The 2019 offseason has started off perfectly for Brad Underwood. Ayo Dosunmu has decided to come back for his sophomore season and Kofi Cockburn is signed on and will play in Champaign next year. This means the staff can finally focus its full attention on 2020 recruiting. Since Brad Underwood was hired, it has always felt like the Illini are behind the eight ball in terms of roster building. They may have found some stability just in time.
Since Underwood took the job, Adam Miller has been the top 2020 recruiting target. And that won’t change anytime soon.
Adam Miller is a 6-foot-3, 170-pound guard from Peoria. He started his high school career at Peoria Manual, where many former and current Illini — including Frank and Da’Monte Williams — played their high school ball. He then transferred to Morgan Park, where he played with current a senior Dosunmu and won a state title. Miller will play his senior season at Morgan Park during the upcoming 2019-20 campaign.
Miller is the top prospect in the state and a consensus four-star recruit and top-30 player. He has offers from Illinois, Kansas, Northwestern and Louisville, among others. It’s been rumored that if the blue bloods like Duke, Carolina and Kentucky get involved in Miller’s recruitment, that it will be exceptionally tough to keep him home.
Miller is an electrifying score-first guard.
What jumps off the page with Miller is his jumpshot. He has had unlimited range all throughout his high school career. The lefty has a quick release and great form on his shot as well. He is terrific at creating his own shot beyond the arc without a screener and naturally fills in the floor on the break and gets his feet organized to receive catch and shoot threes.
Miller’s offensive game stretches beyond just his three-point shooting. He can score at all three levels of the floor. He’s lethal in isolation and the pick and roll at the high school level. He has great touch on his mid-range jumper and can adjust mid-drive to get off a variety of shots. He also has a Big Ten ready body, and Miller will be better equipped to absorb contact and finish around the rim than most freshmen point guards.
While Miller is more of a scorer, he still possess plenty of skills as a facilitator. He’s not as gifted as Ayo, but few are. He still has the vision to deliver passes on the break with some zip on them. He has the handle and feel for the game that would allow him to develop into a true point guard at the next level.
Adam Miller would fit wonderfully. I think of him as a little bit bigger, stronger and more versatile Trent Frazier. He could easily step into Dosunmu’s place if Ayo leaves for the draft after next season, leaving Miller to play alongside a senior Frazier. Miller’s path to the NBA is being a pure point guard, and while he has those skills, he would likely be most successful in a multi-ball handler offense like Underwood’s. Miller would be able to dominate the ball for some possessions, and be a floor spacer on other possessions. He has the size and strength to guard an opponent’s point guard, shooting guard or small forward in some cases.
We’ve seen Underwood’s willingness to play three point guards at a time, so there will always be room for a scoring and shooting point guard on a Brad Underwood team. With Kofi Cockburn solidifying the frontcourt, Brad Underwood must turn his focus to find the next alpha dog, leading scorer archetype of player to be the heir apparent to Ayo Dosunmu and Trent Frazier. Adam Miller would be the perfect fit.
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story said Miller weighs 270 pounds. He weighs 170. He’s not THAT big.
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