TCU star Mike Miles Jr. says knee is fine as Horned Frogs ready for Gonzaga
After throwing a monster dunk late in the first half of TCU’s win over Arizona State on Friday at Ball Arena, Horned Frogs star Mike Miles Jr. limped down the sideline and favored his right knee, qu he hypertensive earlier in the season.
But Miles came back and finished with a game-high 26 points as TCU beat ASU on JaKobe Cole’s last-second shot, 72-70 — a bucket that was helped by Miles.
I guess the knee wasn’t badly hurt.
Miles said so on Saturday, ahead of TCU’s second-round date with Gonzaga on Sunday in Denver and after what Miles said was his best dunk ever.
“That’s probably number one – I don’t think I’ve had a better dunk than that,” Miles said. “My knee feels good. It stung a little, but I’m on medication. But it feels good… I’ll be ready for (Sunday).
Miles missed nine games during the regular season, with a knee injury, foot injury and other health issues that sidelined him. He wasn’t the only one in the roster who struggled to stay healthy, as TCU used 15 different starting rosters, the most of any Power 5 team. But with Miles now relatively healthy, the n No. 6 TCU will be tough, even as the underdog of No. 3 Gonzaga.
Mark Few’s Bulldogs were 0-2 against the Big 12 this season, with losses to Texas (93-74 on Nov. 16) and Baylor (64-63 on Dec. 2), and the Horned Frogs believe that ‘they can replicate that by making Gonzaga win his way onto the floor.
“The Big 12 is a different intensity on the defensive end, and I think that bothered Gonzaga,” junior forward Chuck O’Bannon said. “We will try to put them all under pressure, to make them feel uncomfortable.”
Coach Jamie Dixon knows TCU will have their hands full to contain the Bulldogs’ scoreline, as Gonzaga ranks No. 1 in the nation for offensive team efficiency. The Bulldogs have four scorers with a double-digit average, but are led by senior forward Drew Timme, who is averaging 20.9 points per game and 7.3 rebounds.
Dixon said it would take “team defense” to limit Timme and keep his hot hand from opening up Gonzaga’s other shooters.
“We haven’t played a lot of guys or a lot of teams where their offense is all about their guys on the inside, especially one guy in particular,” Dixon said. “It’s a challenge. You want to stop (Timme), but you don’t want to kick the other guys, and that’s what makes them so good. They’re so balanced… We’re going to change things, adapt , as we did last night.
Dixon said Miles would be critical again, days after leading a second-half comeback against ASU where the point guard “kind of wanted us to win with (main guard) Damion (Baugh).”
“He kept attacking when we were down and never gave up,” Dixon said. “But he is also very altruistic. When you see the last two plays (against ASU) he makes the right pass to Damion for a wide open three and hits JaKobe on the double team, which was wide open at the time. He can do anything.