What we know about the Alabama basketball scandal at the start of their tournament


The Alabama Crimson Tide will begin their March Madness journey on Thursday when they take on the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders in the first round.

Alabama will be the heavy favorite against No. 16 seed Texas A&M, which beat the Southeastern Missouri State Redhawks 75-71 in their “first four” game at the Men’s Tournament. this year’s NCAA.

And although the team enters the tournament having been named the No. 1 seed for the first time in school history, it comes against the backdrop of a tumultuous off-court season.

The team’s star player Brandon Miller – who is expected to be chosen near the top of the NBA draft in June – was a ‘cooperative witness’ in a fatal shooting that took place on the Alabama campus in January.

Here’s everything you need to know before the team tournament begins:

In January, former University of Alabama basketball player Darius Miles and co-defendant Michael Lynn Davis were arrested and charged with capital murder in the shooting death of Jamea Jonae Harris near the college campus.

Davis is accused of firing the shot that killed Harris when Miles allegedly aided and abetted him, CNN reported.

Michael Lynn Davis, left, and Darius Miles, right.

A law enforcement officer said Miles texted Miller to bring Miles’ gun to the scene where the shooting happened, according to CNN affiliate WBMA.

Miller is not charged with any crime. CNN has reached out to Miller for comment.

The Alabama Athletic Department said in February that Miller was “not considered a suspect … only a cooperative witness” in the murder case.

Both Miles and Davis appeared in a Tuscaloosa court in February for a bond hearing, court records show. District Court Judge Joanne M. Jannik denied each of their motions to set bail, according to court documents.

Miller spoke for the first time since last week’s shooting, calling it “heartbreaking”.

“I never lose sight of the fact that a family lost someone close to them that night,” Miller told reporters. “This whole situation is really heartbreaking, but respectfully, that’s all I’m going to say about it.”

Since being cleared to return to the field, Miller has faced boos and jeers from opposing fans, which he says he noticed.

“We hear the chants. I feel like we really lean on each other to go places like this and get tough wins,” he explained.

On Feb. 23, Miller scored a career-high 41 points against South Carolina just hours after the school said he would remain an “active member” of the team while law enforcement continue to investigate the shooting. The 41 points were the most by a freshman in Alabama history.

Miller speaks to the media after the 2023 SEC Basketball Tournament Finals on March 12, 2023.

After the win over South Carolina, Alabama coach Nate Oats backtracked on previous comments he made about Miller’s connection to Harris’ death, including that the 20-year-old ” didn’t have any type of problem, he’s not in any type of problem on this case.

“I used the wrong choice of words, giving the impression that I didn’t take this tragic situation seriously, which we have throughout this,” Oats told reporters. “I sincerely apologize for that.”

Explaining the decision to allow Miller to play, Oats said, “We make decisions based on the available facts and that’s what we did here.”

He also called the forward “one of the mentally strongest kids I’ve ever coached” after the Alabama win.

Miller was selected as a player and freshman in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) by league coaches last week.

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