Why Cane Ridge’s Brandon Miller Picked Alabama Over Kansas


Not being the type to show emotion, Brandon Miller couldn’t help but smile.

Seconds after announcing his commitment to basketball in Alabama, Cane Ridge senior forward took off his black hoodie revealing a T-shirt with the Alabama logo on it.

Miller’s family, friends and teammates all cheered in the background as he sat there soaking up.

“At first the recruiting process was cool, but after that it got stressful, overwhelming and I didn’t know what to do,” Miller said. “I sat down with my parents and had one of those long conversations and made a decision that we thought was the best. It takes a lot of the stress away from me.

“We’re always going to have kids who prey on our heads, but it takes a lot of the stress away that I had and it’s huge.”

Miller, a 6-foot-8 forward who is the State’s No.1 player for the class of 2022 and the nation’s No.11 player according to the 247Sports composite, chose Alabama over Kansas, the State of Tennessee, the Australian NBL and the NBA League G.

Kansas made a late push, according to Miller, which made the decision even more difficult.

“They had a chance for sure,” Miller said. “If I wasn’t going to Alabama, I would definitely go to Kansas. Coach Bill Self did a great job with his recruiting as well.

“You can’t win them all though.”

Miller was originally scheduled to make his announcement in late September, but postponed the decision until the first day of training to give himself more time.

“It was hard for me not to be biased so to be fair to him I shopped around the other places a bit more to let him know what he was potentially getting,” said Darrell Miller, the father. of the player. “In the end, I’m happy with his decision. He’s going ‘Roll Tide’ and will end up there, so that’s a good thing.”

Miller also said his relationship with Alabama’s other five-star engagement, Jaden Bradley, played a role in his final decision.

“He actually facetimed me last night to see where my head was,” Miller laughed. “I told him he already knew where I was going. He actually told me he was going to Alabama before he enlisted, so I did the same. ‘a brother.”

Now Miller has said he is only focusing on the coming season.

Cane Ridge five-star forward Brandon Miller announces his engagement in Alabama at Cane Ridge High School in Antioch, Tennessee on Monday, November 1, 2021.

Cane Ridge made his first run in the State Tournament last season with Miller in the lead. He averaged 23.3 points, 8 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 2.6 blocks and 2.3 as the Ravens were one game away from their first state championship.

With his game more polished than it has been throughout his high school career, Cane Ridge coach Marlin Simms said he’s thrilled to see what Miller is doing now as his announcement to the university is out of the way and he can concentrate on the field.

“He has it all,” Simms said. “He’s got what it takes to be a professional basketball player, and he’s a special kid. He’s a better person, though, and that’s what I like about him.

“As far as his game goes, his defense is very underrated. You know what he can do offensively, but he’s also a great defender on and off the ball.”

Contact Joe Spears at jspears2@gannett.com or 731-343-4923. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter @ joe_spears7.

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