Alabama’s Brandon Miller has security guard due to threats Boston, Clark headline women’s AP All-America team Kansas coach Bill Self ‘day to day’ at March Madness Boston, Clark headline women’s AP All-America team Green Bay hires Wyoming assistant Sundance Wicks as head coach Pitt edges Mississippi State in back-and-forth First Four game
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama. Alabama star Brandon Miller was escorted by an armed guard to the NCAA tournament on Wednesday because of threats directed at him, Crimson Tide coach Nate Oates said.
“If you guys saw that something I saw was passed on to him, I think you would understand why that is,” Oates said of the extra protection the school gave Miller. “I don’t want to get into all this. The whole situation, as you know, is just heartbreaking in every way.”
Miller’s name surfaced last month in court testimony in the murder of former Alabama player Darius Miles and another man charged with the January 15 murder of 23-year-old Jamie Harris.
A police officer testified that Miles texted Miller asking him to bring Miles’ gun in the early morning hours of the shooting. His fellow freshman Jaden Bradley was also at the scene. Neither Miller nor Bradley were charged with any crime, and the university named Miller as a cooperating witness rather than a suspect.
Crimson Tide (29-5) took first place in the tournament for the first time in school history. They will play their first game in the South on Thursday, facing the 16th seed Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in Birmingham, less than an hour from Alabama’s Tuscaloosa campus.
The security guard, who wore a gun, badge, and Alabama polo shirt, accompanied Miller to the interrogation site and later watched him participate in light training.
The freshman, who was Southeastern Conference Player and Rookie of the Year, declined to elaborate on the extra safety, implying it was not unusual.
“I always travel with security for all games,” Miller said. “That’s all I can say about this.
But Oates acknowledged that this was hardly common.
“Some of the messages are from people who may be behind fake email addresses, but who knows if they’re real or not,” Oates said. “But if you saw what I saw, you would understand what is happening now.
Oates added that he looks at all of his players as if they were his own children: “I put myself in the place of his parents, and our administration saw what I saw. It’s appropriate. But that’s not something a college student has to go through.”
After his name was revealed in the case, Miller received a harsh reception during the South Carolina victory, where the crowd chanted “lock him up” and “guilty.”
Miller has repeatedly declined to discuss the details of the case, saying just last week that he relied on team camaraderie to deal with problems off the court.
“I just lean on my teammates,” he said. “They are like family away from home to me.”
Alia Boston is now a member of the elite triples club.
The Associated Press on Wednesday honored the South Carolina star as an All-American for the third year in a row. She is only the 10th player to receive this honor three times.
Boston was joined on the first team by Iowa’s Caitlin Clark, Villanova’s Maddie Sigrist, LSU’s Angel Reese and Indiana’s Mackenzie Holmes. Boston and Clark were unanimously selected by a 28-member national media panel that votes on the AP Top 25 each week.
This is the second season in a row that the player has joined the club. Ryan Howard of Kentucky did it last season.
South Carolina’s Aja Wilson, Baylor’s Britney Griner, Tennessee’s Shamik Holdsclow, Duke’s Alana Beard, Oklahoma’s Courtney Paris, Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu and Breanna Stewart of the University of California, Connecticut, and Maya Moore are the only other players to win first-time honors. team at least three times. Paris and Moore did it four times.
Boston earned a second-team All-American honors as a freshman.
“Aaliyah has been the best college player in my opinion for as many years as she was an All-American, but definitely the last two seasons,” South Carolina coach Don Staley said. “I hope we can actually give her flowers while she’s still a collegiate athlete, because I don’t think there will be another Alia Boston that will ever grace women’s college basketball.”
Boston helped South Carolina go undefeated in the regular season and qualify for the NCAA Tournament with a first-place overall finish. She averaged 13.3 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game. She’s the main reason the Gamecocks took first place in the AP Poll for the second consecutive season.
Clarke could join the triples club next season. The junior once again showed stunning results, scoring an average of 27.0 points, which was the second best result in the country. She also had 8.3 assists and 7.5 rebounds per game to help Iowa win the Big Ten Tournament title for the second consecutive year.
“It’s one thing to be a first-team All-American, and it’s quite another to get one in consecutive seasons,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “Our program, the university, and the state are very proud of everything it has accomplished so far. There is no one more deserving than a player of a generation like Clark.”
