Gonzaga's Search for Bigs: Chris Miles

A 2004 post prospect who has caught the attention of the Gonzaga coaching staff is Chris Miles, a 6'10" shot-blocking center with quickly improving skills. Chris led his high school team to a Utah 4A State Title and he lists the Zags near the top of his favorites. Meet Chris Miles.

6'10" 215 pound Center Chris Miles may have been born in Ogden, Utah, home of the 2003 Big Sky Champion Weber State Wildcats, and at a young age moved to Provo, Utah, home of the BYU Cougars and only a short drive from Salt Lake City, home of the 2003 Mountain West Champion Utah Utes, but he insists he is wide open to going out of state to college...

...Including 2003 WCC Champion Gonzaga University.

Described by the local Provo newspaper as "Improving by the day," Chris has in fact made it known in previous reports that he likes Gonzaga and that Coach Few and staff may actually lead for his services.

The big man had quite a junior year, leading his Timpview High School team to a State Title while averaging a solid 16 points per game to go along with 8 rebounds. He is poised to really "blow up" this summer as he plays for the AAU team Utah Heat, not to mention his senior year at Timpview.

Besides the obvious in-state schools Utah, BYU, Utah State and Weber State, Miles' list is growing with every passing tournament. Pac-10, Big-12 and MWC schools are all over him now, recognizing his vast potential.

Chris says his coach has been slowly bringing him along, first mastering inside post moves, then 10-foot jumpers, followed by 15-foot jumpers, and eventually finding the range from beyond the arc. He likens his game to former Utah star Britton Johnsen, "except he's more of a perimeter player than I am." Chris admits he is most effective in the paint right now but is working hard to expand his range.

As the Salt Lake Tribune stated after the State 4A Tournament in which Miles was tabbed as MVP--

"Next year was supposed to be Chris Miles' time to shine. But Timpview's 6-foot-10 junior center showed at the boys Class 4-A state tournament this week that he was not interested in waiting. Miles dominated the tournament with his rebounding, shot-blocking and scoring, showing why next year he will be one of the state's most-recruited athletes."

Miles is Mormon and, according to his step-dad, he plans on going on a two-year mission after his freshman year in college. He would return as a much-matured sophomore and continue his education and basketball career. This would not be the first time a student-athlete of the LDS faith was recruited by Gonzaga. Current Utah State head coach Stew Morrill starred at Gonzaga in the 1970's while Don Baldwin starred for four years, his last year as John Stockton's backcourt mate in the early 1980's, to name just two.

The fundamentally sound and athletic Miles is just the type of big man the Zags will need to help fill the void that will be left in the frontcourt when Cory Violette, Richard Fox and possibly Ronny Turiaf leave after the 2003-04 season. He has received good coaching in high school and often plays in pick up games with area college players to elevate his game and toughness.

While the Zags were battling Arizona in the greatest game of the year in Salt Lake City's Huntsmen Center, Chris was in a deluxe suite across town at the Delta Center, prior to a Jazz game, to accept an award for best player in Utah. But the televisions were on and everyone, including Chris, were cheering for "Big G" (Gonzaga) to pull it out.

Perhaps Zag fans will return the favor and cheer on Chris in the new Kennel a couple years from now.

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