Sources: Wisconsin 7-Footer Ben Mills Commits to Tad Boyle and the Colorado Buffaloes

via mslacat.files.wordpress.com


According to the Colorado Daily and scout.com, Tad Boyle has received his third verbal commitment in 7'1" center Ben Mills. Mills, out of Arrowhead High School in Wisconsin, visited Boulder this week and supposedly left campus as a Buff. He originally committed to Boise State but after a coaching change, he asked out of his signed letter of intent to open up his recruitment. At first, Boise State denied Mills his release. 

Mills has an impressive offer list including the likes of Georgia Tech, Iowa State, Northwestern, Utah State and Oregon State. His AAU coach said he had offers from Oregon St., Bradley, Wisconsin-Green Bay, Northwestern, Toledo, Iowa State and Xavier, and eight other schools have made contact, including Iowa, Georgia Tech, Northern Iowa, Oklahoma, Southern Illinois, St. John's, Virginia, and Washington State. Mills averaged 17.1 points and 11.2 rebounds per game as a senior while leading the Warhawks to a 25-3 record.  He was also a first team All-State pick by both the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association and the Wisconsin Associated Press. Mills scored 18 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked three shots in Arrowhead’s state championship win. Making that performance even more impressive is Mills only attempted nine shots, making eight. As a junior, he averaged 13 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks a game. At 210 pounds, Mills will need to add weight to be successful in the Big 12 trenches.

Here are is a video of Mills on the court.

First off,  he's grown more than a foot in the last four years.  So he is still growing into his frame.  He has a good mid range shot, and he's developed an effective baby hook.  He needs to learn to set his base on both ends of the floor so he can gain leverage on the blocks.  He has good enough footwork that better positioning will allow him to use a growing arsenal of back to the basket moves.  And he needs to move to the flow on defense to take advantage of his length.

One thing he does very well is pass the ball.  He can kick it out with speed or make the post entry with skill.  And he has a great handle for someone with his height.

At this point, he's a project wherever he goes.  Hey,  he's only been a seven footer for less than a year.  Give the kid a chance to catch up to himself.  He works and hustles hard enough that his development should be faster than most kids.  Give Ben a couple years, and he should be contributing major minutes at a high level.

The Wisconsin Sports Network feels that Mills has made big strides in his game over the last three years but notes he still has some work to do:
Mills is a skilled forward who shot 53 percent from the field and 59 percent from the foul line as a senior. He needs to continue to add weight and strength to his long 7-1 frame, but he has made tremendous strides in all aspects of his game the past three seasons under both Davis and Arrowhead coach Craig Haase. 
The Arrowhead notes Mills has some touch that big guys don't usually have this early in the game:
Mills averaged 21 points and 10 rebounds during the state title run.  He was a force offensively and defensively, blocking shot after shot.  At seven foot one, shooting jump shots is usually a tough task.  Not for Mills.  He shot around 70 percent from the free throw line and would even step back for fifteen footers every now and then.

Here is the press release from Boise State when they signed Mills:
Mills is gearing up to start for Arrowhead for his senior season after leading the Warhawks to a record of 17-5 a year ago. As a junior, he averaged 13.8 points and 9.17 rebounds per game, while sinking 50 percent of his shots from the floor, including 36 percent from 3-point range. His efforts during his junior season earned him a first team all-conference honors in the Classic Eight Conference. In addition, he was named first-team all-county and was an all-state honorable mention.

Ranked No. 9 among Wisconsin state seniors in the class of 2010 by wishoops.net, Mills was one of the hottest prospects in the state and received offers from 19 NCAA Division I programs before narrowing it to Boise State, Hawai'I and Oregon State. With his commitment to Boise State, Mills becomes just the second player in Arrowhead basketball history to receive a Division I basketball scholarship.

"We are really excited to add another big man to our roster and think Ben is a great fit," Graham said. "Ben is an exceptional young man that can run the floor and play multiple positions, which will be a great addition to have in our rotation. He has grown over a foot and gained over 40 pounds in the last three years, so the potential for him to get bigger, stronger and more mature as a player is something we are looking forward to developing."

Certainly, the consensus is Mills needs to add weight and further develop his game as a 7-footer. As the articles stated above, he has grown over a foot in a short time period so coaching him up at the next level will be the key in Mills' career. He is certainly not the answer to the Buffs' center issues from day one but if they can get him in the weight room, get him up to 240 or 250 pounds, he seems to have potential.
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