Last year, we were treated to game after game of Jake Miles (3A most valuable player) flying over, around or through helpless and dazed defenders as he guided the Morgan Trojans to their first basketball state championship since…well…since a generation before Jake was born.
And we loved it! We screamed, yelled and high-fived with Jake and the rest of the team all season. Heck, we felt like we were part of the team. We felt that swagger of a champion and dreamed all season about winning region…and then we did without losing a region game!
Ah, and then came the exciting playoff run! With each post-season victory, our confidence grew and we proclaimed that this was a team of destiny being carried on the shoulders of a basketball giant. We filled the Dee Events Center on Feb. 23, 2013, because we wanted to see greatness in action and collectively believed…maybe even knew…that our boys would come off on top one more time.
We saw our team dominate Bear River in the finale. We screamed wildly as the final buzzer sounded. We were walking on air for days (maybe weeks) after taking home the championship trophy.
Then, Jake graduated and traded in his basketball shoes for dress shoes and an LDS mission in Colorado Springs, Colo.
But even without our team leader, we were excited for next season. We couldn’t wait to defend our title. Bring on the competition!! Only question—how were we gonna do it without Jake?
For those who look only at box scores, the 2013-14 season may already have you worried. We’re 0-4. What, we’re 0-4? Yep. What are we gonna do?
Well, I decided to ask Mile’s cousin since I can’t call Jake. In case you don’t know him, Mile’s cousin played on the varsity squad last year and is a starter on this year’s team. Yeah, there really is another Frequent Flyer Miles—one who leaps above defenders to bury three-pointers, flies around defenders to make layups and jumps in front of errant passes to steal balls—and his name is Garren.
Anyways, he’s Jake’s younger but taller (6’3”) cousin. He can start at point guard or forward. Oh yeah, Garren is averaging almost 13 ppg. He’s a solid all-around player and makes me wonder if the name “Miles” is synonymous with “awesome basketball skills.”
And the best-kept secret? He’s not the only rock star on this team. Garren allowed me some Q&A time this week, and I wanted to pass on the info he shared to the basketball faithful.
Q; Garren, how would you compare this year’s team with last year’s team?
A: We have eight seniors this year. They can all contribute. Most of us got varsity minutes last year. Last season, Jake was top-notch, always the high scorer. This year, we have a lot of good shooters and at any game, any one of us could be the high scorer.
Q: Can you talk about the first few games thus far?
A: I give credit to Coach Wiscombe for scheduling early games against really strong teams. Desert Hills, Wasatch, they’re great teams. We knew the early schedule would be challenging, but it will help us get so much better when we play region games.
Q: Are you worried about what some may view as a slow start?
A: Not at all. We’ve had some excellent players sidelined with injuries, like Matt Murdock and Bridger Streadbeck, and when they get back, we’ll be that much better. We have a really good team this year.
Q: This year’s region is totally different from last year’s grouping. Who do you anticipate will be your toughest region opponents?
A: For sure, Juan Diego and Park City. They’re both tough teams.
Q: For those who don’t know your coach, what can you tell us about him?
A: Coach Wiscombe is amazing. He pushes us hard to achieve more. He’s also got us pretty well conditioned.
Q: Have you heard from Jake Miles since the season started?
A: We write all the time. I let him know we were 0-3 and (laughing, Garren continued) he gave me a hard time cause we only lost two games last year. I told him we’d pick it up so he wouldn’t need to worry.
Q: What are your goals this year?
A: For sure to win region and win another state championship.
Garren Miles is confident in his teammates, confident in his coach and confident about the outlook this year. And for good reason. This year’s squad has depth and experience and understands the sacrifice and dedication required to compete at the highest level.
To access the team’s 2013-14 schedule, go to www.maxpreps.com. Be sure to support Trojans basketball this season.