UK Recruiting

UK recruiting: Miles Bridges shows he's more than a highlight-reel dunker

Miles Bridges
averaged 18 points and 8.5 rebounds over two games in Lexington.
Miles Bridges averaged 18 points and 8.5 rebounds over two games in Lexington.

It usually doesn't take a game program to identify Miles Bridges on the basketball court.

He's often the one throwing down get-out-of-your-seat dunks, as was the case over the weekend at the Bluegrass Showcase in Lexington.

"And he's not just an athletic dunker," said Scout.com's Evan Daniels. "He's an athletic power dunker. Every time he dunks, he's trying to tear the rim down. And I thought there were a couple of times where he was going to here."

No rims were ripped from their hinges, but Bridges was impressive over two games at the Showcase. He averaged 18.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and made 68 percent of his field-goal attempts, leading Huntington Prep to two victories in the process.

There were plenty of dunks, of course, but Bridges also got to show off his rapidly improving all-around game. Last season as a sophomore, the 6-foot-6 prospect was the guy off the bench who would come in and throw down some highlight-reel jams.

Now, he does a little bit of everything.

Bridges says he's "come a long way" with his ball handling and outside shooting as he's transitioned from power forward to small forward. He's still working on those aspects of his game, along with his ability to defend the perimeter.

His best asset right now might be his rebounding, especially on the offensive end.

"He's a terrific athlete, and he knows how to use his athleticism," Daniels said. "I thought he really made a statement with the way he got on the backboard and rebounded the ball and played with toughness and physicality inside.

"I think he's ramped up his intensity on the court. He's playing harder."

Bridges had eight offensive rebounds over two games, including six in Saturday's victory.

"If nobody else is going to get the ball, then I'm going to have to get it," he said. "And, on the offensive end, that's easy points."

Bridges was also in Lexington the previous weekend for UK's victory over Boston University. He sat behind the Wildcats bench with two of his high school teammates and got the full tour of Rupp Arena.

"It was a very good environment. I really liked it out there," he said. "The whole arena — it's like an NBA arena. It's different from the other colleges. It's way more advanced."

He says he talks regularly to UK assistant coach Kenny Payne, who watched Bridges play Friday night along with John Calipari. Kentucky is still in the process of evaluating Bridges for a possible scholarship offer.

He noted that Michigan State, Iowa State and UConn are recruiting him the hardest, though he has offers from several other major programs.

Bridges — a top-20 recruit in the junior class — said Saturday that he's in no hurry to make a college decision and that UK is in his top five at the moment.

"It's still early," he said.

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