SG Miller Enjoyed Playing in Front of Coaches

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The Jayhawk Invitational featured a number of top summer teams across the country, which attracted a number of college coaches.

Seaman junior 6-foot-4 shooting guard Joe Miller enjoyed the experience of playing with the Pumas in front of a number of coaches in the gym in search for his first Division I offer.

“It was a crazy atmosphere,” Miller said. “It was a lot different than any other tournament because there’s just so many coaches there and all of the top players from all over.”

At times there were over 20 coaches in the gym watching the Pumas led by Kansas City (Mo.) Park Hill point guard Landry Shamet. It was the first and only spring evaluation weekend for Division I coaches to attend.

Overall, it was a solid showing for Miller, who had a 19-point effort in the opener and a tip dunk in the second game.  On Saturday, four college coaches asked his coach about him.

“I felt good with my game and I know I’m developing a lot, but I didn’t shoot the ball the best on Saturday, but I still shot the ball alright,” Miller said. “I hit some shots and I definitely played my game. I think overall I played good, but I feel I could play a lot better.”

Fresno State assistant coach Byron Jones has recently been speaking with Miller and saw him in action over the weekend.

“I had a pretty good game, but he was only there for part of it so we’ll see,” Miller said.

The Pumas’ final game of the tournament was against Mo Williams Elite featuring guard Malik Newman, who is the consensus No. 1-ranked player in the country.

“It was crazy, he can pull up from anywhere,” Miller said. “He will pull up off the dribble, hit you with a crossover and pull up in your face.”

The Pumas went 3-1 in the tournament, which included a win over Earl Watson Elite (CA) before falling to Mo Williams Elite.

“We played good, we step up when we play against good teams for sure,” Miller said. “We played good, but we can always play better. That last game could have easily been ours. I felt like in the second half they kind of out-ran us and out-worked us.”

Miller, who averaged 14.3 points and 5.8 rebounds earning All-City first-team honors this past season for Seaman, has had a strong spring with the Pumas playing in four previous tournaments.

“I think my IQ has improved a lot and my ability to dribble the ball to be more of a guard-like player, and shooting off the bounce I’ve improved a lot with my pull-ups,” Miller said.

Miller and the Pumas return to action on May 9 at the Kings of the Court Classic in Des Moines, Iowa.  In July, when the evaluation period resumes, the Pumas will be at the Mullen’s High Profile Tournament (July 9-13), Great American Shootout (July 16-20), and KC Hardwood Classic (July 23-27).


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Owner of TopekaHoops who has over 10 years of experience as a sports journalist covering high school, college, and professional basketball and other sports. E-mail me at: topekahoops@gmail.com

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