Preps Talk

Morgan Park's Adam Miller ready for big expectations


Morgan Park's Adam Miller ready for big expectations

CERRITOS, Calif. -- The Chicagoland area doesn't have a lot of senior star power when it comes to high school basketball next season.

While downstate seniors rule the state, and the area has plenty of senior Division I prospects and quality high school players, there aren't a lot of local high-major recruits to keep tabs on. 

Which is part of the reason the rising junior class is so intriguing. 

Between guards like D.J. Steward, Morgan Park's Adam Miller and Whitney Young's quickly-rising guard Tyler Beard, there's a lot to like about that class from a local perspective.

Fresh off of a state championship as a sophomore at Morgan Park in Class 3A last season, Miller is hoping to become one of the area's major stars next season. Already flashing promising signs during the 2017-18 season, the 6-foot-3 guard transferred into the Public League from Peoria Manual and put up 14.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game during his sophomore campaign.

National recruiting analysts and college coaches were among those to notice Miller's natural ability and upside as he currently rates as the No. 37 prospect in Rivals' Class of 2020 national rankings. Illinois, Kansas, Stanford, UCLA and USC are among the programs heavily in the mix for Miller in the recruiting process.

With former teammate Ayo Dosunmu graduating and heading to Illinois this fall, Miller has a chance to be a Player of the Year candidate with a strong junior season.

"Now is my time to be a leader, and try to keep on, and start winning games for the team and bring home another championship," Miller said. "I'm ready for anything to be thrown my way. I've been practicing my whole life for this so I'm not going to stop now."

Playing in the star-studded Pangos All-American Camp in Southern California last weekend, Miller is still trying to get fully healthy before a busy summer. A sprained ankle prevented him from playing in front of the college coaches during the April Live Evaluation Period as he's trying to regain his previous form.

Even though he hasn't been at 100 percent, Miller is still capable of knocking down perimeter shots, and scoring in bunches, as some of that ability was on display at Pangos. Playing in May during two sessions of the Nike EYBL with the Mac Irvin Fire, Miller hit an impressive 27 three-pointers over an eight-game span as he was 39 percent from three-point range over that stretch.

"My game was more explosive before I got injured. So now, I'm trying to get more explosive. Just get all of my full bounce back. Once I get that, I'll get my defense back. I'll be able to move and do anything," Miller said.

"They used to say I was a streaky shooter but I think I've become a better shooter. Out here [at Pangos] I haven't shot the ball well but I just have to keep shooting. I think my jumper is getting pretty good now."

Miller is playing well on the national circuit while still recovering from the sprained ankle as he is playing with a lot of confidence following his first season in the Public League.

Acknowledging that the competition was even tougher than expected in the Public League, Miller knew the league was no joke during his first Red-South rivalry game with Bogan just three games into the season.

"I didn't think it was going to be as hard as it was. But probably the Bogan game in the first five games. That was one of the games that told me, 'yeah, this is no joke, I've gotta bring my game,'" Miller said.

"It's probably the hardest place to play in the country. You're playing against people who aren't known but they don't really care about that. They're going to come at your head every night. So I became a stronger player and it really helped me coming onto the circuit because people haven't played that hard of basketball. I'm coming off a hard season so it really helped me a lot."

Entering junior season as a marked man and potential star, Miller won't have seniors like Dosunmu, Cameron Burrell and Kenyon Duling to rely on when things get tough this season. It'll be on Miller to be a go-to guy for the Mustangs as they try to stay involved in the IHSA state title mix. Embracing the challenge, Miller is looking forward to playing more with Morgan Park and his future teammates this summer. 

"It was good playing with Ayo. It was a learning experience. He taught me how to be a leader and just go get your buckets and play team ball. All of that really came together," Miller said. 

"Now, I'm just trying to picture what we're going to be and get us all on the same page. Put everybody where they need to be now. So that when the season gets going, we'll know the expectations. Then during the season, we'll be rolling."

