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Eastsides linchpin
Isaiah Miller making the case for best player in the county
Isaiah Miller is the Eagles' leading scorer this season with an average of 24.8 points per game.

Strengths: Attacking the basket. Defense. Rebounder. Length. Quickness.

Needs improvement: Court vision. Defense without fouling. Passing ability.

Isaiah Miller has been about as good as you can be in high school basketball this season. He’s the best player on a talented Eastside team, arguably the best guard in the county and he’s a huge problem for opposing defenses.

Averaging 25 points per game on the season, which includes a whopping 52-point outburst against Alcovy, Miller has solidified himself as an offensive terror and likely, a future D-I college basketball player.

As talented as Miller is, he’s only a junior and it’s just his second year starting varsity. Under first-year coach Brent Wren, Miller is learning to be a better leader while allowing himself to be more free in Wren’s more modern offensive schemes than what Miller was used to as a sophomore.

“He’s a grown a whole lot. One of the things we’re trying to foster with him is just becoming more of a leader,” Wren said. “He can score and he can get himself to places that he wants to, the thing is we’re trying to take this year and the next year to teach him how to get to those places to get other people involved.”

In a loss to Walnut Grove on Tuesday, Miller scored 34 of Eastside’s 55 points (62 percent) with 17 of them coming in the fourth quarter with the Eagles down 18 entering the final frame.

“He’s a good kid, so in his heart he wants to do and get other people involved, but sometimes he’s gotta recognize there’s times he’s gotta take over and do certain things,” Wren said.

It’s been a learning process for Miller of knowing when to attack and when to allow his teammates to create. He’s not a selfish player. A lot of his points came because plays would break down and the Eagles couldn’t get off shots, so they would get it back to Miller and allow him to create on his own.

Miller can score against anyone. He’s great at attacking the basket in space or with defenses clogging the paint, which you saw a lot of against the Warriors on Tuesday when Miller would get into the paint with a double move, spin off a defender and score at the rim, sometimes with enough contact to draw the and-one.

Defensively, Miller can be really good. His length allows him to be active in the passing lanes and bother opposing guards beyond the perimeter. Miller can definitely become a defensive stopper, but he'll need to be more consistent in man-to-man. Against Walnut Grove, Miller allowed his assignment to blow by him a couple times and he's too good for that to become a trend.

Wren says that Miller is a phenomenal talent and he's only going to get better. If Miller does continue to grow and learns to become a better playmaker, look out Eastside opponents.