Brandon Miller injury update: How groin ailment, ‘unselfish’ play contributed to Alabama star’s scoreless game
Alabama made a statement in its NCAA tournament first-round game Thursday, looking like the No. 1 overall in a 21-point cutoff from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
The Crimson Tide has amassed 96 points, but when you tick the box score, something immediately catches your eye.
Freshman forward Brandon Miller – who is widely expected to be the first collegiate player selected in the 2023 NBA draft – was kept scoreless. And no, it’s not a computer error.
Miller only played 19 minutes. He went 0 for 5 from the field and 0 for 3 from the 3 point area. The five tries were his second fewest in a game this season.
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With 19.6 points per game before the NCAA tournament, Miller has the highest pointing average of any player not scored in a March Madness game since 1997. per ESPN Stats & Info.
Alabama head coach Nate Oats said after the game that Miller was dealing with an injury carried over from the SEC tournament.
What is Miller’s injury and how was he kept scoreless? The Sporting News has the latest updates.
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Brandon Miller injury update
Alabama coach Oats announced after Thursday’s game that Miller has been battling a groin injury since the March 12 SEC tournament championship game.
Nate Oats: Brandon Miller has been suffering from a groin injury since the SEC championship game. Miller was goalless today.
— Pat Forde (@ByPatForde) March 16, 2023
“We tried to give him limited minutes and we were able to keep him under 20,” Oats said. “Hopefully he can get a lot of rehab today and tomorrow and look a lot more like himself on Saturday.”
Miller played 30 minutes in the Crimson Tide’s 19-point win over Texas A&M in the SEC title game, but he wasn’t his usual efficient self. He still had 23 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and three steals in the contest, but he shot 5 for 20 from the field (4 for 14 of 3).
Miller will have a day to rest before Alabama take on Maryland in the Round of 32 on Saturday.
Alabama’s “selflessness” plays a part in Miller’s scoreless game
Even though the top scorer didn’t register a point, Alabama had no problem getting past the 16-man Islanders. It played to its depth, with five players scoring in double figures.
Nick Pringle – a junior transfer who has averaged just 3.0 points in 7.9 minutes per game this season – has risen to the occasion with Miller Limited. He was aiming for a season-high with 19 points and 15 rebounds.
Junior guard Mark Sears added 15 points, senior guard Jahvon Quinerly added 13, sophomore guard Nimari Burnett picked up 11 and freshman forward Noah Clowney finished with 10.
The group’s performance was a prime example of how this team achieved the #1 overall placement in the tournament; It’s way more talented than just his future NBA star.
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Oats, meanwhile, praised his team’s selflessness and next-man-up mentality.
“We had 21 assists tonight. I think the ball has moved and it shows how selfless our boys are. … 15 made 3s today, I think that’s the second highest in Alabama history for an NCAA tournament game,” he said. “We’re making high-level shots and it was nice to be able to field 96 without Brandon scoring a point.”