The 6-foot-9, 20-year-old Alabama Crimson Tide standout showed flashes of brilliance during his lone year in Tuscaloosa. He played so well that he earned the SEC Freshman of the Year and Player of the Year awards and caught the eyes of every NBA scout.
The people who do the draft analysis have him in the second tier of players - right below Victor Wembenyama, but in the same category with Scoot Henderson. He will most likely go either second or third overall if things stay as they are right now. His length and versatility along with great shooting ability for his height have made him a hot commodity that will not stay on the board for very long. While he did not have the best NCAA tournament (where most fans would have watched him) he still put up great stats during the regular season and showed his potential for becoming a great NBA player.
Miller averaged 18.8 points and 8.2 rebounds and lead Alabama to being a top team for the majority of the season. He was a great player in college that was the first option on the number one team in the country. While he did not perform very well in the tournament and that should cause a little bit of concern - he shot 8/41 from the field on the way to an early exit in the Sweet 16 - I believe that we should look at his whole season when judging him as a prospect. Lucky for him, when taking his whole season into account, he looks pretty dang good.
Let’s look at some positives and negatives of him as a prospect.
I think the biggest advantage that Miller has over his competition is his ability to shoot the ball at a high clip especially at his size. During the season, he shot 38.5% from three point range and had a free throw percentage of 86% both on relatively high volumes (7.5 3PA and 4.6 FTA). This will allow him to be a threat from distance, force the opposing defenders to play tighter defense and put the ball on the floor. What he lacks in a quick first step should be counteracted by the fact that these defenders have to play closer to him on the defensive end, or he will make them pay.
Positive Impact (even if he is not having a good statistical game)
This is more of a general idea that cannot be pinned down statistically or within highlights but I found he has the ability to positively impact the game in a variety of ways. Miller is a jack-of-all-trades prospect which if you look at it in this way is a good thing. When his team needs rebounds: he rebounds, when they need some defense: he can play good defense, when they need a bucket: he gets a bucket. He also has a season plus-minus of +11.0 on the entire season. All of this promotes winning basketball, which is something that I think everyone can enjoy.
One thing that concerns me about Miller is his ability to consistently finish through contact. At times he is aggressive and will not be denied at the rim and yet there are a lot of instances where he is timid and backs down from that challenge. That is not a trait that you want from your wing player and could hinder his ability to score at all three levels.
In both clips, Miller gets boxed out of his positioning by players that should not be able to do that to an NBA caliber player like Miller. He uses his lethal outside shooting to gain some separation but then is indecisive when he gets downhill close to the rim. This causes these off balance looks that have no chance of going in - and because it is a weak effort he has no chance of getting a foul call either.
*Both clips I took from “Hoop Intellect” on YouTube. He does a great job finding and breaking down film on a lot of prospects. Go check him out!
Not “The Best” at Anything
This is the downside of the “jack-of-all trades” prototype that I was talking about previously. He is a well-versed prospect and excels at a lot of areas of the game there is little about his overall play that suggests he can be dominant in one area. The one thing that he has over other players is his shooting ability for how tall he is but the rest he is similar too many other prospects - he just has more tools than most. This inherently creates a higher floor for him as a prospect but the ceiling is more up in the air. While he does have a good basis for a lot of skills if he does not improve upon those and find some other traits to make him stand out from the rest then he could be stuck in mid to high level role player purgatory.
Brandon Miller is a great prospect and has a lot of tools that can make him into a good NBA player. The most consistent thing that needs development in prospects is outside shooting but that is something that he excels at and is one of his best attributes. Along with this, he is very good at a lot of different categories. I think that if he has a good work ethic and is able to commit himself to improvement in certain aspects of his game then he could be a great player in the league. The development will be something to keep an eye on as he progresses, but he is most definitely a prospect worth watching.