PHILADELPHIA, PA - Signing period is underway across the college basketball spectrum. The Temple Owls have been looking for improvements following their 6-12 record during the 2019-20 campaign.
Zach Hicks, a 6’7 Small Forward, along with Hysier Miller, a 6’2 Point Guard recently committed to playing under coach Aaron McKie. Both are 3 star recruits coming out of high school with lots of promising features to their game that will fit in perfectly with Temple basketball.
"Both are dynamic, athletic players and more importantly quality young men that fit into the culture of our program,” per coach McKie.
Starting with Hicks, coming from Catholic High School in Camden New Jersey, there is one word to describe his game; Shooter. Leading his team in Field Goals Made, Free Throws Made, Rebounds, Blocks, and Steals during his Junior year, he has shown a lot of promise on both ends of the court. What stands out to me is his shooting stroke. His versatility and length on both ends of the floor brings lots of upside to Temple’s wing play. During the 2018-2019 season, the Owls only shot 33% from three. Hicks can come in and immediately help break down opposing teams 2-3 zone.
Hicks seems most comfortable offensively at the corner and the wing, where most of his three point makes came. He never backs down from attacking smaller defenders, and he seems pleasant with a shot that is fading away from basketball play styles; the deep two pointer. Recording 49 three-pointers during his junior season, coach Aaron McKie will utilize him primarily outside the arch.
With senior J.P. Moorman II graduating this spring, Temple needs someone to come in and replace those 5.14 rebounds per game (average during the 2019-2020 season). I believe that when Hicks gets some playing time, he can be an effective defensive and offensive rebounder, even at the small forward position. Averaging roughly nine rebounds per game during his junior year, he can be a huge threat off the boards.
Moving onto Miller, his NBA comparison to me is Eric Bledsoe. A 6’2 PG, with good facilitating, strong finishing moves, and solid hustle. He looks to be most comfortable bringing up the ball in transition, and he attacks the defense as if he was 6’8. Although his offensive game is not preliminary as a shooter, his basketball IQ makes up for that. He is able to hit open shots from downtown, but doesn't seem too familiar with dribble pull ups.
Averaged 14.3 points, along with three assists and 4.8 rebounds per game last season, Miller led the Saints to a 24-4 record, and advanced to the quarterfinals of the PIAA Class 3A tournament. Being the leading point guard on the team, his versatility on the offensive side of the court is shown through nearly five rebounds per game, for only being 6-2.
Coaches view him as a “Tough, hard-nosed player,” who plays aggressively on both sides of the court. This play style will translate into coach McKie’s offensive scheme very well.
Both Hicks and Miller have major upside potential, and will hopefully help bring the team closer to a .500 season.