Commentary

2011 prospect Miller worth the hype

Originally Published: December 23, 2009
By Reggie Rankin | Scouts Inc.

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. -- Championship Tuesday at the Hawk Kreul Classic consisted of finals in the Coral Springs and Sweet Sixteen Brackets. Cardinal Gibbons (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) won the Coral Springs final 51-30 over Belen Jesuit (Miami) and Northeast (Oakland Park, Fla.) took home the Sweet Sixteen title beating The Rock School (Gainesville, Fla.) 51-39. Point guard Sam Mills scored 25 points for Cardinal Gibbons while Jelani Hewitt took home MVP honors scoring 25 points for Northeast. Quality Education (N.C.) beat Dillard (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) 72-63 in the Sweet Sixteen Silver Bracket. ESPNU Super 60 forward Quincy Miller and Baylor-bound point guard Stargell Love were terrific. Miller showed his skill and athletic ability while Love had an excellent floor game and provided several above-the-rim highlights in transition.

[+] EnlargeKelly Kline
Kelly Kline Quincy Miller's list of suitors includes Duke, Wake Forest and Kentucky.

Standout players

Quincy Miller, PF (6-foot-8, 200)
2011, Winston-Salem, N.C./Quality Education Academy

Miller displayed excellent skill and athleticism. He scored inside and out and really shot the ball well from behind the arc when he was set. He slashed along the baseline and finished above the rim before the weakside defense could figure out what was going on. Miller can attack from the high post and low wing where he can spin either way and elevate into a short pull up jumper. Miller defensive rebounds and leads the break and scores on athletic tip-ins on the offensive glass. Miller must add strength, but he has great length and a good understanding of the game. Miller proved that he is worthy of being ranked as one of the top 10 players in the 2011 class.

Stargell Love, PG (6-2, 180)
2010, Winston-Salem, N.C./Quality Education Academy, committed to Baylor

Love excels in transition where he displayed off-the-charts athletic ability. He finished with authority above the rim, jumping vertically and with gliding takeoffs from a running start. He has big0time speed and quickness when pushing the ball. He can change speeds and directions in a blink of an eye. Love's ability to accelerate in the open court is John Wall-like at times. He can knock down 3s when his feet are set with great elevation. Love is a rhythm shooter, and when he get's it going, he can break open the game. In the half court, Love passes the ball with excellent vision and touch when he keeps it simple. At times, he will take chances with the ball that will lead him into a turnover. His midrange pull-up is very impressive when he takes on contact and hangs in the air before he releases the ball. Love can make athletic plays that are NBA like.

Surprise player

Jelani Hewitt, SG/PG (6-2, 175)
2010, Oakland Park, Fla./Northeast

Hewitt is a combination guard who has 3-point range off the catch or dribble. He possesses an excellent knack for scoring and is capable of putting up big numbers when he is in a rhythm. Hewitt plays with great energy and urgency on both ends of the floor and competes throughout the game. He has noticeably improved his point guard skills. Hewitt looks to pass ahead on the break and finds open teammates in drive, draw and kick situations. He also made good decisions in the open court most of the time -- although he can get sped up and be forced into a travel from time to time. Hewitt must continue to work on tightening up his handle when he is under intense ball pressure and be more of a north-south penetrator, but he is also better in this area than in the past. He is doing a better job of creating scoring opportunities for teammates, but he is still a shooting guard first in my opinion. He is an intense on-ball defender and anticipates pretty well in the passing lanes. He can defend both guard positions. Hewitt is a good, not great, athlete but he works extremely hard and finds ways to help his team win.

Notes

• LaSalle signee Sam Mills (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Cardinal Gibbons) will be an excellent A-10 player. This point guard can handle and pass the ball and finishes on a consistent basis. He needs continue to improve as a perimeter shooter -- although he is better than he was this time last year. Mills is an excellent defender and a good enough athlete to defend both guard positions.

• Dillard (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) coach Darryl Burrows has had many big-time players over the years and has another potential high major prospect under his wing in 6-9 sophomore center Stephon Blair. This young post is extra long and very mobile. He can rebound on both ends and has a great motor that allows him to run the floor on a consistent basis. Blair is raw on the offensive end -- although his left shoulder jump hook is pretty good. He patrols the lane like upperclassmen where he blocks shots and makes penetrators think twice about challenging him at the rim.

Reggie Rankin was an assistant coach at seven schools for 13 seasons, most recently at Dayton. He played at Ohio University from 1986-1990 and was an all-MAC first teamer his senior season.

Reggie Rankin

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