Darius Miller is on a mission to become the first person in the history of the world to be named Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball, win a Kentucky High School State Championship, and win a National Championship at the University of Kentucky. He already holds the record for games played at UK by a Kentucky native. He is a senior on a team that many on the onside criticize because they have so many one-and-doners.
He is Darius Miller. And he gives UK fans so many reasons to love this team even more than they already do.
SLAM: Talk about the progress Kentucky has made this regular season?
Darius Miller: Things have gone quite well, we finished No. 1 in the country through our regular season. We’ve improved in a variety of areas and we continue to take things one game at a time. If we continue at this rate, we have a great shot at winning the championship.
SLAM: How does Coach Calipari look to you as a leader on this team full of freshmen?
DM: He points me in certain directions depending on what coach needs me to do for the team. Whatever he needs me to do I’m down for it, because ultimately it’s about winning as a team.
SLAM: How much do you guys talk about last year’s Final Four run, before ultimately losing to UConn?
DM: We talk about it a lot, it was a tough loss for us and we felt like we had a legitimate shot at winning the National Championship. We understand that it’s extremely tough to do—to win a title—and being that close is tough. It lingers in the back of your mind, definitely. We’re not trying to experience that feeling again this season.
SLAM: Talk about how this current class of freshman has changed since arriving on campus to now.
DM: They have all become better players, they have a much better understanding of the system, and they’re much more comfortable playing in this atmosphere. Plus, they’re good people—no egos, easy to get along with. We’ve grown extremely close as a group and it’s definitely made us a better team.
SLAM: Talk about the performance of Anthony Davis this season. Did you expect this type of performance when he first got here?
DM: He still surprises me even now, with the things that he’s doing. I’ve been fortunate to play with a ton of great players here in Kentucky, but I’ve never seen anyone dominate the way he does on the defensive end. I knew he’d be good, but not this good.
SLAM: What’s the one thing you would tell your teammates to prepare them for March Madness?
DM: The biggest thing is realizing the moment and recognizing the opportunity that’s in front of us. This opportunity doesn’t come around all the time, and we have the chance to fully take advantage of it. Let’s go win it.
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