NCAA Basketball

Pitino and Calipari Battle Over Recruit Quincy Miller?

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Quincy Miller is a name that has been top of mind for ‘Cats fans when talking 2011 recruiting for the better part of a year…for good reason. Miller is currently challenging UK commit Michael Gilchrist for the top spot in the class. He’s a power forward with a smooth J and has drawn comparisons to Kevin Durant with his skill, size, and versatility. He’s going to be a big prize for whoever lands him.

Miller calls John Wall a close friend and regularly corresponds with him via Twitter. Wall also stopped by in San Antonio to watch Miller play for the U-18 national team and the two have a very good relationship, which clearly does not hurt UK’s chances. Here’s a video where he briefly talks about this relationship.

One weekend this past spring, Miller made an unofficial to Lexington with his classmate and close friend Deuce Bello. On the same trip, he visited UofL for the last game in Freedom Hall. Louisville was thought of as a bit of peripheral player…until recently.

News this week from various outlets has said that Miller is very much considering UofL, largely thanks to the hiring of new assistant Tim Fuller (mission accomplished for Ricky P). Some have even gone so far as to say that UofL has vaulted itself into the lead.

While I think UofL will get due consideration and will be there until the end, I think the same thing about Kentucky, Baylor, and Duke. This is a decision that figures to last up until the end of the spring signing period. Miller wants to play immediately and is not going to step into a situation where he is stuck behind a returning player like a Terrence Jones.

Here are a couple factors to keep in mind when thinking about Miller:

1) Playing time – Just as I said before, he wants a place where his spot is cinched.
2) Deuce Bello – He’s attached at the hip with Deuce and will go on basically all of his visits with him. If one of his schools lands a commit from Bello early, they could have a leg up. The thing about this is that UK is unlikely to offer Bello, so they may be behind the eight ball.
3) Top 2011 prospects – While Miller may be scared off by a commit from another top power forward, he could be swayed by fellow top 2011 players. Michael Gilchrist and Marquis Teague have already openly said they are tying to sway him, so look out for that.

Some UK fans have mistaken Miller’s relationship with and enthusiasm about John Wall as some sign that Miller is signed, sealed, and delivered to UK. I think they’re wrong. UK is very much involved, but they have a battle on their hands. Rick Pitino declared last week with the hire of Fuller that they would no longer lose prospects to UK, and I believe Miller’s recruitment will be the first place he tries to prove it. It will be fun to watch.

The good thing about being a UK fan right now, though, is that Miller is far from a do or die prospect. UK is involved with so many other top post prospects (which I will discuss in detail tomorrow) that there are PLENTY of options out there. As a matter of fact, John Calipari is in Germany right now to watch the U-17 team, where prospect like Teague, Gilchrist, Tony Wroten, and Johnny O’Bryant are wearing the Red, White, and Blue of the USA. Not a bad quartet and a quartet that could well be in Lexington 12 months from now.