Long Association

When West Virginia began showing interest in Keaton Miles as a high school freshman, he thought it was just another in the long list of schools that were getting into the recruiting process with him. But now, after committing to WVU, he realizes that the early attention was a sign of things to come.

"West Virginia started recruiting me around ninth grade," he recalled. "I was scoring 20-30 points a game, and they saw me at a tournament. At first, it was just another college. I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to it, because it was still early[in my career]. But I realized, as it went on, that West Virginia has always been there.

The fact that they were recruiting me early on did surprise me, but I didn't realize how serious it was. I think it hit me more last year. I'd finish working out, and they'd be on t.v. all the time. They were playing in the big time."

Miles' recruiting coach, Larry Harrison, was a constant in the process. The stability he showed, along with his long relationship with Bob Huggins, were factors in Miles' decision.

"He is pretty cool, and he is an experienced coach," Miles said of West Virginia's lead assistant. "He has helped a lot of guys get to the NBA. He has been on Coach Huggins' staff since he was at Cincinnati, and I know he has had close ties with him for a long time. We have a good relationship."

Another tie that may have helped West Virginia was the fact that Huggins, while at Cincinnati, recruited Kevin Miles – Keaton's uncle. While Huggins didn't close that deal, he still left an impression on Kevin that later passed down to Keaton.

"I did talk with my uncle about him some, and he liked Huggins a lot, and said it would be a good choice to play for him. He thought he could have been successful playing with Coach Huggins too."

The family approval was an important factor for Miles and his decision. He termed the involvement and approval of his parents "about 50%" of the process, and noted that while he was very impressed on his visit to WVU, he had to wait to talk things over with his family before making his decision.

"I was talking with Jabarie Hinds on our visit, and he said, 'If you commit, I'll commit.' I laughed, and told him I liked it, but that I had to talk to my family first. They didn't come with me, so I had to go back home and discuss it with them. Family is very important to me."

Miles was impressed by the talented group of players that had already committed to West Virginia, but that wasn't a major factor in his decision to add his name to that roster.

"After meeting those guys and just hearing what kind of players they are and talking to them one on one, I think we all have the same drive and determination. I can work with anyone that is determined to be great. We all have each others' numbers now, so we'll text and keep track of each other during our senior seasons."

A self-described versatile, lock down defender, Miles averaged a double-double as a junior. He thinks his Lincoln High School team can go even further than the third round of the playoffs it advanced to a year ago.

"I think our team should be very good. If we stay focused, we have the pieces to be a great team. Last year we were like 37-3 but came up short of a championship. We got knocked out in the third round, and we want to win it all this year. It is a relief to get the recruiting over with, because I want to focus on my senior season. I'm proud and happy to be a Mountaineer."

Miles also demonstrated the grace with which he has handled the lengthy recruiting process by calling the coaches of each of the teams that he was seriously considering to tell them he appreciated their interest and the time they had spent recruiting him, but that he was not coming to their school. That's something not many players do in this hurried age.

"I called each coach and told them I was not coming. I did that out of respect for them, and to give them my thanks," said Miles, who didn't narrow his list of contenders while learning what each had to offer. "I wanted to keep it fair and give everyone the chance to tell me about their school. I took a lot of unofficial visits. If I was going to commit and sign early, it was because I felt comfortable with that school. That's what happened. I felt at home and was welcomed with open arms at WVU."

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