Miller, Quinerly guide No. 4 Alabama to second SEC Tournament title in three years

Mathey Gibson, Staff Reporter

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — On Sunday, March 12, No. 4 Alabama men’s basketball defeated the No. 18 Texas A&M University Aggies 82-63, securing their second sweep of the SEC in three years. 

The buzz surrounding the bustling center of America’s Music City was palpable. As tipoff approached, fans decked in maroon and crimson flooded the stands of Bridgestone Arena, hoping to see their team eclipse greatness in one of college basketball’s highest forms of competition. 

The Aggies, led by SEC Co-Coach of the Year Buzz Williams, were seeking their first SEC basketball title of any sort since capturing the regular season title in 2016.  

Alabama, on the other hand, had been there before, winning both the SEC regular season and tournament titles in 2020-21 under the guidance of polarizing fourth-year head coach Nate Oats.  

The SEC’s slogan is simple: It just means more. In the month of March, where madness ensues and legends of the hardwood are born, the four words that define a conference become a simple reality to those seeking championship grandeur. The stars will shine on the brightest of stages, and the glory of victory will pierce the hearts of every player, coach and fan who welcomes its embrace as the shame of potential defeat lingers in the headspace of all. 

In the birthplace of country music, the stars shine once more, and the echoes of defeat rang true for the faithful of College Station, Texas.  

It was a big day for senior Jahvon Quinerly, who poured in 22 points on 8-for-14 shooting, drilling four of his eight attempts from beyond the arc.  

Quinerly, a 6-foot-1 guard from Hackensack, New Jersey, was named to the SEC all-tournament team after the game.  

“Obviously Quinerly stepped up huge both times we have been here in Nashville,” Alabama head coach Nate Oats said. “If we had an NBA team, I would tell him to try to get on the NBA team. 6-0 in Nashville. He shows up big every time he comes here.” 

Joining Quinerly with a huge day versus the Aggies was freshman sensation Brandon Miller, who finished with 23 points, 12 rebounds and four assists, playing with three fouls for most of the game. 

Miller, a projected lottery pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, was named the SEC Tournament MVP after his performance, adding to his laundry list of accomplishments on the season.  

“You can’t win these games without players,” Oats said. “We’re fortunate to have the best player on the floor this year every time we walked out with Brandon.” 

Manning the frontcourt for the Crimson Tide was sophomore Charles Bediako, who tallied 12 points on 6-for-9 shooting, grabbing 13 rebounds and blocking five shots.  

Bediako, a seven-foot center from Brampton, Ontario, pinned 11 shots on the glass over the course of three games, a mark good enough to land the big man on the SEC all-tournament team alongside counterparts Quinerly and Miller.  

“I thought this is the best game Charles played since he’s been in an Alabama uniform,” Oats said. “Charles came out, impacted the game. We were plus 33 when Charles was in the game. 13 rebounds, 12 points, five blocks. Affected a lot of shots where he didn’t get blocks. Really happy with that.” 

As the buzzer sounded, and confetti graced the floors of Nashville’s hockey arena turned basketball mecca, Alabama found themselves sitting atop the mountain, sweeping the conference they call home yet again. 

“Ecstatic for our guys,” Oats said. “They’re a great group of kids that bonded, played together. We had some goals at the beginning of the year, regular season championship was one of them. We got that. Tournament championship was one. They came out ready to play today. Couldn’t be happier for them. Bus ride home from Nashville will be a lot more fun now that we got a win.” 

While the Crimson Tide checked another box on a season of trials, tribulations and eminence, the hunger for more remains tried and true.  

“We set goals over the summer,” Quinerly said. “Regular season, tournament, and obviously a national championship. … I’m going to make sure our guys are ready to go no matter who we match up with.” 

The NCAA tournament awaits.  

Questions or comments? Email Blake Byler (Sports Editor) at [email protected]