Vols add 6-foot-8 Dwight Miller to 2011 signing class

There was a big addition to the Tennessee men’s basketball team on the final day of the spring signing period Wednesday.

Dwight Miller, a 6-foot-8, 240-pound junior college forward from Midland (Texas) College, signed with the Vols and will be part of the Class of 2011.

“Dwight is a guy who competes and plays hard,’’ UT coach Cuonzo Martin said Thursday. “He has the tools to really help us from an experience and physical standpoint.’’

Miller, a native of the Bahamas, attended St. Pius High School in Houston and started his collegiate career at Pittsburgh, redshirting the 2008-09 season before playing sparingly in 2009-10.

Miller, who averaged 8.2 points and 5.4 rebounds per game last season, is expected to compete immediately for playing time. He will have two years of eligibility remaining, and he said he plans to enroll for the second term of summer school.

Washington, Oklahoma State and Maryland all made a late push for Miller’s services, joining Tennessee, North Texas, Cleveland State and Missouri State.

“The difference was the coaching staff,’’ said Miller, who visited UT last weekend. “Coach (Jon) Harris and Coach Martin had been recruiting me even last year when they were at Missouri State.

“I just felt a lot better with this coaching staff than any of the others.’’

Miller, who said injuries hindered his playing time at Pitt, said he likes his chances of getting minutes with the Vols.

“It will require me to work hard to get the best opportunity to do something special,’’ Miller said. “I think my strength is my versatility and being able to create mismatches wherever I’m at on the floor.’’

Miller helped lead Midland College to the 2011 NJCAA national championship game. JucoJunction.com rates Miller as the 10th-best junior college prospect in the country. Miller once trained with retired NBA star Hakeem Olajuwon and also is a product of Frank Rutherford’s Elite Bahamian Education Program, which helps Bahamian student-athletes achieve college academic excellence in the United States.

The Vols also have a verbal commitment from Yemi Makanjuola, a 6-9, 230-pounder who played at Word of God Christian Academy in Raleigh, N.C., last season.

Makanjuola, who spent his junior season at Oak Hill (Va.) Academy, has not completed all of his necessary paperwork, however, so UT can not comment on him.

The Vols’ front line was in dire need of help heading into the signing period, returning only junior Kenny Hall, senior Renaldo Woolridge and junior Jeronne Maymon.

If Makanjuola’s parents in Nigeria sign off on his National Letter of Intent, as expected, the Vols will have five players in the Class of 2011.

Guard Chris Jones, of Melrose High School in Memphis, signed with former UT coach Bruce Pearl, but Jones has since indicated he will enroll at Northwest Florida State (junior) College.

Martin has signed combo guards Quinton Chievous (Niles, Ill.) and Josh Richardson (Edmond, Okla.) and point guard Wes Washpun (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) since being hired on March 27 after Pearl was fired.

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Comments » 100

hep writes:

He's a body, I can say that much.

Volunatic writes:

Welcome to Tennessee, Dwight-- glad you chose to be a Vol!

NickDanger-ThirdEye writes:

a much needed big body. If he was good enuf for Pitt, then i'll take him. Solid D and 6 rebounds for us would be welcome. 8 points would be a bonus.

phhome writes:

I appreciate the level of talent that coach Martin is going after and signing, but for the life of me does anyone reporting know what a "BIG" is? Guys that are 6'8 or 6'9 are considered regulars and when I hear the writers on this site talk about big I know what they're talking about. Maybe it's just me but when I think "BIG" I'm thinking a player 6'10, 6'11 ro 7'0 tall and about 260 or 270 pounds plus. Please someone tell me the correct manner to consider a player "BIG".

dlukinbeck writes:

This is huge. I assumed when we got the Nigerian big man Yemi, he would take the spot Dwight would fill. Not only do we add some more size, but this cat's got experience as well (which we lack a lil bit of on this roster). This is an awesome way to end the signing period. Clutch snag CuonZo!

V_O_L_S_GO_VOLS_GO writes:

in response to phhome:

I appreciate the level of talent that coach Martin is going after and signing, but for the life of me does anyone reporting know what a "BIG" is? Guys that are 6'8 or 6'9 are considered regulars and when I hear the writers on this site talk about big I know what they're talking about. Maybe it's just me but when I think "BIG" I'm thinking a player 6'10, 6'11 ro 7'0 tall and about 260 or 270 pounds plus. Please someone tell me the correct manner to consider a player "BIG".

