The star player of No. 1 overall seed Alabama was accompanied on Wednesday by an armed security guard as the Crimson Tide appeared for media obligations and practiced ahead of their first game of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday. Alabama coach Nate Oats was asked about the apparent added protection for star freshman Brandon Miller, who was recently linked to the murder of 23-year-old Jamea Jonae Harris, and implied that Miller has been receiving threats that required personal security.
"If you guys saw some of what I've seen sent his way, I think you'd understand why that's the case," Oats said. "I don't want to get into all of that. ... Our administration has seen stuff I've seen and [the security] is appropriate. It's nothing a college kid should have to go through. I think if you read or see what I've seen, you'd understand why that's going on right now."
Miller is accused of driving a gun owned by teammate Darius Miles to the scene of the crime where Miles' gun was used by a friend, Michael Lynn Davis, to murder Jamea Jonae Harris. Both Miles and Davis were charged and have subsequently been indicted for capital murder in the case.
Miller's attorney maintains that Miller did not see or handle the gun. He faces no charges in the case and has not faced any internal punishment within the Alabama program.
The involvement of Miller in the incident was not yet known until February -- more than a month after the murder -- which raised questions about the school's transparency in the case, though the Deputy District attorney working the case has said Miller cannot be charged with anything despite him being on the scene and allegedly helping to supply the gun used in the murder.
Miller is the leading scorer for No. 1 overall seed Alabama and a projected top-five pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. The Crimson Tide open their NCAA Tournament run on Thursday with a first round matchup against No. 16 seed Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.