When this season began a lot of people believed the Darius Miller could become the X factor for the team this year. However due to a slow start from Darius combined with a team that looked as though they were lacking an identity and leadership (something we all thought Miller could provide,) questions began to surface addressing whether or not Miller could ever become the player we thought he could be. Some even believed that the Billy Gillispie years may have completely shot his confidence and ruined him.
But those conjectures would be premature. Miller had spurts of consistency earlier in the year, but after the loss at Vanderbilt he seemed to really put it all together. For the next 9 games leading to today, he never scored less than 10 points and had above his average total rebounds in 5 of the 9. This includes his 24 point and 5 rebound game against Florida, and the 22 and 9 against South Carolina.
And it’s not just his own numbers that are improving. In fact, when Darius scores 14 points or more – this year – the team is 10-1, with the one loss being against Kemba Walker in God Mode. On top of that, Miller has quietly become one of the teams most consistent options. When we needed a bucket in the Florida game, numerous times his number was called and he posted his man up, spun around, and sunk the floater. When he’s open and he gets the ball behind the arc, he no longer is looking to pass, he’s taking those shots – and more often than not, he makes them. In fact, he’s shooting 50% from beyond the arc in the same stretch of games we mentioned before.
If you thought his confidence was shattered with the BCG experiement, it looks like he has found the super glue and put it back together. Plus, don’t forget, he’s coming off an SEC championship where he made the all-tournament team and was the SEC tournament MVP. If you don’t think that’s a huge boost that you’re doing something right, you oughtta go sit in a bathroom stall for a bit. And it certainly shows him just whose team this is.
Look, I don’t know how Darius will match up with the teams we play in the tournament, but if he keeps things going the way they have been, I know that teams need to start being concerned with how they’re going to match up with him.
Keep it rollin’ Darius.