Quincy Miller Talks Illini At Holiday Tourney

The State Farm Tournament of Champions drew top basketball teams and players to Washington, Illinois, over Thanksgiving. Among them was Winston-Salem Quality Education Academy and star junior forward Quincy Miller. Recruited by many of the top teams in the country, Miller is giving the Illini a strong look.

Quincy Miller moved from North Chicago to Winston-Salem a year and a half ago. In that time, he has grown in stature and exploded as a basketball player. One scouting service ranks him the #2 player in the 2011 high school class. Miller was glad to be back.

"It was real good to come back to Illinois and visit my hometown and play in front of a couple friends. That's pretty good."

What state does he consider home?

"My family's here."

Illinois is among numerous top schools vying for his services. He says 'of couse' when asked if he is considering them.

"I like the way they play, and they're close to home too. Bruce Weber has been to my school a couple times, so that's good."

Miller isn't certain which position on the court suits him best. He has impressive fundamental skills for a tall prospect. He handles the ball well, finds the open man and can create his own shot. If he had to choose right now, it would be 'point forward.'

"I don't know. Inside, outside, mismatch."

The Quality Education Academy is located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Basketball coach Isaac Pitts provides more details on Miller's talents.

"He's a matchup problem. He's 6'-10", he plays in the post, he can play the perimeter and shoot the three. He can put it on the floor and make good decisions with the ball. When he plays against smaller players, he takes them inside. With a big one, he's gonna go past them."

Miller has an unusual shot. The ball comes off the inside of his right hand, creating angular spin. But his shot has improved considerably in the last year according to Pitts.

"If you drop off, he can shoot the three. Oh yeah, he can shoot. The other night against Mountain State he had 26, and he probably had 6 threes."

Miller was hampered at the Thanksgiving tournament by a wrist problem. He is slender but has broad shoulders and should be able to add weight over time. Pitts says his strength isn't where it should be in part due to lack of training during rehabilitation.

"He had surgery on his wrist, so he didn't get to participate in the weight room. That slowed him a little bit. But we anticipate this summer him working extensively with a trainer to get big and strong."

Miller played with pain this week.

"My wrist is about 85%. I broke it about a month ago. I have a plate in it. I'm able to play with it now. They said it will be 100% in December."

QEA is considered a high school, but it plays a prep school schedule according to Pitts.

"We play a national schedule. We go to Florida, we go to D.C., New Jersey. So we play a lot of different places. We came here for the competition.

"The plan is to play the best if you want to be the best. We think we have a good group of young kids. They're all talented kids. We have four kids ranked in the top 100 right now."

Pitts spoke for Miller about the colleges he is considering and his timetable for committing.

"The plan is not to commit until his senior year. Of course, everybody's recruiting him including Illinois, Duke, Carolina. You name it, everybody's recruiting him. He's just concentrating on his game and academics. He hasn't given me any indication who's the frontrunner. To me, he just says he likes everybody."

Does Miller turn to Pitts for advice on colleges?

"Yes. My job is mainly to encourage him to make good decisions on the court and off the court. Right now, he's just taking all this in, staying level headed and getting better on the court. And like I tell him, the rest will fall into place.

"The thing is, go to a school that's a good fit for you academically, socially and basketball-wise. And with a coaching staff you like and respect."

Miller originally planned to return to Illinois to visit family and possibly check out the state school in late September, but that didn't materialize.

"I didn't get home in September, but I'm coming back in December for sure," Miller acknowledges. "I hope to be there a couple weeks."

And he and his team will be playing in the Shootout At The Hall December 12. He is looking forward to it.

"All my family will be there."

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