Miller Wears Multiple Hats For UI basketball

The Assistant to the Head Coach for Fighting Illini basketball is essential to the operation. He does all the things Illini coaches lack the time to do, from scheduling to scouting opponents to helping with recruiting on campus. Brandon Miller is well prepared for these multiple challenges.

Brandon Miller is not permitted to recruit off campus, but he is a great help to Illinois head coach John Groce and his staff in recruiting. It sound like Miller misses only part of the recruiting process.

"There are certain things that I miss. I am a part of recruiting in a way. I can do anything on campus for recruiting. There are things sitting here that I can do.

"Obviously, I'm not out in July watching kids and evaluating kids. I play my part to the best of my ability with what I can do recruiting. Going out and seeing kids play in July, there are times where that's very enjoyable, and there are times when that wears on you as well.

"You can ask any coach that goes out in July about their experiences and what they think about going out for that time period. I think you get a variety of answers. There are good points and bad points to it."

Miller knows the importance of recruiting and helps within the constraints of his position.

"July is an important month for our staff. There are a lot of things, no matter where you're at in the program, that take place in July that you need to do. We take a lot of pride in what goes on in July and evaluations and what we're trying to do with recruits on a day-to-day basis. Those guys are working really hard right now.

"I do what I can do compliance-wise. You still have conversations with coaches that you know, and I do what I can. With compliance, it gets touchy with certain situations. I stay where it's as clean as clean gets."

Miller talks to coaches all the time. He represents the Illini basketball program every day, and his efforts can serve as a foundation for enhancing relationships.

"I can get coaches to come to our coaching clinic. We have a coaching clinic coming up here in the fall, so I'm in charge of the coaching clinic. We have a team camp that is run here, and that is open and out there for any team.

"Obviously, getting teams to our campus is an important part of what we do. So those are two areas where you can work it a little bit in terms of getting those coaches here. You can't go out, but you can call. You cannot call them about a recruit."

Miller has plenty of other responsibilities as well.

"I'm in charge of scheduling. The teams that are coming in that we're playing and I'm talking to, the final decision comes from Coach Groce.

"And then dotting the I's and crossing the T's, working behind the scenes in a lot of different areas. Broad areas outside the season.

"Scouting will be a big piece in terms of what I do during the year. I've coached in the Big Ten or been part of the Big Ten for six years. I know the Big Ten really well. During the year, I would say that will be a major part of what I do.

Miller works closely with the video coordinator to help evaluate opponents during the season.

"Andy Ethridge is a grad assistant who is our video coordinator. But we work hand-in-hand with what our coaches are seeing. During the season, it will be prepping the assistant coach that's doing the scout, prepping what you're seeing on film in terms of our opponents and ourselves and relaying that to the coaches."

There is no task beneath the job description of the Assistant to the Head Coach. If Miller is a go-fer, he is one of the most highly qualified in the business.

"I think when you're a part of the staff, there's no task that's too small or task that's too big. Anyway that I can help our team, that's my role. That's the way I look at it.

"Coach Groce has the saying, get 1% better every day. That's our team goal, whether it's summer, fall, winter or spring. If you have a full year of that, and you are able to do that, you're going to like the result."

Miller goes into detail about scheduling in part three of this five-part interview.

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