For the Cane Ridge boys basketball team to make their first-ever state tournament appearance, a lot will be expected from Brandon Miller. Luckily for the Ravens, Miller is the best high school basketball player in Nashville.
By most recruiting measures, Miller is also the best prospect in the state of Tennessee for the class of 2022. In November The Athletic ranked Miller as the 10th-best high school player in the entire nation, regardless of class.
After a long delay to the start of the Metro hoops season due to COVID-19 restrictions, Miller has Cane Ridge rolling into the playoffs. The smooth point forward does it all for the Ravens. He leads the team in scoring (22.7), rebounding (7.7), assists (5.2), steals (2.5) and blocks (1.7).
“It feels good to be back out there with the team,” Miller said. “We haven’t been out there in a good minute, since we got shut down, but it has definitely been fun.”
Top prospects across the country changed schools in the fall to ensure that their seasons would start on time. Not Miller. The program coach Marlin Simms has built at Cane Ridge is too important to him.
“It means a lot to me,” Miller said. “Playing under Coach Simms and the other staff. Always show love to where you start from, that’s what I was taught.”
The wait was worth it. The Ravens are six wins away from finally securing a state tournament bid. As usual, the Class AAA field is stacked, but Cane Ridge stacks up with just about anyone. Miller’s junior classmate Ryan Oliver averages 13.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.7 steals. Senior Caleb Wilson scores 11.8 points per game on 45% shooting from behind the arc.
“We’ve got to lock in, but we should definitely be in the state championship,” Miller said.
Following Cane Ridge’s loss to Summit in the Region 6-AAA playoffs last season, Miller spent the offseason playing against and learning from some of the best basketball players the Nashville area has to offer.
Miller took part in a series of 615 Pro Runs where local NBA players, college stars, and top high school prospects duked it out in highly-competitive pickup games when organized sports were halted.
“It was fun, but definitely hard playing against Robert Covington, Darius Garland, all of them,” Miller said. “In plenty of time, I know I’m going to be where they’re at now. I have to play the best to get to (be) the best, you know?”
Based on his current trajectory, Miller certainly has a chance to become the first Cane Ridge alum to suit up for an NBA team. The lanky, versatile wing is the exact prototype NBA front offices are constantly hoping to find. And with his senior year of high school still to come, the 6-foot-8 Miller probably isn’t done growing.
Currently, the five-star prospect has at least 11 Division I offers on the table, including the likes of Florida, Louisville, Mississippi, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Virginia Tech. When asked what he’s looking for in the program he’ll eventually choose, Miller’s answer was simple: a good bond with the coach and a good fit within the offense.
If Cane Ridge’s season so far is any indication, a point forward who can score from all three levels will fit into almost any offense. For now, one question stands above the rest - will anyone be able to stop Miller and Cane Ridge on their quest for a state title?