A check on Daxter Miles, tourneys and Dixon cousins
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Ye olde notebook:
The former Baltimore guard is now at Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Mass. Even his coach, Ryan Hurd, understands the dearth of information surrounding his team and players.
"I know," he said. "Just call me."
Which I was able to do.
"Daxter is coming along," Hurd said. "He's making a little noise. He hurt his ankle two days after we started practice and wasn't able to go until three days before the season.
"He might have rushed it a little bit and was slow getting into the flow. But it helped that prep schools have three weeks off for Christmas. Now he's doing a lot of good things."
Hurd and his team were traveling through Maine for a weekend tournament when he gave the rundown.
"He wasn't effective for the first 10 to 12 games," Hurd said of Miles. "He went from averaging seven or eight points to around 21 in the last six games after the [Christmas] break."
Miles is starting at the shooting-guard spot. Jarvis Garrett, who was deciding between Marquette and Rhode Island, is the point guard.
"To me, Daxter plays with a chip on his shoulder," Hurd said. "That's what we like here. He needs refined, but he's been able to adapt. He has this extra year and doesn't have to learn on West Virginia's time."
What does Miles most have to improve?
"Efficiency," Hurd said. "One word. I tell him just because he has all these tricks doesn't mean he has to use them all the time.
"He wants to create, get in the lane and score. He wants to get a little contact. That's great, but you have to be efficient."
Before the weekend, the Crusaders were 14-5.
Beckley will host the Big Atlantic Classic Invitational at the Raleigh County Convention Center. The feature game there will be Oak Hill (Va.) Academy and Arlington Country Day at 7:20 p.m. on Wednesday.
Oak Hill is ranked No. 4 in the latest USA Today Super 25 poll and features 6-foot-6 wing players and brothers Caleb and Cody Martin. They signed as a package with North Carolina State. B.J. Stith signed with Virginia.
Country Day, out of Jacksonville, Fla., features 6-5 point guard Brandone Francis, who has signed to play for Billy Donovan and Florida. (WVU offered.)
Huntington St. Joseph Prep, No. 12 in the USA Today poll, is hosting the tournament. You've read about the Irish talent in this space.
Huntington Prep will face Trent High of Texas at 8:15 p.m. on Thursday and North Carolina's Kennedy High, which features Akron signee B.J. Gladden, on Friday.
Both tournaments have scads of local teams involved, and the Huntington event also includes Genesis Academy of Lynchburg, Va. That team has several high major prospects, including Greg Williams, Josh Hall and Mike Williams, all with Atlantic Coast Conference suitors.
I've been curious about the new hoops talent - cousins Dikembe and Montrell Dixon - at Mingo Central High. Dikembe is a 6-7 guard. Montrell is a 6-7 guard/forward who lives in the same house. They were in Bardstown, Ky., before moving to the Matewan area. Dikembe's sister plays hoops at Marshall.
Dikembe Dixon has received interest from many schools, including WVU, Marshall, Louisville, Kentucky, Memphis, Connecticut, Iowa State and Illinois.
"They're skilled," said Mingo Central athletic director Ted Kinder. "There's no definite date when they'll play. They need 14 practices [according to SSAC rules], so it will at least be another week."
Should be fun to follow.
Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.