Rick Barnes coached freshman sensation Kevin Durant back during his days as the head coach of the Texas Longhorns.

Of course, Kevin Durant has developed into one of the best pure scorers in NBA history, so comparing current college players to KD is always tricky.

Barnes, now the Tennessee head coach, acknowledged that when asked about Alabama’s freshman forward Brandon Miller ahead of the Vols’ Wednesday night showdown against the Crimson Tide:

“I don’t think that’s fair to do player comparisons,” Barnes said. “I know this that Brandon is having a great, great year as did Kevin Durant. Kevin Durant won every National Player of the Year honor you could win. I think he was the first freshman to sweep them all. But Brandon Miller has got high-level game at every level. I think Brandon Miller is Brandon Miller and I think Kevin Durant is Kevin Durant and certainly Brandon Miller has made an unbelievable impact on college basketball this year, doing the things he’s good at.

“Obviously has a great future in this game and I look at the Alabama team and they’re more than worthy of being the No. 1 ranked team in the country. They’ve earned it and maybe should have been there before right now. They have a great roster construction where everyone understands what they need and guys play their roles. They have the perimeter game. They have rim protection. They have guys that can score and get to the rim over top and dunk the ball. Nate Oats and his staff have done a great job and have more than earned the right to be the No. 1 team in the country. Like I said, I think they probably should have been there before now.”

Alabama will travel to Rocky Top to play the Vols on Wednesday night. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. Eastern time on ESPN2.