Daxter Miles wasn’t planning on making his college commitment Friday night. But the Dunbar senior had a sudden change of heart during his high school graduation three days ago.
“I decided [to end my recruitment] because it was a big event in my life, with me and my family, so why not keep it going and commit on my graduation?” said Miles, who pledged to West Virginia. “I wasn’t planning to at first. Everything hit me though, and I thought about it real heavy.”
Miles, who also considered offers from Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Villanova and Xavier, said the Mountaineers have been recruiting him since the beginning of his senior year, shortly after he transferred to Dunbar from IMG Academy in Florida. Over the past several months, Miles has built a strong relationship with West Virginia coach Bob Huggins and assistant Larry Harrison.
Huggins “was just like, ‘Man, that sounds great. We think this is the place for you to be,’” Miles said. “He’s happy for me. It was pretty quick. … I’ve been talking to Coach Larry Harrison and Coach Huggins a lot. We get along real good.”
Miles has long been considered a high-major recruit. Last summer, he teamed with three other high-major-bound players – Kam Williams (Ohio State), Daquein McNeil (Minnesota), Jamel Artis (Pittsburgh) – with Nike Baltimore Elite. And then during his senior year, the 6-foot-2, 180-pound combo guard averaged 15 points, six rebounds and 3.4 assists in leading the Poets to a 26-2 record and the Class 1A state championship.
Miles said he will be expected to play the 1 in an Allen Iverson-type role for the Mountaineers.
“I like the way Coach Huggins lets his guards play,” Miles said. “He says he likes my scrappiness and my ability to score at will on offense and my toughness. … He keeps bodies in check. He’s a workaholic. I like that because I’m trying to get prepared for the next level. I want someone who’s going to push on me and keep me grounded.”
Miles, who has visited West Virginia twice, likes that his family will be just a short drive away from seeing him play. The location was “a big factor” in his decision.
“The campus is great,” he said. “In Morgantown, they kind of treat their players like NBA stars because they don’t have an NBA team. They’ve got diehard fans.”
The fact that Miles was still uncommitted in late May can be attributed in part to his academics. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound combo guard is still waiting on a qualifying test score, but he’s confident that his most recent ACT results – which he expects to receive June 20 – will come out in his favor.
With Miles’ commitment, the Mountaineers have seven players in their 2013 class. After West Virginia finished the 2012-13 season with a 13-19 record, Huggins clearly wanted to remake his roster. Miles is looking forward to being part of West Virginia’s “fresh start.”
“They can expect a show from me,” Miles said. “And [I’ll] bring wins to the program.”
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