Quincy Miller’s performance on Wednesday night may not have been the loudest of his career, or even the loudest of the evening, but it helped improve Baylor to 13-0, on what turned out to be a terrifying night for the nation’s undefeated teams.
With Louisville and Indiana taking their first losses of the season, to Georgetown and Michigan State, respectively, Miller’s 12 points and six rebounds helped the Bears stave off Mississippi State, 54-52, at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.
The 6-9, 210-pound freshman stormed out of the gate to begin his college career, averaging over 15 points per game, but had tapered off since, going for just over seven per game in his next six.
But Wednesday night had him back on the right track, the same type of outing he had against St. Mary’s, when he went for 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting.
For Miller to be the contributor he was for Baylor, during a game in which they trailed for the majority of the second half, shows that the freshman is not only maturing, but he is healthy, having torn his ACL around this time last year.
Miller’s set of skills and sky-high potential are matched only by his colorful personality, which blends with the rest of the Baylor persona.
Wednesday night against Mississippi State, scouts from 25 different NBA teams were in attendance, many, presumably, with an eye on Miller.
The tools are there for the Chicago native, but at least one more year on a college weight program would do him some good.
He still needs to show he can handle effectively, driving to the basket from the wing, and control his body at the rim, with the jump in athleticism that comes between high school and college ball.
Comparisons are already being drawn, some even as lofty as Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant.
Being a player of such size and build, with the skill set of a guard, Durant is the obvious choice, but Miller has much to learn before he dominates, like Durant did in his one season at Texas.
Comparisons are comparisons, but this much is true: Baylor remains undefeated and Quincy Miller was a big reason why, against Mississippi State. If he can continue to elevate his game, and mesh it with that of Perry Jones III, Quincy Acy, Pierre Jackson, and the rest, the Bears could be dancing late into March.