Bama: Miller OK to play despite link to shooting


Feb 22, 2023

  • Jeff Borzello ESPN Staff Writer


    • Basketball recruiting expert.
    • Joined ESPN in2014
    • Graduate of University of Delaware.

A day after Tuscaloosa cops affirmed he brought a now-former colleague the pistol utilized to eliminate a female in January, Alabama star freshman Brandon Miller scored a career-high 41 points– consisting of a game-winning layup in the last second of overtime– as the No. 2 Crimson Tide outlived South Carolina78-76 in Columbia on Wednesday night.

About 3 1/2 hours prior to the 9 p.m. ET tipoff, Alabama revealed that Miller would play, calling him “an active member of our group.”

” UA Athletics continues to comply totally with police in the on-going examination of this awful scenario,” the school stated in a declaration. “Based on all the details we have actually gotten, Brandon Miller is ruled out a suspect in this case, just a cooperative witness.”

Miller then headed out and scored the most points by a freshman in a Division I video game this season and the most by an Alabama freshman in program history. He had the game-tying layup with 4.1 seconds to play in policy then the winner in overtime with 0.9 seconds left on the clock.

He did it in spite of hearing boos from the Colonial Life Arena crowd when he touched the ball. Members of the trainee area shouted “Lock him up” and “Guilty!” numerous times as Miller played.

” One of the most psychologically hard kids I’ve ever coached,” Crimson Tide coach Nate Oats stated postgame. “Not stunned he came all set to play and played well this evening.

” It might’ve been an interruption. Brandon revealed up.”

Neither Miller nor any other Tide gamers were provided to the media after the video game.

On Tuesday, Tuscaloosa Detective Branden Culpepper affirmed that Miller brought now-former colleague Darius Miles’ weapon to him on the night of the shooting death of 23- year-old Jamea Jonae Harris, after Miles asked him to do so by means of text. Miles, who has actually given that been eliminated from the Crimson Tide guys’s basketball program, and Michael Lynn Davis face capital murder charges in the death of Harris, who was shot and eliminated near school in the morning hours of Jan.15 Miles confessed to offering the weapon utilized in the shooting, according to detectives, however stated Davis fired the weapon.

Miller was not charged with a criminal activity, and Tuscaloosa Chief Deputy District Attorney Paula Whitley informed on Tuesday that “there’s absolutely nothing we might charge [Miller] with.”

Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne informed ESPN in an interview on the “College GameDay” podcast previously Wednesday that the school discovered some “brand-new realities” in the previous 48 hours, both from Tuesday’s hearing and later. He stated the choice to permit Miller to play was made in assessment with university president Dr. Stuart R. Bell, Oats, university legal counsel and others at the school.

” Collectively, we chose Brandon had the ability to play,” Byrne stated.

Byrne stated a few of the “brand-new info” that emerged impacted the school’s choice to enable Miller to play.

He stated Alabama didn’t understand of Miles’ text asking Miller to bring the weapon to the scene up until authorities affirmed to it in the court hearing Tuesday. Alabama authorities likewise found out that Miller had actually currently been on his method to get Miles when the text got here. Byrne included that Miles had actually wished to be gotten for “near to an hour” prior to Miller made his method over and was “currently nearly there” when the text got here.

The text that Miles supposedly sent out to Miller, according to the statement, consisted of a slang term for desiring his weapon: “I require my joint.”

” Our function in a criminal examination is to support police, not to perform our own examination and not to disrupt their efforts,” Byrne stated. “Although we’re not private investigators, we do have a task to examine whether anybody associated with our program has actually broken the guidelines, policies or requirements of the university. We make that examination based upon realities.”

Byrne stated that Miller “never ever left his lorry and was not associated with the collection of the weapon.”

” Darius had actually been asking Brandon to come select him up for near an hour,” Byrne included. “Brandon was currently on his method to select Darius up when he got the text for him that was reported the other day.”

Jim Standridge, among the lawyers representing Miller, launched a declaration Wednesday repeating a few of those points in an effort to “supply extra realities on Brandon’s behalf in action to misstatements in reporting the other day relating to Brandon.”

According to Standridge, Miller was currently on his method to get Miles when Miles texted him to bring him his weapon on the night of the shooting. Standridge composed that Miller never ever saw Miles’ pistol which it was “hidden under some clothes in the rear seats” of Miller’s vehicle. He included that Miller never ever touched the weapon or was associated with its exchange to Davis, the supposed shooter.

Police had actually affirmed Tuesday that Davis was dancing in front of Harris’ Jeep, causing an exchange in between Davis and Harris’ sweetheart, Cedric Johnson.

According to Standridge, Miller was uninformed of the fight in between the 2 celebrations, didn’t leave his cars and truck and had actually currently parked it when Johnson’s Jeep later on brought up behind him, therefore not purposefully obstructing its exit.

Miller, whose windscreen was struck by shooting, left when the shooting began.

” All of the occasions explained above are plainly recorded on video,” Standridge composed. “There is no conflict about Brandon’s activities throughout this night.”

Following the cops statement, Oats stated the school had actually understood about Miller’s existence at the scene, including that his gamer remained in the “incorrect area at the incorrect time.” Byrne informed ESPN that Oats had actually not been informed on the brand-new details that emerged in the hearing, which led on Tuesday night to Oats clarifying what he called his “regrettable remarks” previously in the day.

He opened his postgame press conference Wednesday night by once again excusing what he at first stated Tuesday.

” I am not here to make reasons, however I wish to make it clear that I didn’t have the information from the hearing that early morning, given that I was coming directly from practice,” Oats stated. “And I utilized a bad option of words, making it resemble I was not taking this terrible scenario seriously, which we have throughout the course of it. I regards excuse that.”

Miller, a 6-foot-9 little forward, is the highest-ranked NBA possibility playing in college this season. He is forecasted to go No. 5 total in ESPN’s most current 2023 NBA draft rankings. Miller is balancing 19.5 points and 8.0 rebounds per video game while shooting 43.1% from 3-point variety for the Crimson Tide (24 -4, 14 -1 SEC).

ESPN’s Pete Thamel and The Associated Press added to this report.

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