Videos by OutKick
Alabama freshman Brandon Miller scored a career-high 41 points in an overtime victory at South Carolina on Wednesday night. Miller is currently embroiled in a murder investigation involving former teammates Darius Miles and Michael Davis.
Despite his involvement, Alabama elected to allow Brandon Miller to play Wednesday night, and seemingly will continue to allow him to play.
With that hanging over his and the team’s head, the Tide struggled as 17-point road favorites against SEC bottom-dweller South Carolina.
And Miller faced incredible heckling from the road crowd as fans chanted “lock him up” throughout the contest.
But Miller did not struggle. He tied the game in regulation with under five seconds left to send it to overtime. Miller hit the game-winning layup with one second left in overtime, his 41st points of the night.
Stephen A. Smith said on First Take that NBA scouts will be impressed with Miller’s “mental toughness.”
“I will applaud Brandon Miller the basketball player from the standpoint that … to endure what he was enduring last night and to go out there as a freshman and to put on that show on the road absolutely showed a level of mental toughness that — I believe — NBA scouts, people on the next level, will look at … that level of mental toughness and find a way to applaud that,” Smith said.
Stephen A. Smith is correct about Brandon Miller and NBA scouts
Smith went on to say that he doesn’t think Miller should be playing.
Regardless of how anyone feels about Miller playing, it’s hard to find fault in Smith’s commentary here.
NBA scouts will definitely view Wednesday’s performance as a positive. Not only did Miller go off, but he did so under intense scrutiny in a conference game on the round.
On a night where Miller could have been expected to struggle, he carried an Alabama team while his teammates DID struggle.
He scored more than half of Alabama’s 78 points. He shot 56% (14-25) from the field and 46% (6-13) from three. The rest of the team shot just 35% (13-37) from the field and 7% (1-14) from three.
Scouts in all sports look for how players perform under pressure and against adversity. Miller faced both on Wednesday night and had the best night of his young career.
Like it or not, that’s good for his NBA Draft stock.
Follow Dan Zaksheske on Twitter: @OutkickDanZ
One CommentLeave a Reply
Smith was fully supportive of the murderous Ray Lewis, so at least he’s consistent.