Thursday, June 25, 2009

Cartwright Considering Cougs

Note: This article was originally published at

One would think that playing on the California Supreme AAU team would often leave Miles Cartwright overshadowed.

With teammates committed to USC (Gary Franklin, Dwayne Polee -- for now, at least) and UCLA (Tyler Lamb), and others being recruited by a who’s who in college basketball (Keala King, James Johnson, Kevin Johnson), it might seem difficult for Cartwright, a 6-3 guard from Loyola High School in Los Angeles, to really make an impact.

However, he has certainly made an impression on anyone who has seen him play.

Cartwright helped lead Loyola to the state regional finals this past season, leading the team in scoring, and has also seen his production with Cali Supreme increase this summer. Without Franklin, Lamb and the two Johnsons, Cartwright played a key role in helping Supreme reach the finals of the Rumble in the Bronx before falling to Team Final. At one point, he knocked down
three consecutive three-pointers to give Supreme an early lead.

“It’s great when they’re not there, because we can show everybody that they’re not the whole team,” Cartwright said. “I mean, I love playing with them, I’ve learned a lot from playing with Gary, but people label us when we’re playing without them, and we can really show everybody they’re not the whole team.”

The 2010 prospect has a growing list of schools, including Ivy League institutions Penn and Princeton, as well as Pac-10 programs Stanford, California, Washington State, Oregon State and Oregon. Recently, he added Utah and Portland State to his list. Cartwright attended the Pennsylvania Elite Camp this past weekend, and has also attended the Princeton and Stanford Elite Camps. He plans to see Utah on July 1.

Cartwright planned on going to the Washington State Elite Camp, but said it conflicted with some other things at the time. He hopes to see it in the fall.

“I like the way they play,” Cartwright said. “Tony Bennett implemented a system there where they can score. They always get good players, and play as a team.

“I’ve talked to [current Cougars swingman] Klay Thompson about it. He’s a Los Angeles guy, and I played against him in high school and we kept in touch after that. I see him working out around here, and he says he loves it [at WSU].”

Cartwright also said that new head coach Ken Bone recruited him while Bone was at Portland State, so he is familiar with him.

Although he says that his top three right now would be Stanford, Penn and Princeton, he says he has no favorite and does not plan on making a decision this summer. Ideally, he says, he wants to make up his mind by November – at the latest, by Christmas.

Despite having Penn and Princeton among his favorites, Cartwright seems to be leaning towards staying on the West coast.

“I’d like to stay close to home, so my family can watch me play,” he said. “I’m not opposed to going to the East coast because I like their brand of basketball, but I want to play where the best fit is.”

Cartwright, who holds a 3.7 GPA, plans on getting involved in the Communications field after school. Not surprisingly, because it runs in the family. His mother works on Judge Joe Brown, and his sister worked on Judge Judy. As a result, scholastic reputation of his college choice is very important.

“Academics come first with the schools,” he said. “I also have to fit in with the players and the coaches. I’m going to live there for four years – the other students, location, city and school support has to be right.”

Unlike most high school players, who want to go to a school where they can run and gun and play in an up-tempo offense, Cartwright understands that playing up-and-down basketball all the time is not realistic.

“I want to play in a balanced system,” he said. “I play up-tempo with my school team and my AAU team, but it doesn’t really matter to me. I like to run, but I also like a half-court offense with a good big man.

You can’t run against every team, and the ends of games are going to be in the half-court, so I want it to be balanced.”

Cartwright envisions himself as a combo guard who can do a little bit at both positions. He gets the best of both worlds, as he is the go-to-guy at Loyola but a role player on California Supreme.

“I can score, shoot and facilitate for other players,” he said. “I play the point at school and off the ball with Cal Supreme.

“I’m a player who likes to play and play hard. I’m a good complement, a scorer who plays hard. At school, I’m the main guy, but with Cal Supreme, I’m more of a complement for the better players.

“I get my opportunities, and I take advantage of them.”

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