I would say a 'big' is really an overlap term. 6'8" would be a smaller 'big' unless they've got beef on them like Miller. But you look at someone like Yao Ming, dude was 7'1" and weighed like 250 (maybe a little more). I mean, You have to account for body weight too, and I really believe that's a very large part of what constitutes a 'big.'

NashvillePreds writes:

Chism was, "big" at 6'9". IMO, one of the greatest UT athletes of all time. Two sweet 16s, and an Elite 8. Not to mention he part of more wins than any UT basketball player in the history of the program. I miss you Chismis.

NashvillePreds writes:

Not to mention Chism took complete leadership of what could have been an absolute disaster when T. Smith and company were arrested. Everyone, including myself, thought the team was done, and the next thing you know, they're beating tOSU in the tourney.

IMO
1.)Peyton
2.)Chism

VolunteerLifer writes:

Great pickup. Kudos to CCM and his staff in putting together a good recruiting class under these difficult circumstances.

tree_em_smokey writes:

This is good news! I can't wait to see how Cuonzo coaches. I know he won't be as carismatic on the sideline as Bruce but I think he will be fun to watch! GBO!!!

VOLliven2it writes:

Glad to have anyone who is near the category of BIG. He will have to be able to play no matter the size. I welcome him and we will see how well he does. GO BIG ORANGE and welcome Mr. Miller to Vol Land!

tree_em_smokey writes:

in response to NashvillePreds:

Not to mention Chism took complete leadership of what could have been an absolute disaster when T. Smith and company were arrested. Everyone, including myself, thought the team was done, and the next thing you know, they're beating tOSU in the tourney.

IMO
1.)Peyton
2.)Chism

Don't forget #1 Kansas in the regular season! I would love to have five Chism's on the floor. We would probably go undefeated!

VOLsince68 writes:

Great news!! Good job CM and welcome to the hill Mr. Miller. Look forward to seeing you play this year.

GO VOLS!!!!!!!

wildmed writes:

Looks like Coach Martin is building a team of HIS players - we'll see the outcome!

Bigger_Al writes:

in response to tree_em_smokey:

Don't forget #1 Kansas in the regular season! I would love to have five Chism's on the floor. We would probably go undefeated!

Yes, but the headband mystery would be multiplied by 5. How in the world did that thing stay on?

TennesseeTim writes:

Coach Martin's recruting continues to impress me. I feel like our men's basketball program is in good hands with our new coach.

Go4Two writes:

8 points a game in JC.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to Bigger_Al:

Yes, but the headband mystery would be multiplied by 5. How in the world did that thing stay on?

Velcro.

samvol writes:

Great pick up. would have loved to see Tony Woods in Orange though.

reg_mza#219136 writes:

Scout.com had him as a 3 star coming out of high school and going to Pittsburgh. He's gained about 20 lbs and is playing at about 240. What his talent is (face up shooter, back to the basket post, big bodied rebounder, etc), I have no idea.

From an article in 2007:

Miller was a standout at the Rbk U camp in July [2007] and earned respect for his hard work, high energy, toughness and ability to take a stand on the blocks. His style of play is perfect for the Big East and the physical aspect of Pitt's defensive schemes.

Now that's not to say he's a bad player that couldn't hack it in the Big East with how physical that conference is but it should be noted that the power forward/center ahead of him is the now San Antonio Spurs' DaJuan Blair.

FearTheVols1252 writes:

in response to wildmed:

Looks like Coach Martin is building a team of HIS players - we'll see the outcome!

I don't think I would classify them as 'his' players. I think he's doing the best he can with the options that are still out there. He started the process late and after much turmoil within the program. Once the NCAA ruling comes down on us, it may take a couple years before he can truly recruit 'his' kind of players.

johnlg00 writes:

I'm starting to feel a good deal better about the team's prospects for next season. I don't expect either of the big-man signees to be All-SEC or anything close to it this year, but with some improvement from Hall, Maymon, or even Woolridge, the Vols should at least be competitive on the inside. The overall record will depend at least as much on improvement from such perimeter players as Tatum, McRae, Golden, McBee, and a couple of others, and the freshmen perimeter players need to be ready to contribute at least a little bit right away, but I am getting the feeling that the team will be much more competitive overall than many of us expected a couple of months ago.

As for the poster who wondered what the size cutoff for "big men" is, a player is only as big as he PLAYS. Remember that Charles Barkley was only about 6'4" or so, but he played MUCH bigger. DeJuan Blair is 6'7" but he started at center for the San Antonio Spurs all season. Chuck Hayes of the Rockets is only about 6'6" but he averaged nearly double-figure rebounds last season. There were lots of seven-footers in the NBA who were nowhere nearly as productive as those guys I mentioned. Mere height is far less of a factor in effective post play than reach, bulk, jumping ability, hand strength, and, above all, willingness to battle for position and rebounds.

