In-state battle for Darius Miller?

Darius Miller, a 6-foot-6, 215 pound junior forward from Mason County (KY), earned a national reputation with his play over the past year. Currently rated the No. 3 small forward in the nation by Scout.com, Miller's recruitment figures to heat up this summer.

Darius Miller, a 6-foot-6, 215 pound junior forward from Mason County (KY), earned a national reputation with his play over the past year. Currently rated the No. 3 small forward in the nation by Scout.com, Miller's recruitment figures to heat up this summer.

"He showed great improvement this season," Mason County coach Chris O'Hearn said. "He's become more athletic and gotten a lot quicker and he has good size.

"He's got to improve his strength and endurance and just get better in those areas. He does it all for us. He can score, pass, rebound and handle it. He needs to keep working on his three-point shot, but he has a nice stroke."

Miller averaged 21 points, 9 rebounds and four assists as a junior and has been receiving plenty of recruiting interest lately. Miller, though, hasn't yet focused on a list of favorites.

"He's wide-open," O'Hearn said. "He hasn't done a lot of thinking yet about his recruitment, but he's got a bunch of schools that are interested. He'll probably take some visits next fall and decide then."

According to O'Hearn, Miller holds offers from Kentucky, Cincinnati, Illinois, Xavier, Miami, Clemson and Florida. As for Louisville, O'Hearn said he believes "they have told him he has an offer." Duke has also recently phoned to express interest. "Coach Wojo called recently to express Duke's interest and that they intend to recruit him this summer."

Obviously, in-state Kentucky and Louisville both figure to factor prominently in Miller's recruitment, though the departure of Tubby Smith to Minnesota has clouded the situation for the multi-talent forward.

"I do know that he thought a lot of Tubby Smith," O'Hearn said. "I don't know where things stand with them now, he'll just have to wait and see how things develop and who they bring in. I would think he'd still be interested, but he had spoken with Kentucky a lot before (Coach Smith) left."

O'Hearn said several Division I head coaches watched Miller this season, including Tennessee's Bruce Pearl, Tubby Smith, Illinois' Bruce Webber, Florida's Billy Donovan, Cincinnati's Mick Cronin and Clemson's Oliver Purnell. Louisville assistant Steve Masiello represented the Cardinals.

"He's spoken with (Louisville) a lot, too, and he's been down there several times for unofficial visits," said O'Hearn. "I think they are very interested in Darius and I would think they'll be right there with him."

Ultimately, Miller's family ties could keep him close to his home in northern Kentucky.

"His mom and dad watch every game, so I would think distance might be a factor in his decision," O'Hearn said. "He wants to find the best fit for him and he'd like to have an opportunity to see some (immediate) playing time."

Miller will play for the Cincinnati-based D-I Greyhounds this spring and will attend Kobe Bryant's camp. O'Hearn said Miller's busy AAU slate will likely prevent him from making any unofficial or official campus visits until next fall.

"He's probably more of a three at the next level, but he could also play the two and might even be able to guard the four some because of his length," O'Hearn said. "The sky's the limit for him."


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