With all the talk about Pitt being over the scholarship limit for next season, I have to admit that former Panther Dwight Miller kind of dropped off my radar. In case you forgot, Pitt was in a similar situation last Summer and Miller ended up transferring to Midland Junior College in Texas.
He had a respectable season last year with about eight points per game. And while those are fair numbers, I was surprised to hear that a site, JucoJunction.com, apparently rated him as the tenth best JUCO recruit in the country. That was enough to earn him a trip to Tennessee, where he's now signed.
Head coach Cuonzo Martin is obviously liking the fact that Miller comes from a big time program:
"Dwight started his career at Pitt, so he has an understanding of what it takes to play at this level," Martin said. "He's a physical player who plays hard all the time and can play inside and outside. He'll be a good addition for us."
Miller's big selling point was the coaching staff.
He visited the school recently and talked about those coaches:
"The difference was the coaching staff,’’ said Miller, who visited UT last weekend. "Coach (Jon) Harris and Coach Martin had been recruiting me even last year when they were at Missouri State.
"I just felt a lot better with this coaching staff than any of the others.’’
Don't get me wrong - for a program that just lost Scotty Hopson and Tobias Harris, their two leading scorers, to the NBA, I'm sure Miller looks awfully good. But having seen him up close, I don't know if the unbridled enthusiasm in the comments section of that linked page are all that warranted - Great pickup? Big signing? Not so sure.
Miller looked, at best, like a player capable of being a good backup at Pitt. He did have the opportunity to create mismatches if his jump shot ever became more consistent, but I don't know that he'd ever become a starter. Who knows - I could have this all wrong, but I didn't ever see Miller as a big-time contributor. Solid player? Possibly. Star or even a starter?
But for Cuonzo Martin to get him this late in the game? Not a bad pickup.