Now in his first year as head coach at Clinton (N.C.) High School, Beckwith is molding another talented young backcourt prospect. That would be J.T. Miller, a 6-foot-3 combo guard who will be making an unofficial visit to Tennessee for Saturday afternoon's game with No. 17 Pittsburgh.
After averaging 18 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists as a junior, Miller began his senior season with a bang Thursday night, scoring 31 points and grabbing 13 rebounds as Clinton played its 2011-12 opener against North Brunswick.
"Probably six of those rebounds came at the offensive end," Beckwith told InsideTennessee.com. "He plays above the rim a lot. I coached John Wall at Word of God, and that (crashing the boards) is one of the things I tried to get him to do. We told him that would help keep him on the floor when he got to college. When you've got a guard that can score and rebound, the coach is going to play him over a guard that can only score."
Beckwith described Miller as "an excellent athlete" who is "an energizer for his teammates."
Although he played almost exclusively shooting guard previously, Miller is getting some work as a lead guard this fall.
"We've got him transitioning to play a little point," Beckwith said. "He's so athletic he probably can play 2 (shooting guard) and 3 (small forward), plus a little point, as well. I tell him playing three spots will help him a lot when he gets to college."
Although he calls Miller "a slasher," Beckwith says the talented young guard can score from long range if needed.
"His range is a foot or two behind the 3-point line," the coach said. "That's one of the things he's really improved on this season."
Like John Wall, Miller is trying to become so versatile that he can score points in a number of different ways.
"Last night he got some at the rim, got some in transition, got some on floaters in the lane and also hit some 3s," Beckwith recalled. "I tell him being able to get his points in multiple ways is really important."
Being able to handle the ball, as well as shoot it, is really important for a guard prospect, too.
"He didn't handle the ball a lot during the summer AAU circuit," Beckwith said, "but his ballhandling skills are getting pretty good. This is my first year here, and I try to prepare my guys to get recruited. He's worked on his ballhanding, and we've had some college coaches come in who were impressed with his improvement."
The coach described Miller's defense as "pretty good," adding: "He's able to guard a 2 and a 3 because of his athletic ability. His strength helps him guard that 3 spot, as well. He got a couple of blocked shots (in the opener) and he's a real good help defender."
Although Miller already exhibits college potential, his coach plans to challenge him on a regular basis.
"One of the things we want to do to prepare him for the next level is put him on guys that are cat-quick to help his defensive skills," Beckwith noted. "There's a transition when you go from guarding 2s and 3s to guarding 1s. We don't want him to go to Tennessee or somewhere and have to sit on the bench while he learns to play defense."