Miles Makes Big Strides in Win Over Rutgers - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Miles Makes Big Strides in Win Over Rutgers

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MORGANTOWN -

Freshman Keaton Miles played his best game as a Mountaineer Saturday against Rutgers. Miles scored six points and grabbed four rebounds. Perhaps his best stat line was assisting on seven baskets.

"I just want to contribute as much as possible," Miles said. "If that is getting rebounds, boxing out or assisting, I just want to contribute as much as possible."

Miles scored all six of his points in the first half. His points came in a variety of ways, from rebounding the ball and putting it right back up and in to knocking down open jump shots.

"He's made shots in practice," Head Coach Bob Huggins said. "We have tried to explain to him the importance of shot readiness and balance. Go back and look at tape of him, Aaron Brown, Gary Browne and Jabarie Hinds, when they make shots they are on balance."

"Coach Huggins was like, you can shoot, but I don't want you shooting off balance," Miles said. "I have seen you shoot."

Miles is a starter for the Mountaineers, but has not logged a ton of minutes this season. He was typically one of the first players to find their way to the bench. As a result, he did not maintain much confidence in his level of play. Miles may have doubted himself, but seniors Kevin Jones and Truck Bryant did not have any doubt that Miles would contribute.

"He was very aggressive today and we need him to be aggressive," Jones said. "We need another threat out there on the floor. He can do a lot more than just go out there and play defense. He can also shoot. It's about his confidence level and keeping his confidence level up."

"I had been working on it," Miles said. "I feel if they have confidence in me, it gave me a little more self-confidence."

Miles appeared to be most comfortable trying to get some of his teammates open shots. That is why he finished with seven assists against the Scarlet Knights.

"I just hit the open guy," Miles said. "Coach says pass, pass, pass and I was just trying to do what Coach Huggins instructs us to do."

That is certainly not a bad strategy. Listening to Coach Huggins should help to increase playing time. Miles has been playing well in practice. That led to a solid performance against Rutgers and may lead to more games like that in the near future.

"I was going through a slump and to break a slump you have to work hard and get in the gym and build your self-confidence," Miles said. "Because when your confidence is down and you don't feel like believing in yourself and somebody else tells you that you can do it. The support system here has been supportive of me and I fed off them and fed off myself and said yes, I can do it."

Huggins hopes Miles enjoyed the experience enough that he will play like that again.

"When you win, everything is fun and you don't come in with that same mental approach," Huggins said. "That's the hardest thing that we fight all the time."

"I had a lot of fun," Miles said with a smile. "It reminded me of when I was in high school."

Miles' high school career proved to be a huge success. The jury is still out regarding his college career. His next opportunity to have fun on the court will be Wednesday against Marshall in the Capital Classic.

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