Darius Miller and his USA World University Games team played their first real game against Mexico early this morning. The team trailed at the end of the first quarter, but outscored the Mexicans 65-30 in the second half and cruised to a 108-67 win. Darius had two points on 1-5 shooting and chipped in eight rebounds in 19 minutes of action. Offensively, he wasn’t as good as the team’s Thursday exhibition win over the Chinese professional team, New Century, in which he had seven points in 17 minutes, but his rebounding stayed consistent.
So far, at eight rebounds per game, Darius is second on the team to Trevor Mbakwe of Minnesota who is averaging nine boards per contest. Darius is playing in a position (power forward) that he likely won’t see much time in during the collegiate season, but his contributions as a role player on this World University Games team are significant. If Darius can provide this kind of productivity, in addition to the increased offense that he should experience with his normal minutes, UK’s senior leader could prove to be the key performer down the stretch and in March.