As Miller's career wraps up, Kentucky fans seeing history in the making

jsmith3@herald-leader.comApril 1, 2012 

When he checks in Monday, Kentucky senior Darius Miller will break Wayne Turner's UK record with 152 games played. "Right now, I'm just trying to enjoy the moment," Miller said.

HERALD-LEADER

NEW ORLEANS — After Darius Miller finishes this run through the NCAA Tournament, don't rule out a run for the highest offices in Kentucky.

Coach John Calipari said his senior, whom he called "beloved" in Kentucky, could get the votes.

"If he wants to get into politics, he could run for governor and win," Calipari said.

On Monday night in the NCAA Tournament title game, Miller will be one trip to the scorer's table away from setting a school record for most games played in a UK jersey with 152.

He's probably going to fall just shy of reaching elite status, trying to become one of just three players (the others are Tayshaun Prince and Chuck Hayes) to collect more than 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 250 assists, 100 blocks and 100 steals.

Miller has 1,243 points, 483 rebounds, 278 assists, 98 blocks and 114 steals.

That versatility caught the eye of Kansas Coach Bill Self, who called the 6-foot-8 senior "one difficult matchup" for the Jayhawks.

That versatility — coupled with many other things — could make him a legend in the fans' minds for decades to come.

"He's going to be one of those guys 50 years from now that they're going to be talking about," Calipari said of Miller, who could become the first player in history to win a high school Sweet Sixteen, Kentucky Mr. Basketball and an NCAA Tournament title for the Cats.

Miller is already beloved on campus, Terrence Jones told the media on Sunday afternoon.

"He knows everybody," Jones said, noting that Miller is always walking around campus with players from other teams and random students. "You see Darius with dudes you've never seen before, but you know they're cool because they're with him."

But Jones couldn't help but take a little shot at his elder courtsman.

"He's almost been there since as long as I was in high school," Jones said. "He's an old man on campus. They've got a wheelchair for him. He's got his own parking spot."

Miller is 40 minutes away from making history, but he's also 40 minutes away from seeing his UK career come to a close.

He chooses not to think about that just yet.

"Right now, I'm just trying to enjoy the moment, have fun with everything, spending time with my teammates and the coaching staff and all my friends and family," he said on Sunday.

Jennifer Smith: (859) 231-3241. Twitter: @jenheraldleader. Blog: ukfootball.bloginky.com, ukwomen.bloginky.com

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