One of the nation’s top big men, Isaiah Miranda, tells 247Sports that he is down to a final eight of Connecticut, Georgetown, Louisville, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, UCLA and USC.
A seven-footer from Rhode Island who is playing this season at Southern California Academy, Miranda currently ranks No. 30 nationally and is coming off a strong spring and summer run with his grassroots team Rhode Island Elite.
“I feel like this spring and summer I was just focused on getting better for this upcoming season,” Miranda told 247Sports. “I was trying to do things that were uncomfortable so that when I got here I’d be more comfortable working with the guys in practice. So far the transition has gone pretty smooth and I’ve just got to keep working.”
Miranda is still lean but has added some good muscle over the last year and he’s done so without losing any of his elite mobility. He can really run the floor, is capable of facing the rim and is the type of versatile big man on both sides of the floor that schools would love to have.
“I feel like the diversity I have with my game and how mobile I am and being able to guard one through five,” said Miranda. “It’s kind of like I can be positionless. The problem some players have is that they don’t like to be categorized but me I don’t care. However I can help the team I’m going to do it and I’m going to use all of my skills inside-out to do it.”
Miranda has already been on the campuses of most of his finalists, and he’ll visit Louisville officially next week and is working to set up visits to the two others he hasn’t seen, Oregon and Texas. The nimble seven-footer discussed what he likes about each of his finalists.
Connecticut-“Danny Hurley reminds me of my AAU coach Nick Light and I like how they are really aggressive. Like with UCLA, I feel like I need that type of coaching where I get pushed harder to get the best out of me and make sure that I never settle.”
Georgetown- “I love Georgetown’s coaching staff. They make me feel like I’m one of their guys already and are just really cool with me. I feel so comfortable talking to them and I feel like I can talk to them about everything. There’s the history behind (Georgetown) and they want to get that going and that’s what I’m all about is getting that going again.”
Louisville- “The coaching staff that has moved in really has a lot of history with getting guys to the pros and they are really good at developing guys. I want to know how they would utilize me and how they would get me better and help me to get pro ready by the time I’m ready to make that transition to becoming pro.”
Oregon- “Ever since I was little, they’ve always been one of my dream schools. Growing up even when I wasn’t into basketball like that I rooted for Oregon. Obviously since they were one of my dream schools to be recruited by them is a blessing and I want to get to know the campus and the coaching staff a little more.”
Rhode Island- “I feel like getting the chance to play for Rhode Island would be a blessing because I would be able to play in front of my friends and family and really put on for the state. That’s really intriguing to me. My point guard from my AAU team last year he’s there, Sebastian Thomasand we have really great chemistry.
Texas- “I definitely like how they do things and I already know coach Beard has been able to help develop big guys over the years, like a lot of them. Then one of my favorite players too Kevin Durant like that’s literally my favorite player and he went there. I try to do a lot of his moves and have had some comparisons and that would be a cool opportunity to learn where he learned and develop.”
UCLA- “Mick Cronin is really hard on his guys and doesn’t let his guys have room for little mistakes that they shouldn’t be making at this level. I like the thought of being pushed by a hard coach and showing everyone that I’m willing to be coached. Their coaching staff is really tight and there’s not much separation, they are all really close to the guys and everybody is like a big family.”
USC- “They want to keep that Big Man U thing and that trend going. They’ve had a lot of big guys in the past years make it to the pros and they’ve had a lot of really good guys go there and develop at a high level. They’ve done really well with their big men so that’s a great option and their facilities are great.”
Miranda doesn’t yet have a firm commitment date but once he finishes his visits he’s likely to enter decision making mode and should sign early. Relationships and development will make the ultimate difference when he decides
“It’s definitely going to be about the relationship that I have with the coaching staff and also about development. The ultimate goal for me is to try and get to the NBA.”