Power Rankings: #8 - Naperville Central

Power Rankings: #8 - Naperville Central preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting July 30, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: Naperville Central

Head coach: Mike Stein

Assistant Coaches: Mike Ulreich: (DC/Inside LB), Tim Boecker (DB) Marc Anderson (DB), Adam Pucylowski (Outside LB), Eric Novak (DL), Pat Watson (OC/OL), Phil Allen (OL), Ryan Clifford (TE/H-backs), Adam Freed (RB), Chad Bradley (QB), Josh McLeod (WR) and Kofi Hughes (WR)

How they fared in 2017: 9-3 (7-1 DuPage Valley Conference). Naperville Central made the 8A state playoff field and defeated West Aurora and Homewood-Flossmoor. In the quarterfinal round, they lost to Maine South. 

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 vs Hinsdale Central

Aug. 31 @ Lincoln-Way East

Sept. 7 vs Naperville North

Sept. 14 @ St. Matthews (Trinity) Kentucky

Sept. 21 @ Metea Valley

Sept. 28 vs Naperville North at NCC

Oct. 5 vs Neuqua Valley

Oct. 12 vs Waubonsie Valley

Oct. 19 @ Cary-Grove

[MORE: 12 Days to Kickoff - Hinsdale Central]

Biggest storyline: The schedule. Can the Redhawks survive a grueling regular season slate and go deep in the Class 8A playoffs?

Names to watch this season: QB Payton Thorne (Western Michigan) and OG Luke Hallstrom (Air Force)

Biggest holes to fill: The Redhawks will need to reload upfront on both the offensive and defensive line this fall. 

EDGY's Early Take: Welcome to the new-look DuPage Valley, Naperville Central fans. The Redhawks will face a stiff test for all nine weeks of the regular season. It includes back-to-back games against fellow Class 8A state title contenders right out of the gate: Hinsdale Central and Lincoln-Way East. But Naperville Central features one of the state's top quarterbacks in senior Payton Thorne. He has capable targets in senior WR Cade McDonald and senior TE Jared Suchevits. As for the defense, they'll feature senior DB Jack Jopes along with senior LB Matt Oliver. A major plus to help Central's cause: they always have a deep roster and strong overall program numbers year in and year out. 

Power Rankings: #9 - Marist

Power Rankings: #9 - Marist preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting July 30, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: Marist

Head coach: Ron Dawczak

Assistant coaches: Matt Shalvis (OC), Pete Gabel (DC), Jim Looney (OL), Joe Watson (OL), Chris Bohanek (WRs), Tony Turek (DL), Rich Watson (DL), Matt Jedrey (LBs) and Brendan Garrett (DBs)

How they fared in 2017: 11-1 (7-0 East Suburban Catholic Conference). Marist made the 8A state playoff field, defeated Oak Park-River Forest and Curie then lost to Loyola Academy in quarterfinal round action. 

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ Brother Rice
Sept. 1 vs Mishawaka Indiana
Sept 7 @ Niles Notre Dame
Sept. 14 vs St. Viator
Sept. 21 vs Joliet Catholic Academy
Sept. 28 @ Marian Catholic
Oct. 5 @ Nazareth Academy
Oct. 12 vs Marian Central Catholic
Oct. 19 @ Benet Academy

Biggest storyline: Can the Redhawks replace a handful of key starters from last season and keep moving forward in Class 8A?

Names to watch this season: QB Mike Markett and WR Jadon Thompson

Biggest holes to fill: The Redhawks will look to reload in a few key spots this summer, especially up front on the defensive line with the graduation losses of DT Elijah Teague (Minnesota) and DL Gavin McCabe (Indiana). 

EDGY's Early Take: The Redhawks once again look to be loaded on the offense side of the football for the 2018 season. Senior QB Mike Markett is back after a strong 2017 junior campaign and Markett has multiple weapons including highly recruited junior WR Jadon Thompson along with senior WR Billy Skalitzky and senior WR Denny Hogan. While the Redhawks' defense will be missing a few headliners from last season, this is still a unit with seven returning starters back this fall. Keep an eye on senior OLB Kendric Nowling (Eastern Michigan) for the Redhawks this season.