Isaiah Miles -- seen here against VCU on Jan. 5 -- was named to the All-Tournament team at the Portsmouth Invitational. (Photo: Mark Jordan/CoBL)
Stephen Pianovich (@SPianovich)
No matter what jersey Isaiah Miles wears next season – whether it’s in an international league, the D-League or the NBA – there’s no doubt the last five months have greatly benefited his basketball future.
The Saint Joseph’s forward went from a suitable starter to one of the best players in the Atlantic 10, and when NBA scouts came to Hawks’ games to get a glimpse of DeAndre’ Bembry, they couldn’t help but to also notice Miles.
A 6-foot-7 senior, Miles put up a team-best 18.1 points per game this season – good for the seventh in the Atlantic 10. He hit 65 3-pointers, shooting at a 38.5 percent clip from beyond the arc, knocked down 88.8 percent of his free throws (the ninth best percentage in the country) and grabbed 8.1 rebounds per game.
Miles had a stellar season that certainly put him on the radar of NBA teams. Will he be one of the 60 players selected in June’s NBA Draft? Right now, most experts don’t see that as the case, but there’s a decent chance Miles will get a shot on an organization’s summer league team.
And if he ends up playing professionally in another country, his prospects are much better than they were even 25 weeks ago.
“It will have a huge impact (on my future),” Miles said of his season that garnered him a second-team All-A10 spot. “I think the way this season ended, I showed a lot of NBA coaches and scouts that I have a lot of potential. I feel like I’m only scratching the surface of what I can do. In each of my four years, I’ve grown each year. I have a lot more to show.”
Luckily for Miles, he has a lot of opportunities from the end of the season until June’s draft to keep proving that. Just like he did last week at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament.
At a tournament featuring 64 of the best seniors in the country, Miles averaged 19.0 points per game, and scored 25 one of his three games, going 11-for-16 from the floor. He also had three blocks in both of his other two games, and for his efforts, Miles was named to the All-Tournament team.
That was one of the first steps for Miles – who was named the Most Improved Player in both the Big 5 and the Atlantic 10 -- leading up to the draft, as he’ll still have workouts and potentially the NBA Scouting combine to further show his capabilities.
Until then, he is still on Hawk Hill working out with assistant Rob Sullivan, who has helped train other St. Joe’s players on their way to the draft.
Miles’ senior year was probably the biggest reason the Hawks were able to win 28 games, a 15-victory improvement from the 2014-15 season. And he leaves having helped push the team to an Atlantic 10 Tournament title – where he was named Most Outstanding Player – and his 3-pointer in the waning seconds against Cincinnati proved to be the game-winner in the Hawks’ first round NCAA Tournament victory.
The season Miles had will help him make a name professionally. And it won’t allow St. Joe’s fans to forget his name anytime soon.
“We’re leaving on a high note, we went so far this season,” he said. “I really trust the younger guys to keep up the pace and the momentum. My sophomore year we won a championship and my junior year we took a step back. But this year was great and I think we’ll continue to do well.”