Inspiring Darius Miller

Thomas Beisnerover 10 years


Aritcle written by:Thomas BeisnerThomas Beisner
darius-miller-florida A lot of things went right for the Cats Saturday at Rupp.  The frustrated Chandler Parsons.  They responded to Florida's pushes to take back the lead with timely buckets and big rebounds.  What could be the most important positive in the long run though is the continued emergence of Darius Miller.  The junior from Maysville again looked to be removed from the Disappearius moniker that has followed him in two and a half season in Lexington, posting a career-high 24 points two games after setting his previous high with 22.  For Miller, the quest for success has always appeared to be one that was mental.  Too often, he's looked like the uncertain player afraid to make mistakes after being broken down by Billy Gillispie.  John Calipari has said since his first day on campus that his goal was to get Miller to the point of being an All-SEC player.  In Matt's "All Access" story for CBS, he noted how Calipari took a little extra time in preparing his forward for a breakout game:
Before dismissal, he addresses Darius Miller individually for the first time. The quiet forward, who bears the weight of heightened expectations due to his status as a Kentucky state high school legend, is one of the most talented players on the team. However he has been prone to disappearing in games and his lack of aggressiveness is a constant issue for the UK coaches. Calipari focuses directly on Miller and says, “you can create a matchup problem for this team. They don’t have anyone to guard you, so you can be the difference.” As he speaks, he looks Miller directly in the eye and Miller shakes his head in agreement.
It paid off.  Miller was clearly the most aggressive Cat early and attacked Chandler Parsons off the dribble and crashed the boards.  In today's SEC Coaches Teleconference, Calipari celebrated Miller's performance, noting that he's finally becoming a guy that he thinks plays like an SEC Player of the Year and is using his three-point shot as a supplement to an aggressive game off the dribble.  Cal cited late in the game as being Miller's biggest contributions of the afternoon when he came from the other side of the court to get an offensive rebound, ran a pick and roll and then nailed a three to seal the game.  That type of confidence is contagious and this young team seems to take three or four steps forward when their veteran guys are making big plays.  This could be the start of something big. ***12 hours, 50 minutes until Jorts Day

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