By Gavin Davis, columnist
“Outgoing, loud and sweet.”
This is not the header for an eHarmony profile, but how Northeastern men’s basketball 6-foot-10-inch freshman forward Jeremy “Juice” Miller described himself in just three words.
Miller, one of five incoming freshmen to the Huskies’ program in the 2015-16 season, had plenty of big-name Division I programs courting him last fall, including the University of Connecticut, University of Wisconsin and University of Florida. However, come January, it was NU where the Milton native chose to spend his college career.
“After being up in New Hampshire for boarding school for four years, I wanted to stay local,” Miller said. “I wanted to stay close to home so my parents could see me play.”
Miller has plenty on his basketball résumé, but let me give you my take on the guy. He’s a leader and the kind of guy who looks out for his friends.
I asked him what he wants people to know about him, and he said he always takes care of his circle. Anytime I gave him a chance to talk about his accomplishments, he immediately gave glory to a teammate or coach, which is rare for a 19-year-old.
On the court, the Husky freshman had high praise coming from numerous top-tier high school athletic rating websites, such as Rivals, Scout and even ESPN, which gave Miller a four-out-of-five-star rating.
To be frank, the hype is real. Miller is exactly the kind of player the Huskies need in the upcoming season. I couldn’t think of a better player to help NU hoops in a two-pronged offensive attack. Miller has the height and size of a big man and all the rebounding, dunking and defensive ability that comes with the territory.
At the same time, Miller has top-tier shooting skills from inside and outside of the three-point arc. With Northeastern likely moving from an outside-inside philosophy to an inside-outside style, a big man like Miller who can drain it from all over is just what the team needs to head back to March Madness.
I think this team can reach the National College Athletic Association (NCAA) tournament for the second year in a row, which hasn’t occurred since the ‘86 and ‘87 seasons, when the team had future NBA All-Star Reggie Lewis.
Miller likens the style of his game, and what he wants it to become, to two high-profile NBA stars, both of whom saw great success at the collegiate and professional levels.
“I would want my game to be of Kevin Durant,” Miller said. “Right now, it’s more of a Tim Duncan who can shoot the ball very well.”
However, Miller stated there is much more than just basketball to who he is. In fact, Miller has a strong passion for penmanship and writing, something he finds surprises most people.
“I really enjoy writing, which people would never of think of if they saw me,” Miller said. “Music writing, poetry, short stories and creative nonfiction are some of my favorite styles.”
When asked about his music writing, and where and when his fellow Huskies could hear his musical crafting, Miller was unsure if the public was ready for the power of his songs.
“If my mixtape did drop, you guys probably won’t be able to handle it,” Miller joked. “Just straight fire. Fire extinguishers wouldn’t even help.”
Mixtape quality aside, the part-time musician’s focus is on the basketball court. Miller stated he knows his team has a big void to fill with Northeastern forward Scott Eatherton’s graduating last year, but he is prepared and excited for the coming season and all the opportunities that come with it.
“With Scott gone… that’s huge shoes to fill. Us freshman big men have to compete with Zach [Stahl] and Quincy [Ford], two very good returners.” Miller said. “I mean, the time is up, it’s all up for grabs, we just need to reach out and take it.”
Mark my words, Miller is going to be the future and center of NU hoops for years to come, due to his talent, which will only continue to grow with time, and his attitude towards hard work.
Miller, as he said, has the opportunity within his 7-foot-1-inch wingspan – he’s just got to reach out and snatch it.
NU men’s basketball will tip off its first game of the season at Boston University on Nov.13 as they take on the Terriers at 7 p.m. in Agganis Arena.
– Gavin Davis, a journalism major at Northeastern, can be reached at Sports@HuntNewsNU.com.
Photo courtesy Northeastern Athletics