ESPN 100 point guard Shake Milton verbally committed to SMU on Wednesday, choosing the Mustangs and Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown over Oklahoma and Indiana. Now that the No. 11 point guard is off the board only two ESPN 100 lead guards remain available: Isaiah Briscoe and P.J. Dozier. Here's a look at what Milton will bring to Dallas:
Why he committed: Milton was looking for a coach who he felt could bring out the best in his game now and help him in the future. "I really want to be coached by Coach Brown because he can help me reach all the goals that I have athletically and academically," Milton told ESPN.com. "He has coached and developed so many players plus one day when the ball stops bouncing I want to work in a NBA front office and someday be a general manager. I feel coach brown can help get me in the right direction after my career."
What he brings: One of the most steady point guards in the senior class, Milton is more of a decision-maker versus a risk taker, one who values the ball and the possession. As a lead guard with passing vision, Milton emphasizes pushing the ball with a speed dribble or the hit-ahead pass to put pressure on the defense. Milton embraces major moments in a close game and shows the fortitude needed to shine in clutch situations. Being a big guard at 6-foot-5 with a long frame he can be a good defender. He is not the best leaper nor does he own blow-by speed, but his size and length cover ground to get him where he needs to be. If he commits to guarding he will be able to defend the small quicker opponent.
"Shake is a player who makes his teammates better," Rodney Perry, his AAU coach, told ESPN.com. "I like the way he facilitates and scores; that makes him a versatile. He wants to win and wants to learn how to win."
How he fits: He will come in and run the show and lead the Mustangs on the break or in the half court as a distributor first. Being in the NBA most of his professional life Brown loves to run NBA style actions into quick hitters. When the shot clock is winding down look for middle high ball screens that Milton will navigate and create for his teammates. At a moment's notice he can slide off the ball as he averaged 29 points per game as a junior and can score best at the rim and with his capable jumper that is equally effective from long distance and midrange.
Who he reminds us of: Because of his size and length plus the ability to get into the lane and make plays with the mind set to look for others he takes on the personality of Michael Carter-Williams without the athletic ability. Going further back in time he also displays the court presence of former NBA point guard and Boston College great Howard Eisley whom I coached in Chestnut Hill. Both are steady, solid and students of the game.
How the class is shaping up: The Mustangs already have a pledge from guard Sedrick Barefield, who is an excellent passer and can play both on and off the ball, as well as forward Jarrey Foster. Look for Brown to try and land a pair of ESPN 100 players in center Elijah Thomas, who is making his decision on Tuesday, and shooting guard Admon Gilder, who is announcing on Thursday. Under Brown this program has been strong in recruiting circles and a contender in the American Athletic Conference.