RoadTrip writes:

Let's just be happy we have a full class of hard workers with some size and athleticism that Coach Zo likes.

hcjournals#206623 writes:

Hope he does well....8 points a game in junior college......Must be the toughest jc league in the history of basketball....We got him because they wanted him at Mizzou state....Get off your backsides and go recruit.....We made you rich. You're not on a meal plan at Presidential. Just because midnight steak night is coming up, it doesn't mean someone doesn't have to pay for the steaks.....You can do it. but you're not in the bush league any more.....Bust it....

mocsandvolsfan writes:

I can't wait till basketball season. I'm actually excited about football this year.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

For those who didn't know, the NBA combine is on ESPN. They are doing drills, Tobias Harris just put a hellacious move on dude and threw it down. Then when it was his turn to play D, he shut dude down.

I also think folks are gonna be shocked when Hopson gets picked. After these combines his stock will be better. Don't be shocked if he goes to a team that is already built to win and does FAR better than you haters expect. But instead of being proud of having 2 UT players who WILL be drafted, you chicken littles would rather bash a kid who made good grades, had no gang tats, oh yeah...Also was All-SEC. I hope Scotty goes late 1st round. But He will probably go early 2nd. Those thinking he's going to play in Turkey are retarded.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to hcjournals#206623:

Hope he does well....8 points a game in junior college......Must be the toughest jc league in the history of basketball....We got him because they wanted him at Mizzou state....Get off your backsides and go recruit.....We made you rich. You're not on a meal plan at Presidential. Just because midnight steak night is coming up, it doesn't mean someone doesn't have to pay for the steaks.....You can do it. but you're not in the bush league any more.....Bust it....

MAN SHUT UP! If you wanna be a jerk, continue on. But anyone who wants to live in reality KNOWS that the heavyweights are gone in this class. What's he gonna do, go steal recruits from Georgetown, Duke, and Kentucky? Kids who have already signed their LOI. He's doing a good job of building depth in areas of need. The 4-5* players will be in next yrs class.

Don't point the finger at Martin, point it at your LOVER, Bruce Pearl.

hcjournals#206623 writes:

By the way Dwight, good luck. You wanted the stage, now you got it. Play like Charles Barkley. He was only 6'5". We just need other bigs to help you....

hcjournals#206623 writes:

Rich...Lay off the Latte for the rest of the day....Ok? If you look at the 560 plus posts I have made you will see I am extremely positive. I just want the bar raised as high as it needs to be. I feel a little guilty, and Dwight will surely do well for us. But if I see us acting like a mid major in words or deeds I am going to buck like a bronco. And I'm not going to use a name that gives visuals of a person in short pants and an oversized bowtie acting like we are already there. We will get there. Cuonzo will do it. But we are not there. Have a good one. And get a real user name...

NeylandWest writes:

in response to tree_em_smokey:

Don't forget #1 Kansas in the regular season! I would love to have five Chism's on the floor. We would probably go undefeated!

3 Chism's, a Lofton and a Bradshaw and I'm hooked.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to johnlg00:

I'm starting to feel a good deal better about the team's prospects for next season. I don't expect either of the big-man signees to be All-SEC or anything close to it this year, but with some improvement from Hall, Maymon, or even Woolridge, the Vols should at least be competitive on the inside. The overall record will depend at least as much on improvement from such perimeter players as Tatum, McRae, Golden, McBee, and a couple of others, and the freshmen perimeter players need to be ready to contribute at least a little bit right away, but I am getting the feeling that the team will be much more competitive overall than many of us expected a couple of months ago.

As for the poster who wondered what the size cutoff for "big men" is, a player is only as big as he PLAYS. Remember that Charles Barkley was only about 6'4" or so, but he played MUCH bigger. DeJuan Blair is 6'7" but he started at center for the San Antonio Spurs all season. Chuck Hayes of the Rockets is only about 6'6" but he averaged nearly double-figure rebounds last season. There were lots of seven-footers in the NBA who were nowhere nearly as productive as those guys I mentioned. Mere height is far less of a factor in effective post play than reach, bulk, jumping ability, hand strength, and, above all, willingness to battle for position and rebounds.

Dale Ellis.

I excpect Tat, Mac and G to really step up and control this team's destiny.

TommyJack writes:

Lots of acrimony here.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

For those who didn't know, the NBA combine is on ESPN. They are doing drills, Tobias Harris just put a hellacious move on dude and threw it down. Then when it was his turn to play D, he shut dude down.

