Shortly after being labeled a “cooperative witness” in a murder case, Alabama freshman forward Brandon Miller scored 41 points, including the game’s winner, to lead the No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide to a 78-76 overtime victory over unranked South Carolina.
A chorus of boos and jeers could be heard at the Colonial Life Arena when Miller had the ball against South Carolina.
He scored a layup to tie the game with 4.1 seconds remaining, then completed the victory for Alabama with another layup in overtime.
Miller was playing in the game hours after the school said he would remain an “active member” of the team while law enforcement continues to investigate last month’s campus shooting death of Jamea Jonae Harris.
A law enforcement officer testified that former Alabama basketball player Darius Miles, who was arrested for his alleged involvement in a shooting that killed Harris last month, had 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.
“UA Athletics continues to cooperate fully with law enforcement in the on-going investigation of this tragic situation,” the athletic department said Wednesday.
“Based on all the information we have received, Brandon Miller is not considered a suspect in this case, only a cooperative witness.”
CNN has reached out to Miller for comment.
Miles and co-defendant Michael Lynn Davis were arrested and charged with capital murder in relation to Harris’ death campus last month.
Davis is accused of firing the shot that killed Harris while Miles allegedly aided and abetted him, CNN has reported.
Both suspects appeared in a Tuscaloosa court Tuesday for a bond hearing, court records show. District Court Judge Joanne M. Jannik denied each of their motions to set bond, court documents show.
Miller’s 41 points against South Carolina are a career record and the most by a freshman in Alabama history.
After Wednesday’s game, Alabama coach Nate Oats rowed back on previous comments he had made about Miller’s connection to Harris’ death, including that the 20-year-old “hasn’t been in any type of trouble, not is he in any type of trouble on this case.”
“I used a poor choice of words, making it appear like I wasn’t taking this tragic situation seriously, which we have throughout the course of it,” Oats told reporters. “I sincerely apologize for that.”
Explaining the decision to allow Miller to play, Oats said: “We make decisions based on available facts and that’s what we did here.”
He also called the forward “one of the most mentally tough kids I’ve ever coached” after Alabama’s win.