VAUGHT: Darius Miller discusses recruiting

Darius Miller admits his favorite college basketball team "probably would be Kentucky." Yet the Mason County sophomore admits it's not a "big deal" that he's not heard much from the Wildcats even though he already has scholarship offers from Tennessee, Clemson, Xavier and Miami (Fla.).

"Hopefully I will hear from them before long. It's still early. It's not a big deal yet. I have plenty of time to hear from coaches," said the 6-6 Miller.

Miller likely will hear from many, many coaches in the next year. He's already widely considered one of the top 10 returning players in Kentucky after averaging 16 points and six rebounds per game last season when Mason reached the state tournament quarterfinals. He also led the team in assists, blocked 48 shots, and shot 53 percent from the field, 39 percent from 3-point range and 78 percent at the foul line.

"He's very well rounded, especially for a sophomore," Mason coach Chris O'Hearn said. "He has very long arms and is very versatile. He can play inside or outside. He handles the ball well, can pass it well and he shoots it well. He has good size and that is what a lot of coaches are seeing, and liking."

O'Hearn says Miller could possibly play a "big guard" in college as well as small forward. "He has the skills to do either. We are also hoping he is not done growing," the Mason coach said.

Miller says he's always been a good passer since he thought he would be a high school point guard until he grew about seven inches during the summer before his freshman year. "I had always worked on handling the ball and even when I grew, I kept doing that. I don't want to lose those skills," he said. "I like playing inside or outside about the same. I think I have a good shot, but I still need more work on it."

He'll get plenty of work this summer playing for a Cincinnati-based AAU team in tournaments across the country where he can showcase his overall ability. "There are a lot of good players on the team and I'll get to improve by playing with and against other good players," Miller said.

He knows numerous college coaches will watch his play. He's hoping Kentucky and Louisville coaches will take notice. However, he's thrilled to already have four scholarship offers. "It's pretty exciting. It actually has surprised me. I didn't think these big schools would offer me like this. I just want to get a lot better and get even more schools to look at me. If I can improve, hopefully more schools will offer," he said.

"We've all been a little surprised by how quickly these offers have taken place," O'Hearn said. "He can't sign until at least the fall of his senior year, so he has plenty of time to think about it. All the big-time schools will get to watch him this spring and summer. I think the offers are just starting to come in because he's really got a chance to be a special, special player."

Miller, like former Mason standout Chris Lofton, also plays receiver on the football team. While basketball is his first love, he knows playing football makes him a more physical player and he also understands he can help make the team better.

And yes, he does know Lofton well and would not mind seeking advice from him during his recruitment. Miller says his father and O'Hearn will be his main sources for advice, but that Lofton has been an "inspiration" for him.

Any chance he might make an early decision with attractive offers already available to him? " I have not really thought about any school yet or what I'm really looking for. There's no reason to do that yet."

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