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A lot of chatter coming into the 2023 NBA Draft this season was the hype on the Metropolitan 92s 7-foot-4 “French Mamba” Victor Wembayama, who’s the clear-cut No.1 pick and a generational talent, and NBA G-League Ignite guard Scoot Henderson, and rightfully so. But, one guy who’s really elevated his draft stock this college basketball season is the reigning SEC Player and Rookie of the Year of the Alabama Bulldogs, Brandon Miller.
Miller is an athletic, long 6-foot-9 forward with a solid frame at 200 lbs with more room to get stronger. He is an elite scorer and shooter, averaging 19.1 points per game this season on 44% from the field and 39.5% from three-point range. He plays with an intense passion and fire for the game on both ends of the floor, something you don’t typically see in a player so young and early in their career.
He recently scored 19 points in their 73-51 win in the Round of 32 against the No.8 Maryland Terapins while dealing with a groin injury, which shows his grittiness and love for the game to forget about the pain and pull through when his team needed him most.
The reigning SEC Player of the Year has had some mesmerizing performances that have caused some NBA scouts and Draft experts to consider him as the No.2 pick over Scoot Henderson because of his elite two-way ability as a wing, which is highly coveted in today’s game. From guys like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and even Jayson Tatum, to name a few, who have been cornerstone pillars to championship-winning teams over the years, and Tatum led his team to multiple Conference Finals appearances, and an NBA Finals berth last season.
Some of those performances include his career-high 41-point outing against South Carolina in a 78-76 overtime win on February 22 which he shot 14-of-25 from the field (56%) and 6-of-13 (46%) from downtown, or what about his back-to-back 30-point games in wins against LSU and Vanderbilt in January where he displayed elite marksmanship and ability to move without the ball.
Miller can still use some polish on his handle, but already has a solid ability to create his own shot and a combination of hesitation moves he uses to get to the lane and get his defenders off balance to create easier shots for himself. He also is deadly in transition with his elite dynamic ability to finish above the rim or kill you with a pull-up transition three that just gives defenders nightmares all night because of his diversified skillset.
Miller has gotten caught in some off-court allegations related to a fatal shooting that resulted in a young woman’s death, but there’s been no evidence to prove he had anything to do with the killing. However, the No.1 ranked Bulldogs are on a quest to capture a national title behind the player of their budding star wing.
Miller has drawn comparisons to Rudy Gay and Danny Granger, but I see some Tatum in his game in his two-way ability and sneaky athleticism. He’ll need to improve his shot selection from the mid-range and continue to become more efficient at attacking the rim. Who doesn’t want to see more plays like this?.... Have mercy!
Miller’s passion for the game, elite shot-making ability on all three levels, playmaking ability, and defensive versatility is why I think he’ll be the No.2 pick over Scoot Henderson come this June and believe he is the next great NBA forward.