Clark was second only to Siegrist in scoring. The Villanova star averaged 28.9 points this season and set a career high in the Big East. She has scored 984 points this season and is looking to become the fifth player to score over 1,000 points in a season. She has 20-plus points in 34 straight games, one short of Kelsey Plum’s 2016-17 record.
“Maddie is an All-American in every sense of the word and she truly deserves this honor,” said Villanova coach Denise Dillon. “On the court, the numbers she has shown this year are staggering. Being the nation’s leader in scoring and scoring 1,000 points in one season is amazing. We are so proud that Maddie became the first Associated Press All-American in the program’s history.”
Reese had a stellar season for the Tigers, averaging 23.4 points and 15.5 rebounds on 54% shooting from the field. The sophomore forward broke Sylvia Fowles’ high school record of 20 consecutive double-doubles.
“Angel Reese joined our program and has been a huge influence on our team,” said LSU coach Kim Mulkey. “She has a special skill set that makes her stand out as one of the best players in the country. She is definitely one of the best players in the country. We are excited to see what the future holds for her and the impact she will have on our team at LSU.”
Holmes helped Indiana have one of the best seasons in school history. The Hoosiers, who finished second in the AP Poll, won the Big Ten title in the regular season. Holmes averaged 22.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 68.8% shooting from the field.
“This is an incredible achievement for a girl from Maine,” said Indiana coach Teri Moren. “No one is more excited and happy for her than our staff and her teammates. It’s well deserved. She’s been working on her game since the day she came to Bloomington.”
Boston, Clark, Stanford’s Hayley Jones, Iowa State’s Ashley Jones, Virginia Tech’s Elizabeth Keatley, and DePaul’s Anisa Morrow made up the preseason All-American team.
The AP second team was led by Keatley, who was the ACC Player of the Year for the second straight season. She was joined by Stanford’s Cameron Brink, Maryland’s Diamond Miller, Notre Dame’s Olivia Miles, and Utah’s Alyssa Pealy.
The third AP team was Jones, Alia Edwards of UConn, Morrow, Jones and Zia Cook of South Carolina.
Grace Berger of Indiana and Florida State freshman Ta’Nia Latson and Hayley Van Lit of Louisville were the most voted players who missed out on the three All-American teams. Players received honorary status if they appeared on one of the ballots.
DES MOINES, Iowa. Bill Self’s status as Kansas’ rookie in the NCAA Tournament on Wednesday was uncertain, though assistant coach Norm Roberts said the Jayhawks still hope he’ll be on the bench when they play Howard on Thursday.
The Kansas Hall of Fame coach was released Sunday from a hospital in the Kansas City area, where he was recuperating from a procedure to treat a blocked artery in his heart.
Attends practice at Wells Fargo Arena on his own on Wednesday morning but did not participate in his team’s media events. Roberts said Self was also at practice on Tuesday and attended all of the team’s meetings.
“He’s doing well, he’s getting better all the time,” Roberts said. “We are full of hope and things are going well with him day by day, but if you ask our guys, he chased them pretty well today, so he was doing well.”
Roberts said Self skipped the press conference to take some time off before the top seed and defending champion Jayhawks play in the West Region.
All-American Jalen Wilson said that Self had good energy in training.
“He looks great, feels great,” Wilson said. “We are all excited. It’s great to have him back on the court with us so he can coach us and start tomorrow with a kick.”
Self went to the emergency room on the night of March 8, shortly after seeing the Jayhawks in the final shootout ahead of the Big 12 quarterfinals. He complained of chest tightness and balance problems.
Dr. Mark Wylie, head of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Kansas Health System, said Self, 60, had a standard heart catheterization and two stents placed to treat clogged arteries.
Roberts coached the Jayhawks in the Big 12 tournament. Roberts also served as interim coach at the start of the season while Self served a four-game suspension imposed by the school.
Kansas swept West Virginia and Iowa State in the Big 12 with Roberts back on the bench before losing 76-56 to seventh-place Texas in Saturday’s championship game.
Self is 581-130 in two decades with Kansas and 788-235 in 30 seasons as a head coach, including stops in Oral Roberts, Tulsa and Illinois. He…