Richard Davenport covers recruiting for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He appears weekly on The Red Zone w/ JB on 92.1 FM Fayetteville, The Morning Rush w/ Tye & Tommy on 95.3 FM in Fort Smith; 96.3 FM in Hot Springs; 104.3 FM in Harrison/Mountain Home, 99.5 FM in Fayetteville and The Zone w/ Justin & Wess on 103.7 FM in Little Rock.
THE RECRUITING GUY:
Sturdy forward likes what he hears about Hogs
FILE PHOTO - Arkansas' Clint McDaniel (12) guards Mississippi's Cedrid Brim, left, during the first half in Fayetteville, Ark., Wednesday, Jan. 5, 1994. McDaniel is the uncle of New Hampshire Prep power forward and Arkansas prospect Tory Miller.
LAS VEGAS - When New Hampshire Prep power forward Tory Miller was growing up, he and his uncle, former Arkansas guard Clint McDaniel, shared a love of basketball that helped them develop a close relationship.
“Since he was 6, 7 years old, he was always talking about basketball,” said McDaniel, who helped the Razorbacks win the 1994 national championship under Nolan Richardson and then-assistant Mike Anderson. “That’s something I’m very familiar with, so we have a lot in common and it’s easy for us to have that bond.”
Miller, 6-8, 260 pounds, is playing for the 17-under KC Run GMC team this weekend at the FAB 48 17-under Invitational. He has scholarship offers from nine schools, including Arkansas, Kansas State, Marquette and Tulsa.
“I’m going to narrow the list after July,” Miller said. “I probably won’t sign in the fall, but I will commit somewhere. I’m not saying I will, but there’s a good chance I’ll commit somewhere before the season starts and I’ll take my officials before the season starts as well.”
Miller, who is rated a three-star prospect by ESPN and the No. 38 power forward in the nation, could be mistaken for an SEC tight end or defensive end because of his solid build and athleticism, but he uses his size to bang down low. He likes the freedom that Anderson gives his big men.
“I like the style of play,” said Miller, who averaged 13 points and seven rebounds this past season. “He gets the big man up and down a lot. I could get a lot of buckets off of transition just running the floor. That plays to my advantage a lot.”
He said McDaniel isn’t pushing him to Fayetteville.
“He’s been hands-on, but then again he’s been been hands-off trying to let me make my own decision,” Miller said. “He doesn’t pressure me towards Arkansas or anything. He would like to see me go there, but he doesn’t pressure me at all. He actually helps a lot.”
Miller attended Lee’s Summit North High School in Missouri and opted to go to prep school last fall to get more seasoning and improve his stock for colleges. Mc-Daniel has seen his nephew mature.
“It’s great to see how far he’s come from being a small, lanky, chubby kid and now he’s strong, athletic,” McDaniel said. “I just appreciate his work ethic and making himself into a basketball player.”
McDaniel also likes Miller’s potential.
“I think he has a great upside,” McDaniel said. “With the work ethic he has, he has unbelievable upside. He has to continue to work and get better, and hopefully he’ll attain the goals he wants to reach.”
Pushing Miller to Arkansas isn’t something McDaniel plans to do.
“I’ve had my career,” Mc-Daniel said. “Of course, I would like to see him at my alma mater, but at the same time this is his dream and his passion, so I only tell him the don’ts. I don’t tell him the do’s.”
McDaniel is proud of his nephew for stepping out and going away from home to better his game.
“My most memorable time is seeing him go off to New Hampshire and take on that responsibility of being away from home and accepting that challenge and maturing,” he said.
MAKING THE ROUNDS
Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson and his staff and college coaches from across the nation are enjoying their last evaluation period of the summer.
The period started at 5 p.m. Wednesday and ends at 5 p.m. today.
The Arkansas coaches were in Las Vegas attending the FAB 48, Adidas Super 64 and the Big Hoops Las Vegas Classic, and were at the AAU National Championships in Orlando, Fla. NCAA rules allow only three coaches from a school to be on the road evaluating at one time.
Anderson and associate head coach Melvin Watkins watched Arkansas commitment Terry Thompson, a 6-9, 250-pound forward who plays for the Arkansas Hawks, on Saturday.
Watkins caught the last part of the Hawks’ game against BTI Select of Pasadena, Calif., on Saturday and was seen watching Texas Select guard Nick Babb, 6-4, 180, and center Myles Turner, 6-11, 225. Arkansas is among Babb’s top four schools, along with Texas A&M, SMU and Gonzaga. Turner is rated by ESPN as the No. 3 center and the No. 10 overall prospect in the country.
Babb visited Arkansas about a month ago with his father. He and Turner are good friends and hope to play together in college. Turner said he’s trying to make his way to Fayetteville at some point.
Anderson watched highly regarded sophomore power forward De’Ron Davis of Aurora (Colo.) Overland on Saturday afternoon.
Davis, 6-9, 240 pounds, is rated by ESPN as the No. 3 player at his position and the No. 10 overall prospect in the nation for the 2016 class. He reportedly has about eight scholarship offers, including offers from Arkansas, UCLA and Indiana.
He has attended Arkansas’ camp in August the previous two years and is very interested in the Razorbacks.
Email Richard Davenport at email@example.com
Sports, Pages 30 on 07/28/2013
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