Mark Pope and the BYU Men’s Basketball staff have taken an active approach towards the NCAA’s Transfer Portal, bringing in Matt Haarms, a 7-3 big man from Purdue, and are now targeting several guards who are looking for a new home in 2020. One such guard is 21-year-old Redshirt Sophmore Franco Miller Jr. who spent the last two seasons for Ole Miss.
Miller, a 6-3, 199-pound guard from Freeport, Bahamas, spent his senior year of High School at Crestwood Prep in Toronto, Canada where he averaged 25.8 points per game, 6.0 rebounds per game, 5.2 assists per game and 3.3 steals per game, earning first-team All-Canada NPA honors. “My productivity was really just based on gaining confidence in knowing that I can play the game of basketball,” Miller told ESPN 960 Sports.
Miller eventually caught the attention of several colleges in the US, including the Ole Miss Rebels.
“Half-way through the season I got an offer from Saint Bonaventure, then I got an offer from Townsend, then Hofstra … then one week after the season we played scrimmages and the coaches came in and I blew up from there. I had Minnesota, Ole Miss, Oregon.”
Eventually, Miller decided to take his talents to Ole Miss, but an injury caused him to sit out his first season with the Rebels. “I had a knee injury. My kneecap split in half, I had surgery on it, so that sat me down the whole year.”
But when Miller returned from his knee injury – which he says has fully healed – he struggled to find a consistent role in Coach Kermit Davis’ rotation. Miller appeared in just 19 games off the bench and averaging 7.3 minutes per game. He would finish the season averaging 0.3 ppg, 0.9 rpg and 0.3 apg.
While at Ole Miss, Franco Miller Jr. gave back to his community after a Hurricane hit the Bahamas. pic.twitter.com/Zt3jihwRvp
— Benjamin Criddle (@CriddleBenjamin) May 4, 2020
“I just felt that during the season my confidence was a bit shot. Things weren’t going the way that I wanted them to and I was kind of upset about that. I grew from it and I learned from it … Ole Miss was a great place, nothing bad to say about Ole Miss, it just wasn’t the spot for me.”
Miller said that he spoke with coaches and was told that he would not get consistent playing time this upcoming season with the Rebels. It was then that he decided he needed to find a place where he could play consistently.
“I’m not a guy that’s going to accept just sitting on the bench. I’d rather go somewhere and contribute and play.”
It was after he entered the Transfer Portal that he was contacted by BYU and Mark Pope’s staff.
“I do feel like BYU has a lot to offer. Coach Pope, they all just talked to me … we went over my analytics. I think that they’re really big on getting people better and focusing on things that you need to get better at and make you the best player that you can be.”
While Miller feels that BYU could be a good fit basketball-wise, he is still learning about BYU off the court.
“[I heard] it gets real cold and has a lot of mountains,” Miller responded when asked what he knew about the state Utah and BYU. “I know that Danny Ainge went there, I know that Jimmer Fredette went there. … I know that it’s a Mormon school.”
Miller said that prior to being recruited by BYU, he was not familiar with the LDS Faith. “This is the first time that I’ve heard of something like that … it’s the first time I’ve heard of the Mormons.”
But while Miller is still learning about the LDS Church and BYU’s Honor Code, it isn’t a deterrent for him.
“[When you’ve] got that goal in mind that you want to accomplish, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do to get there.”
While BYU remains heavily involved in the recruitment of Miller, he says there is no timetable for his decision, although the Cougars among the top schools he is considering. “Pretty much it’s BYU, UNC Charlotte and then there’s a lot of JUCO’s.”
— ESPN960Sports (@espn960sports) May 4, 2020
You can hear the entire interview with Franco Miller Jr. below.
Franco Miller Jr’s Favorite…
Meal: Curry Chicken with White Rice
Basketball Shoe: Kobes
NBA Player: Damian Lillard
Jordan or LeBron: Michael Jordan
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