Isaiah Miles, a 6'7 223-pound smooth-shooting forward from Baltimore, Maryland could prove to be one of the most important pieces on this year's Hawk squad. After averaging just 2.3 minutes per game in 12 games of action as a freshman, much more is being expected of Isaiah this year.
"Isaiah must develop into a key component within our offense this season," Hawk assistant coach Dave Duda told Hawk Hill Hardwood. In order for that to happen, and "Zeke" to develop into that key component, he needs to get on the floor on a more regular basis. In the last 17 games of last season, Miles logged 14 Did Not Plays.
So what is it that makes the Hawk coaching staff, and St. Joe's fans in general, optimistic that this year will be a more successful one for Miles? First and foremost, the talent is there. Isaiah shot 10-19 from the field as a freshman, and 5-13 from three. Granted, that is an extremely small sample size, but Miles has the ability to score the ball from both inside and out. Secondly, he is arguably the second-best shooter on this team behind senior shooting guard Langston Galloway.
"He's put in the work this off-season," Coach Duda continued. "His confidence is high, he just now needs to make it happen on the floor."
On this summer's trip to Italy, Isaiah did make it happen on the floor. Miles shot the ball very well from three, but also showed an improved ability to put the ball on the floor and go at the rim. During one of the wins in Italy, Coach Duda told me that "Isaiah shot 4-5 from the field, including one strong driving dunk."
Against Harvard last season, Isaiah saw 15 minutes of action, scoring 8 points on 2-2 shooting from three, and 3-3 shooting overall. With C.J. Aiken's departure opening up more minutes in the frontcourt, and Isaiah's work this offseason, it would seem realistic that Isaiah will routinely see around 15 minutes of playing time a game.
With increased playing time, increased confidence, and a physical transformation this offseason, Isaiah Miles could prove to be a key component for the Hawks this season, just like Coach Duda wishes. His soft touch from the perimeter and ability to simply put the ball in the basket could prove to be very beneficial for Phil Martelli's bunch this season.
Player Profile: Isaiah Miles
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