Alabama star Brandon Miller has been retroactively added to the ballot for the 2023 Wooden Award, given to college basketball's most outstanding player, after initially being left off the late-season cut. The freshman forward is now one of 16 players on the list, joining the likes of Purdue's Zach Edey and Indiana's Trayce Jackson-Davis. The list also features a host of versatile forwards, including Kansas' Jalen Wilson and Kansas State's Keyontae Johnson. The winner is expected to be named at the Final Four in late March.
The Los Angeles Athletic Club, which presents the award, did not announce Miller's addition.
Miller's initial absence from the late-season trimming -- he was on the preseason watch list -- was notable considering he's the SEC's leading scorer and had top-five odds to win the award at Caesars Sportsbook before they were taken off the board. He averages 19.5 points and 8.0 rebounds per game for Alabama, which secured the outright SEC championship in the regular season for the second time in three seasons. The Crimson Tide, who are in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament, are projected to finish as a No. 1 seed entering the NCAA Tournament, according to CBS Sports Bracketology expert Jerry Palm.
However, Miller has been embroiled in controversy in the aftermath ofconnecting him to the Jan. 15 murder of Jamea Jonae Harris. Miller allegedly delivered a gun to former teammate Darius Miles before it was used by Miles' friend, Michael Lynn Davis, to kill Harris. Miller isn't facing charges in the case and his counsel has maintained he did not see or handle the gun used in the murder.
Here's a look at the semifinalists for this year:
2023 John R. Wooden Award finalists
- Zach Edey, Purdue
- Trayce Jackson-Davis, Indiana
- Keyontae Johnson, Kansas State
- Jalen Wilson, Kansas
- Antoine Davis, Detroit Mercy
- Jaime Jaquez Jr., UCLA
- Isaiah Wong, Miami
- Azuolas Tubelis, Arizona
- Oscar Tshiebwe, Kentucky
- Armando Bacot, North Carolina
- Mike Miles Jr., TCU
- Kris Murray, Iowa
- Jalen Pickett, Penn State
- Drew Timme, Gonzaga
- Marcus Sasser, Houston
- Brandon Miller, Alabama
Edey is the frontrunner to win the award after a standout season for the Boilermakers. He ranks third in the sport in rebounding, and his 21.7 points per game is tied for 10th nationally.
The list of finalists also included mid-major representation this year with Detroit Mercy's Antoine Davis, the second-leading scorer in NCAA history, making the list. Davisof tying Pete Maravich's all-time scoring record earlier this week but leads the nation in scoring at 28.2 points per game.