Miles Ready To Go
Now that the Arkansas basketball season is over with, it seems natural to look ahead at what next season's squad might bring.
The Razorbacks (22-12) and head coach Mike Anderson – who made the program's first post-season appearance since 2008 - will add at least five new faces, including a young man that redshirted this season in West Virginia transfer Keaton Miles.
Miles (6-7, 217) – who will be 22 when he takes the court next season - will join fall signees Anton Beard (6-1, 180), Nick Babb (6-5, 190) and Trey Thompson (6-10, 250) as well as spring commitment Jabril Durham (6-1, 180) – likely to share the point guard duties with Beard next season.
Miles – a former four-star high school player per Scout.com — is the only one who will have played a minute of college basketball among the group, something that is not lost on him.
While the Razorbacks may be bringing in more talented players than are leaving, nevertheless they will be losing five seniors.
"One of the things that Coach Anderson stressed to me was that I had been there, done that and could be a leader to those coming into the program and those already here," Miles said in an earlier interview. "That is something that I take very seriously."
Miles, unable to play in games this season because of the NCAA's transfer rule, could often be seen getting up shots with a manager after Razorback home games this season.
With the graduation of Oklahoma State transfer Fred Gulley, Miles becomes the only Razorback on next season's squad who will have experienced an NCAA Tournament.
He played 14 minutes as a Mountaineer freshman when West Virginia grabbed an at-large berth before losing to Gonzaga 77-54 in the opening round.
"That's always the goal – get to the tournament," Miles said. "I'm going to do my part to make sure that happens."
He is a former Dallas area high school star at Lincoln, where he averaged 18 points and 13 rebounds per game as a senior.
He had 19 points while being named the Texas MVP of the Texas-Oklahoma All-Star game and also winning its dunk contest.
"Keaton is an articulate young man with great character who comes from a basketball family," Anderson said at the time of Miles transfer. "He is a slashing skill forward who takes pride in his defense and will really benefit from The Fastest 40 Minutes in Basketball. He has a great motor, good basketball IQ and is very athletic."
This was an assessment of his game by ESPN.com back in his high school days.
"Miles is a long bouncy wing that is skilled and active inside and out. He is a transition specialist that electrifies with his acrobatic ability to finish on the break. He is rapidly developing his offensive skill set and is becoming more astute at how to play the game. He is effective off the dribble and showed he can get it to the rim and finish through contact despite his thin frame. His long arms and quick feet make him a lethal defender especially off the ball in passing lanes."
It certainly didn't turn out to be a good fit for him at West Virginia, who has had four players transfer out of Bob Huggins' program the past two season.
That includes guard Eron Harris, this past season's second-leading scorer at 17.2 points per game.
Miles' numbers at West Virginia were very pedestrian – 2.6 points and 1.7 rebounds in an average of 11.5 minutes per game as a sophomore after starting 30 games as a true freshman.
He expects those to soar now that he is in a program that gets up and down the floor as he did in high school and with the Dallas Mustangs, his AAU team.
Miles was a teammate of current Oklahoma State standout Le'Bryan Nash in both high school and AAU basketball and also a former spring and summer teammate with former Arkansas player and current TCU center DeVonta Abron.
"Arkansas is a perfect fit for me," Miles said. "I need to be in a system that gets up and down and takes advantage of my athleticism. I can't wait to get on the court."
Keaton Miles grabs a rebound in last October's Red-White game.
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