By Greg DeVries
Freshman Quincy Miller has decided to return to Baylor.
“I talked to my mother. My mother thought I needed to come back,” Miller said. “I definitely prayed about and I feel like this is the best decision for me.”
Miller said that he learned from sophomore Perry Jones III’s decision last year.
“We talked about it and he gave me his best advice. His best advice was [to] come back,” Miller said.
With Miller returning, head coach Scott Drew is optimistic about next season.
“Baylor Nation is used to good basketball teams,” Drew said. “I know expectations will be high. That’s a good thing. That means our program is where it needs to be.”
Miller talked about his personal goal of becoming a leader next year.
“I was a leader on this year’s team, but I think I can be the leader on next year’s team,” Miller said. “I think we have all of the pieces again to make a tournament run to the Final Four. Cut down some nets.”
After his press conference, Miller walked to the announcer’s booth at Baylor Ballpark to tell everyone in attendance about his decision. The news was met with much applause.
The news comes on the heels of Jones III’s decision Monday to forgo his junior and senior years of eligibility and enter the 2012 NBA Draft. Jones III averaged 13.5 points and 7.6 rebounds per game.
“I want to thank Baylor Nation for an unbelievable two years,” Jones III said. “Baylor will always be a second home to me and I look forward to spending a lot of time in Waco and working towards finishing my degree.”
This past season, Jones III was an Associated Press All-American honorable mention, All-Big 12 third team according to the coaches, All-Big-12 second team according to the AP, ESPN.com and the Kansas City Star. He also received accolades from United States Basketball Writers Association for his performance in the NCAA Tournament.
From the time he was a high school player in Duncanville, Jones has been highly touted. In his freshman year, Jones III averaged similar numbers — 13.9 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.
In his first season as a Bear, Jones III was named Freshman All-American first team by CollegeInsider.com, and second team by Basketball Times and USBWA. The coaches and Dallas Morning News named him All-Big 12 second team, third team by Waco Tribune-Herald and Yahoo! Sports, and an honorable mention by the AP.
Despite criticism, he is still projected to be selected in the top half of the NBA Draft. Few people understand Jones’ value to a team like Drew’s. The only other lottery selection in program history was Ekpe Udoh in 2010 when the Golden State Warriors picked him sixth overall.
“It was an honor and a privilege to coach Perry Jones III,” Drew said. “Everyone knows what a great player Perry is, but as I have said before, he is even a better person and teammate. We will all miss not having him around, but we look forward to him having a very long and successful NBA career.”