After the suspension of star senior Chris Clarke, morale around the Virginia Tech basketball fan base took a big hit.
For most fans, there is less to look forward to for the program. However, one must not forget how incredible the month of October was for recruiting.
After Anthony Harris committed on October 2, three more recruits from the class of 2019 made their choice that month to play in Blacksburg.
Harris is the top rated of the four. The next highest is four-star forward Emanuel Miller.
Miller stands at 6’6, 200 pounds and is from Napa, CA. He is listed as either a power forward or a small forward. He will likely play both in college.
Miller is listed as a three-star by 247Sports and 247Sports Composite, and a four-star by ESPN and Rivals.
The first thought that crossed my mind after watching Miller’s highlights was that his skillset looks just like Clarke’s.
Miller, much like Clarke, is quick, strong, explosive, and swift. He has the ability to get by the defenders with or without the ball. His athleticism is not quite at the same level as Clarke’s but there are many similarities.
Miller will be able to use this athleticism to get to the basket and score points.
What truly sets Miller apart is his ability as a floor general that most 6’6'' forwards don’t have. He has guard-like dribbling and passing abilities that will make him very tough to defend.
Miller’s most obvious point of growth in that respect is his decision-making. He seems to love making flashy passes, but those will be tougher to make against ACC defenses. He will need to be smart with the ball if he wants to succeed in coach Buzz Williams’s offense.
Miller also lacks a strong jump shot. His primary source of offense is getting to the hoop and making tough layups or drawing fouls. He will need to develop his jump shot more if he wants to be a transcendent offensive player for the Hokies.
Athleticism, ball handling, passing, and a weaker jump shot are all qualities that Miller and Clarke both share. However, in his time at Tech, Clarke also showed an ability to guard players bigger than him.
It is yet to be seen how Miller will handle the bigger opponents that Williams will likely ask him to guard. Williams likes to run a four or five-guard lineup, so Miller will have to face off against larger post players, as we have seen with Clarke, Ty Outlaw, and PJ Horne.
If Miller can continue to develop the skills that he already has, he has the potential to be a star in Blacksburg.
His game reminds me of former Orlando Magic star and current head coach of the University of Memphis, Penny Hardaway. Though that is an ambitious comparison, they have similar skill sets.
It is unlikely that Miller will reach the same level as Hardaway, but it is more realistic to see him having a similar career to Clarke.
There is a lot to be hopeful for from Miller’s game as Buzz Williams will hope to use him to the best of his abilities and keep improving the VT program.