Recruiting interest growing for local hoop prospects
SALT LAKE COUNTY — As the end of the so-called “contact period” nears its end, college basketball coaches are furiously contacting and evaluating many of their top recruits. Two local recruits who have received a spike in interest are East High’s Parker Van Dyke and Brighton High’s Brandon Miller.
April 18 is the final day coaches can contact recruits directly before mandated “quiet” and “dead” periods ensue for the rest of the summer. Simply stated, this is the final couple of days to get in good face time with recruits while completing full evaluations.
“It’s been crazy these past couple of weeks,” said Miller. “I’m getting calls every night and a ton of letters. It’s really an exciting time and it’s great to know that so many schools are interested in me.”
Miller is a 6-foot-2 junior guard prospect, who averaged 21.6 points per game last season while leading Brighton to the state 5A finals. Miller led the way to a big upset over American Fork in the semifinals, and college coaches apparently took note.
Recently, Miller had Stanford head coach Johnny Dawkins drop by one of his workouts and express a lot of interest in offering him a scholarship.
“I don’t know a lot about Stanford yet,” said Miller. “I’ve taken unofficial visits to just about all the schools that are recruiting me, but I’m excited to go out to Stanford and see them up close. Academics are big for me, so I’m obviously very interested in what Stanford has to offer.”
The interest in academics led Brandon Miller’s older brother Corbin Miller to sign with Harvard, where he’s coming off a successful freshman campaign. Harvard has expressed interest in Brandon along with many other programs.
Recently Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak sat down with Brandon to talk about the team's interest.
“He told me that if they’d offer me, but only if I could tell them that I’d commit,” said Miller. “I wasn’t ready to commit, but he told me that if I decide that Utah is the best place for me that I should call him up and I’ll have a scholarship offer.”
Although his family generally cheers for BYU, Miller became fond of the Utah program, after a friend who had Ute season tickets on the third row started inviting him to Ute games. Miller saw more than his share of Ute games up close as a result and became a fan of the program.
“I’m very interested in Utah,” said Miller. “Right now I’m weighing my options and I’m also deciding when to serve my (LDS) mission. I turn 19 the summer after I graduate, and most of the schools obviously want to know if I’m going to leave straight on my mission or play a year and then go. I’d probably prefer to leave right out of high school, but that’s one of the many things I’m deciding about right now.”
Miller has also received interest from BYU, Utah State, Army and Arizona State, among other programs.
While interest in Miller has begun in earnest just recently, Van Dyke received his first overtures during this time last year.
Upon completion of his sophomore season, the 6-foot-3 guard prospect received early offers from Utah State and then from Arizona State.
“It was really exciting and something I wasn’t expecting,” said Van Dyke. “Utah State offered me first, and then Arizona State just called me up and offered. It was the first time I even heard from Arizona State, and they told me that they had an offer for me right over the phone, so that was great.”
Van Dyke averaged 24.7 points per game as a junior last season and will join with Salt Lake Metro this offseason in AAU play, which begins this weekend in Los Angeles.
While attending East High, Van Dyke lives very close to the University of Utah's Huntsman Center and like Miller, he made his way to more than his share of Ute home basketball games.
“I had ground-floor tickets growing up, so I’ve become a huge Utah fan,” he said. “I know that coach Krystkowiak is taking that program in the right direction and I’d love to be a part of it.”
Krystkowiak officially made Van Dyke an offer this past October to consider with his other two offers. He plans on making his decision within the next month —preferring to have his mind made up before the homestretch of AAU competition and his senior season begins.
“It’s likely between Utah, Utah State and Arizona State,” said Van Dyke. “I love Utah State and the atmosphere they have playing games up there. Arizona State is a program I like a lot. I like the coaches there, but I just need to decide now if I want to stay close to home or play out of state. I have a lot of things to decide here soon to make the best decision that I can on where to play at the next level.”
Van Dyke has plans to serve an LDS mission and will likely leave for his two-year service directly out of high school.