Never forget, Quincy.
Quincy Miller, whom you may recall from his flirtatious recruitment with Kentucky, has decided to head to the NBA draft with his teammates Perry Jones III and Quincy Acy. That’s not strange, in and of itself. What probably caught the Bears off guard is that Miller had said pretty definitively, and as recently as April 10th, that he was coming back for his sophomore season.
Gary Parrish points out that Miller could be “the first of many heel-turns” among guys who have said they’re coming back, but could still change their minds before April 29th. Thankfully, we don’t have to worry about that since all five of our possible returnees are already on their way. But it is an interesting point, and I think Quincy could have been the first snowflake in an avalanche.
On the court, Miller was always a guy whose game I liked, even though he didn’t come here (there wouldn’t have been room anyway, harumph). He plays like a Bizarro-MKG: all sparkling smooth offense, great jumpshot, lackadaisical defense and interior play, okay transition finisher and rebounder. But what he did, he did well. He averaged over ten points per game while getting only 24 minutes, and was a big part of getting the Bears to the Elite 8.
With his skills, inevitable increase in playing time, and overall dearth of talent in NCAA basketball next year, I was actually expecting Miller to take a shot at grabbing a few Player of the Year awards. Alas, we’ll never know. He certainly had the potential to do big things his sophomore season, but the allure of the NBA is just too strong. I’m not sure what made him change his mind, but when the options are getting drafted in the first round and playing in the NBA or staying in Waco, Texas another year, I think that choice pretty much makes itself.
As far as the draft itself goes, even though he’s a solid 6’9″, he’s way too soft to play the 4 in the NBA. That puts him in the same position as the Kidd, and it will be interesting to see how teams value the two juxtaposing play styles. I don’t think there’s any way a GM would take Miller first, considering that MKG is a coach’s dream when trying to motivate a team, but expect Miller to go fairly high.
The question now is, with Miller walking out the door, will his decision cause other casual returnees to declare for the draft? I hope so. The worse teams are next year, the better it’ll be for us. You hear that, Cody Zeller?