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Darius Miller returns from Team USA trip to China with hopes of improving for UK

University of Kentucky senior guard Darius Miller has been a rare constant for the Cats over the past two seasons while the roster experienced massive turnover due to early defections to the NBA.


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This summer Miller took over the spotlight, playing for Team USA at the World University Games in Shenzhen, China.


“The coaches are really good coaches, (I had) really good teammates,” Miller said Friday after returning from China. “I was able to pick things up from them. Playing at that high level, I feel like my season has already started kind of.”


Miller averaged 5.6 points and 3.6 rebounds in the eight-game tournament. The team finished in fifth place after losing to Lithuania in the quarterfinals.


Losing was “very disappointing,” Miller, who started five games, said. “We felt like we had the best team there, we should have won. We had a pretty bad shooting night, and I felt like we let that affect us on the defensive end.”


Despite the early exit from the tournament, Miller said he felt the experience will help him for the upcoming season.


“We had three really good coaches, so I picked up a lot of things from them,” Miller said. “We’ve been going hard, so I feel like I got an early start on the season as far as conditioning wise.”


The World University Games were Miller’s second experience with international play, and the fact that he was able to travel to China to play basketball was not lost on the Maysville, Ky., native.


“I’m from a small town, so we didn’t have many high-level experiences like that,” he said. “I never dreamed of being in the situations I’ve been in, especially the last couple of years.”

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