I also think folks are gonna be shocked when Hopson gets picked. After these combines his stock will be better. Don't be shocked if he goes to a team that is already built to win and does FAR better than you haters expect. But instead of being proud of having 2 UT players who WILL be drafted, you chicken littles would rather bash a kid who made good grades, had no gang tats, oh yeah...Also was All-SEC. I hope Scotty goes late 1st round. But He will probably go early 2nd. Those thinking he's going to play in Turkey are retarded.

I've been about as hard on Scotty as anyone on this board and think he needs work to really make it in the League. That said, I hope he is drafted in the first round and makes everybody who doubted him, including me, eat their words. I never doubted Scotty's playing potential or personal character, just his maturity, consistency, and mental toughness. If he has indeed grown up in those ways, there is no reason why he can't be a decent NBA player. As for Harris, if he is selected by the right team and avoids major injury, I see for him a productive 10-12 year career in the NBA. Whatever happens to both of those guys, I don't blame them for going for the gold, so to speak, and wish them well.

OrangeNation writes:

in response to NashvillePreds:

Not to mention Chism took complete leadership of what could have been an absolute disaster when T. Smith and company were arrested. Everyone, including myself, thought the team was done, and the next thing you know, they're beating tOSU in the tourney.

IMO
1.)Peyton
2.)Chism

I'm going with Al Wilson at #1. The greatest Vol of all IMO. Pure leader all the way. I like Peyton and Chism as well. Great topic for debate though.

hcjournals#206623 writes:

I know. My bad. I'll do better....A toothache has messed up my aplomb meter temporarily.....Heheheheehe....

johnlg00 writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

Dale Ellis.

I excpect Tat, Mac and G to really step up and control this team's destiny.

Or for that matter, Bernard King at 6'7". You seem to have gotten my basic point that these new signees are BIG enough to play, the only question is whether they are skilled and/or mean enough to play. If they are, the Vols should be a LOT better next year than many of us may think.

VolGrad writes:

in response to hcjournals#206623:

Rich...Lay off the Latte for the rest of the day....Ok? If you look at the 560 plus posts I have made you will see I am extremely positive. I just want the bar raised as high as it needs to be. I feel a little guilty, and Dwight will surely do well for us. But if I see us acting like a mid major in words or deeds I am going to buck like a bronco. And I'm not going to use a name that gives visuals of a person in short pants and an oversized bowtie acting like we are already there. We will get there. Cuonzo will do it. But we are not there. Have a good one. And get a real user name...

Rich may have over-reacted in the end, but he made a couple of good points which you seemed to overlook in your previous comments. Cuonzo seems to be doing very well considering how late in the process he began this task. After next year's recruiting wraps up, we'll have a better idea about his ability to bring in good players to fill the real needs of our squad.

Go Vols!!!

hcjournals#206623 writes:

Cool..

bspurlingcac#225603 writes:

in response to johnlg00:

I'm starting to feel a good deal better about the team's prospects for next season. I don't expect either of the big-man signees to be All-SEC or anything close to it this year, but with some improvement from Hall, Maymon, or even Woolridge, the Vols should at least be competitive on the inside. The overall record will depend at least as much on improvement from such perimeter players as Tatum, McRae, Golden, McBee, and a couple of others, and the freshmen perimeter players need to be ready to contribute at least a little bit right away, but I am getting the feeling that the team will be much more competitive overall than many of us expected a couple of months ago.

As for the poster who wondered what the size cutoff for "big men" is, a player is only as big as he PLAYS. Remember that Charles Barkley was only about 6'4" or so, but he played MUCH bigger. DeJuan Blair is 6'7" but he started at center for the San Antonio Spurs all season. Chuck Hayes of the Rockets is only about 6'6" but he averaged nearly double-figure rebounds last season. There were lots of seven-footers in the NBA who were nowhere nearly as productive as those guys I mentioned. Mere height is far less of a factor in effective post play than reach, bulk, jumping ability, hand strength, and, above all, willingness to battle for position and rebounds.

I agree...You are 100% correct with this post!!!

miatatom writes:

Next years recruiting may be hampered by what we're about to endure in June from the NCAA. I hope not.

A_Voice_ofReason writes:

You people are in for a HUGE letdown when you see this team hit the floor. Their practices are sloppy and they don't have the talent to compete like former teams. If you think this new crop of guys is going to play like your savior pearls teams, you're nuts. The talent just isn't there...the only thing this team has going for them is better coaching and a more ethical set of leaders that follow NCAA rules (so far).

easleychuck writes:

in response to wildmed:

Looks like Coach Martin is building a team of HIS players - we'll see the outcome!

