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Isaiah Miles living up to expectations

Even before playing in his first varsity game as a freshman at Glenelg Country School, Isaiah Miles had received an inordinate amount of hype.

The scouting report on the now 6-foot-7, 210-pound prospect described an athletic small forward who could put the ball on the floor, block shots and shoot from beyond the arc. Throughout his first two seasons on the Dragons' varsity, Miles showed flashes of the player that coaches and scouts thought he come become.

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This winter, Miles put all those pieces of potential together for one of the best individual seasons in the Baltimore-Washington area.

"I thought he lived up to [the expectations] and I thought he kind of eased into his reputation," said Kevin Quinlan, Glenelg Country's first-year coach. "I thought across the season he got better and better. He's a quiet leader, but I thought he got more comfortable with his role as a leader. I also thought he played really tough down the home stretch, just attacking the glass for us, really lighting it up and scoring. He got better and better as a defender. I think the sky is the limit for Isaiah."

Any questions about whether or not Miles had taken his game to another level this season were answered Feb. 16 in the Dragons' MIAA B Conference semifinal against Pallotti. Miles erupted for 31 points, 22 rebounds, and eight blocks, propelling Glenelg Country to a 74-53 win over the Panthers. "Shots were just falling for me," Miles said. "I was just rebounding very well, blocking shots on the help side."

One week later, Miles scored 18 points, grabbed 18 rebounds, and blocked four shots in Glenelg Country's 75-62 win over Annapolis Area Christian for the B Conference championship.

"It was very important. It was my first high school championship. I'm very happy about that," Miles said. "I've been double-teamed a number of times [this season]. In the low post, I've been trapped. I noticed that. I just play my game. I do what I can do to get open. If I don't score, we don't win. I keep that in my mind."

On the season, Miles averaged 18.8 points, 13.4 rebounds, 2.75 blocks and one steal, earning Baltimore Sun first-team All-Metro honors. He was also named to the B Conference's first team and the All-Howard County team.

Quinlan noted that Miles' dedication in the weight room paved the way for his standout junior season. While Miles – who has gained 35 pounds since his freshman year – is more comfortable on the perimeter than in the post, Quinlan was impressed with his versatility.

"Ultimately, he'll probably play the 3 at the next level," Quinlan said. "And he basically played that way for us. He was big offensively on the fast break. We tried to push the ball and [have him] trail the action. He does the pick-and-pop off the screens. He's really comfortable. He's got range out in the NBA area. He's got some good dribble moves, too. He's working on his post moves, working on getting his shot off the dribble. He's really going to try and develop his left hand."

Quinlan said Miles already has verbal scholarship offers from James Madison, South Florida and St. Joseph's, while Elon, George Mason, Kansas, LSU, UNC-Greensboro and Xavier have expressed varying degrees of interest. West Virginia assistant coach Billy Hahn came down this winter to see Miles play. Miles has also played in several open gyms at Maryland.

"Honestly, I thought I would have had more interest," Miles said. "But that's just my motivation to come out and play my hardest in every game. I would like to have more college offers."

More scholarships for Miles should come soon enough – provided he keeps playing so well on the AAU circuit with Nike Baltimore Elite. At the Boo Williams tournament in Hampton, Va., last weekend, Miles averaged 13.6 points and 6.4 rebounds, leading NBE to a 3-2 mark.

"I think this summer is going to be really telling when he gets on the AAU circuit," Quinlan said. "The way he's been working, getting in the gym and getting a lot of shots up, and getting in the weight room and adding some weight, I really feel he's got a lot of untapped potential. I think he can write his own ticket."

Miles said location is "not really a big deal" to him when it comes to recruiting. He's looking for a coach who will push him to his "limit." And he's hoping to have more high-major offers to choose from. In the meantime, Miles looks forward to earning those scholarships on the circuit, and getting ready for his senior season when the Dragons move up to the A Conference.

"We're going to play better competition every single night -- no easy games like in the B Conference," Miles said. "Every game is going to be a hard game. I have to bring my A game every single game."

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Baltimore Sun photo of Isaiah Miles by Karl Merton Ferron / March 17, 2011

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