Never Too Early: Bears First With Norris
CERRITOS, Calif. -- At this time last summer, BearTerritory brought you some California team camp highlights of an incoming freshman to Hayward (Calif.) Moreau Catholic. That freshman led the Mariners to their first state title game this year, and now, Damari Milstead is one of the top 2017 prospects on the West Coast, and the holder of four scholarship offers.
Yes, scouting an incoming freshman may be robbing the cradle a bit, but for 6-foot-7, 160-pound Chula Vista (Calif.) Mater Dei Catholic frosh-to-be Miles Norris, it’s warranted.
On the second day of the West Coast Elite Camp at Cerritos (Calif.) Gahr, Norris stole the spotlight a bit from his teammate, 2015 five-star Chance Comanche not with dunks and high-flying acrobatics to rival the Los Angeles (Calif.) View Park star, but with the fact that he hardly played a false note. Despite his youth, West Coast Recruiting Analyst Josh Gershon noted that he always made the correct pass, always made the right play – the smart play – and it was hard to argue. Norris is very patient, but doesn’t wait too long. He has an excellent sense of timing and a basketball IQ that’s through the roof.
He also showed deft touch around the rim and with getting the ball inside to Comanche, or outside to his shooters.
The first school to be in contact with Norris? California, and “Coach Huff,” Yanni Hufnagel.
“I call him every other week, and we don’t even talk about recruiting,” said Norris. “He wants to get to know me better.”
The communication has been going on for about a month now, and it’s not entirely out of the question that the Bears pull the trigger on Norris soon, extending a scholarship offer before he ever takes a high school class.
“I like them,” Norris said. “It feels great.”
Consensus among coaches and scouts in attendance was that Norris profiles as a high-major talent. He already plays like a big wing, with very good touch and superior instincts, which will serve him well as he grows and gets stronger. He made smart, accurate passes where the receiving player needed them to be, he anticipated passing lanes and ran the floor well. Defensively, Norris uses his length well already, and closes out on shooters at the perimeter.
With a pair of size-15 clodhoppers, Norris is going to grow. Doctors peg his final height at 6-foot-10, and seeing has he has only been lifting weights for a couple weeks – and had never done more than push-ups, before – he’s only going to get stronger, and when you combine that with his already well-developed skills and sense for the game, that’s a very dangerous combo. He’s already been playing with and learning from some of the top big men on the West Coast, including Comanche and 2016 four-star Jayce Johnson.
“I just play hard, keep my head up, don’t be so cocky,” Norris said of what he’s learned so far. His education is, after all, just starting.
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