I prefer to think of them all as OUR players.

SEC1 writes:

keep fooling yourself, 8pts per game?.... won't cut it vs coach cal, billy d, vandy the vols will get the broom and the dust pan because it will be a sweep fest this year..... kent, fl, vandy will kill conzo's junior college team....book it

easleychuck writes:

in response to A_Voice_ofReason:

You people are in for a HUGE letdown when you see this team hit the floor. Their practices are sloppy and they don't have the talent to compete like former teams. If you think this new crop of guys is going to play like your savior pearls teams, you're nuts. The talent just isn't there...the only thing this team has going for them is better coaching and a more ethical set of leaders that follow NCAA rules (so far).

Dumbest post of this thread by a wide margin, The kids that have been signed have yet to step onto the court for any practice. What was left after the 5 kids who got their diplomas from last season's team and without the 2 who left early for the draft, does not constitute enough to even have a standard practice. There has been no offense put into place. There isn't even a starting 5. The team will develop over time through coaching and hard work. As for your cheap shot at the former coaching staff, they are gone after leading the program to 6 straight NCAA tourneys.

Never have really thought much of the opinion of anyone who begins a ramble with "You people", bless your little heart.

tmartin writes:

in response to NashvillePreds:

Not to mention Chism took complete leadership of what could have been an absolute disaster when T. Smith and company were arrested. Everyone, including myself, thought the team was done, and the next thing you know, they're beating tOSU in the tourney.

IMO
1.)Peyton
2.)Chism

I wasnt aware peyton played basketball. . what exactly are you ranking?

VolGrad writes:

in response to A_Voice_ofReason:

You people are in for a HUGE letdown when you see this team hit the floor. Their practices are sloppy and they don't have the talent to compete like former teams. If you think this new crop of guys is going to play like your savior pearls teams, you're nuts. The talent just isn't there...the only thing this team has going for them is better coaching and a more ethical set of leaders that follow NCAA rules (so far).

I've been thinking this upcoming BB season will be a difficult, rebuilding type of year for us. I like what I hear from Coach Martin and the things his players has said about him, but we lost a lot with Harris and Hopson departing along with the senior leadership. I couldn't help but think we'd do good just to finish .500 next season. But now, all this banter coming from you... has only served to encourage me about our Vols chances.

Thanks much!

OwensboroVol writes:

Guys, I support Tennessee in everything they do, but I'm also realistic. Does anyone out there think We can compete for a SEC Championship or trip to the final four with the players Martin is recruiting? I'm sorry but I just don't see it.

NashvillePreds writes:

in response to tmartin:

I wasnt aware peyton played basketball. . what exactly are you ranking?

Actually read my two posts, and the answer should present itself.....

tennrich1 writes:

in response to phhome:

I appreciate the level of talent that coach Martin is going after and signing, but for the life of me does anyone reporting know what a "BIG" is? Guys that are 6'8 or 6'9 are considered regulars and when I hear the writers on this site talk about big I know what they're talking about. Maybe it's just me but when I think "BIG" I'm thinking a player 6'10, 6'11 ro 7'0 tall and about 260 or 270 pounds plus. Please someone tell me the correct manner to consider a player "BIG".

To me in a new era of basketball, "A BIG" is more of a relative term than anything concrete...it refers to a position to me...like the 5...BUT a big can also play the 4...so it really depends on what style you run...may be outstanding have the "tallest" man on the floor at 6'8" or so...that's very good question though...

theoldbear writes:

in response to OwensboroVol:

Guys, I support Tennessee in everything they do, but I'm also realistic. Does anyone out there think We can compete for a SEC Championship or trip to the final four with the players Martin is recruiting? I'm sorry but I just don't see it.

Can we compete for an SEC Championship? Have we been competing for an SEC Championship?

Can we make the final four? Did we make the final four?

Will the 2011-2012 team have a better record than the 2010-2011 team? The 2009-2010 team?
Probably yes, and probably no.

Will there be fewer arrests,fewer failed drug tests, fewer allegations of offenses against NCAA rules?
I truly hope and believe so.

Will there be two former Vol players in the NBA draft next year? Probably not, but how many SEC Championships and Final Four appearances do Scotty Hopson and Tobias Harris have between them?

It has been great fun under Bruce Pearl. It will be different under Coach Martin.

But I've been a Vol fan since John Sines was the coach, and win or lose, I'm proud to be a Tennessee Vol.

Let's get behind the program and leave the past behind us.

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