COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS — With Utah Jazz television announcer Craig Bolerjack in the stands at Brighton High on Tuesday night, Brandon Miller decided to put together his own personal highlight reel for the broadcaster.
In a word, Miller's performance was money.
Miller, a Brighton senior who has committed to play for the University of Utah, brought down the house early and often from long range. He amazingly drilled 10 3-pointers and finished with 39 points to lead the Bengals to an emphatic 80-46 victory over Copper Hills.
“I’ve never seen a more natural stroke, an effortless shot with great confidence and ability. The Utes will be happy to have him,” Bolerjack said about Miller.
If he shoots the ball up on the hill like he did Tuesday night — 10 of 12 from beyond the arc — "happy" might be an understatement.
Miller started pouring it on from the very beginning. He opened with two consecutive 3-point shots, followed by a Travis Devashrayee layup, a Miller midrange shot, a Zach Bernardo layup and another Devashrayee layup to put Brighton up 14-2 over the Copper Hills Grizzles.
The following three Bengal possessions saw Miller light it up from long range as he hit three consecutive 3-pointers to put the Bengals up 23-2 at that point. To say the least, the Bengal home crowd roared from the stands.
The end of the quarter read: Brighton 25, Copper Hills 5. Miller had 17 points alone on five 3-pointers.
When asked what he ate before the game, Miller responded: “Whatever my mom makes me. Tonight it was barbecued chicken and rice.”
It’s safe to say that meal will be made again by Miller's mom.
In the second quarter Miller and the Bengals did not cool down. They began the quarter on a 13-5 run as the Grizzles were being worn down by Brighton’s excellent shooting.
The Bengals went up 40-17 by the one-minute mark of the second.
In what was clearly the Miller show all night long, Miller took the ball at center court with time expiring at the end of the half and crossed his defender over multiple times until he pulled up just behind of the 3-point line and nailed a silky smooth triple just before the buzzer.
“When someone gets in a rhythm like that, a lot of difficult shots become good shots,” Miller said.
Brighton led 45-17 at intermission and Miller had contributed 30 of those points himself.
The second half was none kinder to the Grizzles as the Bengals opened up an 18-4 run to start the third quarter to lead 63-21. Miller continued his brilliance with two more 3-pointers early on, and was taken out of the game at the 2:13 mark in the quarter. He did not return the rest of the way.
Miller ended the game shooting 72 percent (13 of 18) from the field while incredibly shooting 83 percent (10 of 12) from 3-point land and 3 of 4 from the free-throw line.
“I felt good tonight, had a good start. My teammates got me the ball, and my rhythm just felt good. I planned on them playing man defense, and expected them to adjust after I caught fire,” said Miller.
Miller’s usual pregame routine consists of a shootaround during fifth period of school before he heads home for a few hours to watch game film or television until dinner time. He then heads back to school to get ready for the game.
Miller’s sophomore brother, Brock, contributed five points in the Bengals' big win.
“Brandon shot the heck out of the ball tonight,” Brock Miller said.
There are four brothers in the Miller family that grew up playing pickup basketball against one another. Asked which of them was the best while growing up, Brock responded: “Definitely Brandon. He won all the time.”
Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company