Posted On: 05/5/18 7:22 PM
An auxiliary gym, early May 2018 hosted an exciting RSD Basketball 15u team. Brandon Miller’s RSD team pounded a smallish Tennessee Vision unit with fullcourt pressure and nearly constant trapping. Numerous players played well, but one displayed both heightened skills and the prototypical wing frame. His name is Brandon Miller.
Miller intends to attend Cane Ridge High School this upcoming fall. Currently an eighth grader at Thurgood Marshall, Brandon Miller is forging an array of weapons for basketball battle. Several of the weapons remind of countless high school wing starters.
Offensively, Brandon Miller is well ahead of his peers. The versatility and creativity enable him to score in droves.
What does the 14u-aged Miller do so well, that gets him playing time with RSD 15u?
Brandon Miller floats elegantly around the offensive half. Tall, lean, and most importantly skilled, Brandon Miller thrives on the wing. He doesn’t settle for jumpers or dominate shorter players in the paint. Miller’s game is exactly what it needs to be for him to reach his full potential.
The slippery slashes into the teeth of the defense suggest high school exceptionalism. Miller’s handle is steady up to superior in pockets. Though Brandon Miller rarely staggers sideways with his dribble he never does more than he needs to to get the job done. With the handle of an off-guard Brandon Miller escorts himself into those dangerous spaces.
Already Miller comfortably executes complicated shots like a 8′ bank floater. Shots that require special touch appear to be his specialty.
Judging Brandon Miller as a wing defender puts him in strange territory. As an eighth grader his footspeed is slower side to side than the guards he defends at the 15u level. In a straight line he leaves 15u players in the dust. Height can make up for a lack of speed on the defensive end. As his body grows more skyward, and then as the future freshman grows in to that body he will gain the necessary strength and quickness to deter drivers. Currently Brandon Miller keeps shots away from the rim. He does not truly play above the rim defensively just yet, but clearly will as soon as one year from now. The defensive sky is the limit should Miller invest in the less glorious side of the rectangle.
This category is going to bite Brandon Miller. He doesn’t furiously attack the glass. Without bizarre power the angular scorer needs to redirect his offensive effort to the glass where he can showcase his plus athleticism. Of all five categories this has the potential to be Miller’s weak spot. Rebounding requires three things: effort, explosion, strength. He controls the first and the second is budding as I type. Strength will lag behind because Miller is a thin young man built like the ideal young basketball player. Increasing effort here can compensate for the lack of strength he will bring against 18 year old opponents.
During my initial evaluation neither Brandon Miller nor any of the RSD players needed to cast the ball aside to a teammate. The rout was on and each player found it obnoxiously easy taking the rock straight to its home. Projecting his passing skill is dangerous considering the scarcity Saturday. Miller shows remarkable touch on the floater and challenged layups. It suggests he could be a strong, plus passer. Average is a fair starting point.
Smart mother. Likable personality. Miller’s teammates rave about his skills, despite him playing up a division. They could be jealous or despise the playing time he earns. Instead they rep him, proud to hype his accelerated game.
The future of Brandon Miller depends on defensive intensity, weight room investment, and great coaching. With Cane Ridge High School he should get all three. The Ravens play feisty all over the floor. The offensive excellence is staggering for a junior high basketball player. There will be bumps in the road of his development and potential is a dangerous burden. But Brandon Miller cannot avoid this word as his potential will vault him ahead of his peers for years. How close can he get to his basketball ceiling?
33 Brandon Thomas (2018 Blackman)