Miller settles in for full season as St. Al coach

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Unlike his girls’ team at St. Aloysius, coach Gary Miller is quite familiar about the strengths and weaknesses of the boys basketball team.

Miller coached the last 17 games of the 2007-08 season after Larry Smith, now the men’s head coach at Alcorn State, left after seven games. St. Al went 5-12 under Miller and made a bid to reach the Class 1A playoffs for the third straight year but came up short in the Division 6-1A Tournament.

“I would hope we would be better,” said Miller, a long-time veteran coach with stops at Hatley, Clinton and Hillcrest Christian, among others. “At least the guys know what to expect out of me.”

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Miller knows he has a go-to player in returning all-county forward Alex Lanier. In the seven games St. Al won last year, Lanier, a 6-foot-3 senior, scored 25 points or more. He finished the season at 16.6 points per game, cutting up foes with strong moves to the basket.

“Alex is a really good player for his size. I’m looking forward to him having a really good senior season. He’s definitely our go-to guy,” Miller said.

The Flashes lost two senior starters off last year’s team in guards Chip Donald and Duffy Loel. Donald missed half of the team’s games with back and arm injuries.

“Chip was the best athlete on our team last year and we’re going to miss that. But we’ve got two other starters back in Price Blagg and Luke Burnett. Price gives us size inside and Luke has good speed,” Miller said.

Jeremy Falls is back at point guard and looks to be more settled while Sean Johnson will provide long range shooting. Daniel Tuggle is a key backup that returns and Peter Halinski moves up to the varsity and should help out Blagg inside.

“I think going to Florida this summer helped the guys as much as the girls. We were able to play some really good competition down there,” Miller said.


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