.
I ask you; do you believe that Miller will push the Tide over the top of the daunting challenge of the wild nature of college basketball?