Nate Oats and Alabama managed to skate by Maryland into the Sweet Sixteen on Saturday night, and after being held scoreless in the Crimson Tide’s first game of the tournament, Brandon Miller was once again leading the way for his team. Miller scored 19 points on the night, and while his efficiency wasn’t great (just 5-17 from the field) it was good to see him get back on the scoreboard against Maryland.
Even with his improved play, it was clear that Miller still wasn’t fully healthy. Alabama is winning games, but their injuries are mounting, and with their best player laboring through injury, it’s clear there’s cause for concern. Oats even admitted that, despite what Miller says, he’s not 100 percent right now, and it’s something that Alabama will have to keep an eye on throughout the remainder of the tournament.
Via Charlie Potter:
“Nate Oats on Brandon Miller: ‘He definitely wasn’t 100 percent. He’s gonna tell you he’s 100 percent. … Give him a lot of credit, he was gonna go. There was no question he was gonna go.’”
Given the importance of March Madness, you can bet that Miller is going to continue to take the floor for Alabama and play through his lingering groin injury. It may not be as pretty as expected, but Alabama is still picking up wins, and at the end of the day, that’s all that matters in the tournament. Miller certainly didn’t have an outstanding game here, but he’s going to keep fighting through his injury for Alabama, and it will be interesting to see if he is still able to lead his team to the promised land.