Brandon Miller held scoreless in Alabama’s first-round win

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Alabama star ahead Brandon Miller, who has been coping with a groin damage, was held scoreless for the primary time this season because the Crimson Tide beat Texas A&M Corpus Christi 96-75 in the course of the first spherical of the NCAA match on Thursday.

Miller, who averaged a team-high 19.7 factors per recreation, performed solely 19 minutes and missed all 5 of his discipline aim makes an attempt. He averaged 33.2 minutes per recreation getting into the match.

A projected lottery choose, Miller had 5 rebounds, three assists and three turnovers.

Alabama coach Nate Oats stated Miller injured his groin in the course of the Crimson Tide’s win within the SEC championship recreation on Sunday.

“It was nice to be able to put up 96 without Brandon scoring a point,” Oats stated. “… We were trying to play him limited minutes. We were able to keep him under 20. Hopefully, he can get a lot of rehab today and tomorrow and look a lot more like himself on Saturday.”

Miller, for his half, downplayed the severity of the damage. Asked if it was the explanation he was on the bench for stretches of the sport, he stated, “If that’s what you want to call it … we can go with that.”

“I feel like I was just there to support my team,” he added.

Miller stated the damage is “getting better by the day.”

Asked if he anticipated to play in opposition to Maryland on Saturday, he responded, “Of course.”

Texas A&M Corpus Christi coach Steve Lutz joked on Wednesday that the Islanders would wish Miller to fall in poor health for them to cease him.

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“I mean, he was scoreless, you know, I don’t know that you can give our defense a lot of the credit,” Lutz stated Thursday. “Maybe he had an off night. I really don’t know. I know that I watched him on tape and he’s really, really good. Um, so for us to have collectively done the job that we did on him defensively is a feather our cap.

“But I would not anticipate that to occur once more to be trustworthy with you.”

Miller downplayed the severity of the threats he said he’s received because of his alleged connection to the capital murder case of former teammate Darius Miles and another man, who are charged in the fatal shooting of 23-year-old Jamea Harris on Jan. 15.

During a court hearing last month, a police officer testified that Miles texted Miller asking him to bring Miles’ gun in the early morning hours of the shooting. Miller has not been accused of a crime and the university has described Miller as a cooperating witness, not a suspect.

Oats said Wednesday that an armed security guard had been assigned to protect Miller because of the threats.

Whether it’s social media or email, Miller said he’s received threats “by all platforms” and that he passes them along to the university to address.

“It would not hassle me,” Miller said. “I ship it to the appropriate individuals after which they deal with it.”

Asked how he keeps his focus, he said simply, “I lean on my teammates.”