"I grew up hoping to play at Ole Miss, but they didn't really recruit me," said the 6-foot-5, 170-pounder. "My goal is to play, and Ole Miss has a lot of people who play my position, the three guard, and Mississippi State doesn't. At State, I have a chance to play my way up a lot quicker.
"The coaches have told me that they need some help at that position, and that I have a chance to play if I continue to work hard and improve."
Boler, arguably the top player in the Mississippi Private School Association last season, turned down several Division II scholarship offers for a chance to walk on at State.
But he doesn't see that as a risky decision.
"I have a spot on the team. I don't have to try out," Boler said. "I will have a chance to earn a scholarship, but they only have one to offer right now. There's been some talk about Roy Goffer maybe leaving the team. If that happens, I will have a better chance of getting a scholarship."
During his senior year at Pillow, Boler led the Mustangs to a state Class AAAA runner-up finish and a spot in the Academy Overall tournament for the first time since 1983. He averaged 21.4 points, 7.1 rebounds and two assists per game. Boler also had 59 blocked shots and 40 steals during his senior campaign.
He is an excellent outside shooter, as evidenced by the fact that he hit 83-of-185 3-point attempts (45 percent) during his senior year. He shot 81 percent from the foul line.
Boler was a three-year starter for the Mustangs, scoring in double figures in 85 of his 98 games - totaling 1,611 career points. He hit 166 career 3-pointers, finishing up at 43 percent from long range.
Greg Carter, who coached Boler his last two seasons at Pillow, thinks his former player has a good chance to play for the Bulldogs.
"The thing I look at is that Michael has gotten better each year and that he hasn't come close to reaching his full potential. If he hangs in there, he will be playing good minutes in the next two or three years," Carter explained.
Bill Ball, a former assistant coach at MSU and the current head coach at Jackson Academy, coached Boler last summer in AAU ball and coached against him in high school. Ball says Boler has great potential.
"He has a chance to be a good college player, but he has to work hard on his physical strength and his size. He has the talent and athletic ability," said Ball, who coached at MSU during the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 seasons.
"Also, he needs experience against great competition, which is something you can't get a lot of in the MPSA, but he did get it playing with us last summer. It was fun to watch his progress from the start to the finish of the AAU season. He adjusted well to the speed of the game."
Boler caught the eye of MSU head coach Rick Stansbury last summer playing AAU basketball for Ball in Jackson.
It proved to be a great experience for him, both physically and mentally.
"I was a little nervous the first time, but I was able to hold my own against the public school guys," Boler explained. "Once I got in there and learned that I could hang with these guys, it helped me a lot mentally. It really helped my confidence."
Boler's AAU experience did more than bolster his skills and give him confidence. It helped him gain the attention of some college coaches, which can often be difficult for players from the Mississippi private school ranks.
Boler's team finished second in the state AAU tournament and played in Orlando in the nationals - a hotbed for college coaches seeking to find their next superstar.
After watching Boler play AAU ball, Stansbury invited him to State's basketball camp. Boler was one of about 20 campers who were invited back to a second camp.
Boler and the other invitees practiced and played against some of the Bulldog players during the second camp.
"The college game is a lot faster and much more intense," Boler said.
Boler had surgery on his left knee last week to alleviate the pain that he played through during his senior season. He had a bone chip removed that made it almost impossible for him late in the season to drive to his right.
Dr. Rusty Linton, MSU's team doctor, performed the surgery, which has put Boler on crutches for six weeks. After he puts the crutches down, he can begin to shoot and dribble, but he won't be able to run, cut or pivot for several more weeks. So for now, Boler can only think about working on his basketball skills.
Bill Burrus is the Sports Editor for the Greenwood (MS) Commonwealth newspaper. He will be writing occasional Mississippi Delta related stories for Gene's Page. You can contact him by email at email@example.com.