2023 Draft Watch: Analyzing Leonard Miller and Elijah Fisher

September 13th, 2022

By Alan Lu

Recently, 6-6 swingman Elijah Fisher reclassified into the 2022 recruiting class, which enabled him to play college basketball at Texas Tech for the upcoming season.  Therefore, I decided to take the time to watch him play for Crestwood Preparatory College against Leonard Miller and Fort Erie International Academy in a February 15th game, with thanks to YouTube via the mix-six project

In this game, Fort Erie got off to a strong start early on, and then Crestwood made a comeback to make this a competitive ball game.  In the fourth quarter, Fort Erie went on another run to pull away to win by double-digits, and they received a tremendous performance from Leonard Miller.  In my opinion, the standout performers were Leonard Miller, Elijah Miller, and Buffalo’s incoming freshman center Isaac Jack.  Here are my thoughts on how they fared, as well as how their games may currently stack up as prospects for the NBA.

Leonard Miller had a tremendous showing to help lead Fort Erie to a win over Crestwood in a Canadian high school basketball game that was played on February 15th, 2022.
(Photo:
Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images)

Leonard Miller had a magnificent showing to lead Fort Erie to a win over Crestwood.  He is a very tall, athletic point forward that can do a little bit of everything, and he was outstanding in all facets of the game.

Miller thrived at scoring on hustle plays.  He is a very athletic, energetic forward that would often score on dunks and layups on fast breaks.  He also managed to score off of quick cuts and put backs, and he also caught a lob off of a backdoor cut to score on a magnetic alley-oop dunk.

He also shot the ball very well to provide floor spacing for his team on offense.  Miller showed a knack for making open spot-up threes off the catch from way out, and he also made an open mid-range jumper from the baseline.  Plus, Miller showed a solid ability to score off the dribble.  He preferred going to his left, but he was able to score very efficiently.  He scored on a smooth layup while getting fouled once, and he also drove in to score on a powerful dunk.

He also was able to go to his left to score on a smooth layup from the post.  On the downside, sometimes Miller would struggle to score in traffic when operating out of the post, which led him to miss a couple of shots.

Also, Miller showcased good playmaking skills.  He is a very good passer that has strong court vision, and he would often find his teammates on the move to notch assists.  He would tend to throw good interior passes, and he also threw a no-look bounce pass to set up a score for a teammate on the break early on.  He is an unselfish player that sees the floor very well, and he tended to make pinpoint passes.  On one play though, he barreled in after getting the ball off of a cut, which led him to commit a charging foul and a turnover.  He also threw a hasty outlet pass that got picked off late in this match.

Plus, Miller showed a satisfactory ability to rebound the basketball, and he was able to get numerous boards on both end of the floor.  He especially excelled at grabbing offensive rebounds for his team.  He also played adequate defense in this game.  Miller would get his hands on passes to get steals and deflections, and he also got his hands up to help his team force a passing turnover.  He also managed to contest a three to force a miss.  On the downside, he would sometimes get overpowered when defending drives in transition as he wouldn’t cut off penetration, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.  Another time, he lost track of a cutter, which led his team to allow the basket.

In general, Leonard Miller is a very athletic, skilled forward whose unique skill set and versatility makes him a strong candidate for the lottery in the 2023 draft.  He can make shots in a variety of ways, and he is a tall playmaker that can run the point if needed to do so, and he is a rangy defender that could potentially guard multiple positions.  He will need to be a more consistent player in games, but he is a high upside prospect that could be a star in the league, and he could end up being a similar player to former Memphis Grizzlies’ forward, Rudy Gay in the NBA.

Texas Tech’s incoming freshman swingman, Elijah Fisher had a good showing for Crestwood in his team’s loss in this game.  He had a slow start, but he consistently made very good plays as the game progressed, and he thrived as an athletic slasher, playmaker, and rebounder to help his team when he was on the floor.

Fisher generally excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  He did a very good job of scoring on strong drives in transition, and he would tend to score on powerful dunks and layups.  Sometimes he would throw it down with authority, and he also would sometimes score and get fouled to get extra free throws.  He also managed to score off of cuts as well as on a strong put back dunk.  Fisher is a strong, athletic swingman that accelerates to the hoop well, and he did a good job of scoring on the break and on the move.

He also would go up strong to score and get fouled when posting up.  He also drove quickly to his left to score on a running layup in traffic.  Fisher is a strong scorer off the dribble, but sometimes he would rush his shots, which would occasionally lead to misses.

Also, Fisher was able to pull up to score on a contested mid-range jumper on the break.  He also made a deep pull-up three over a smaller defender late in this contest.  On the downside, he really struggled to knock down threes, and he usually had trouble making them off the catch or dribble.

Plus, Fisher also showcased adequate playmaking skills in this game.  He is an unselfish player that would make the extra pass to find open shooters, and he also showed that he can make quick, timely passes to get the ball to his teammates in prime spots on the floor.  However, he also tended to throw hasty passes that got intercepted, and he also committed a charging foul when driving to the hoop in transition another time.

Fisher also did a tremendous job of rebounding the basketball.  He was especially active at crashing the defensive glass, and he would sometimes push the ball quickly up the floor afterwards.   He also played satisfactory defense in this game.  Fisher would rotate onto opposing ball handlers and apply pressure to force them to commit passing and ball-handling turnovers.  He also went after a loose ball and tied up an opposing ball handler to nearly get a steal.  Fisher also has good strength to defend in the post, and he also successfully drew a charge.  He also would contest shots both out on the perimeter and in the paint to get stops for his team.  On the downside, sometimes he would over-help and he would sometimes not make the effort to get back or to contest shots, which would lead him to give up baskets.  Other times, he would sometimes get beat off the dribble, which would lead him to be out of position defensively.

In summary, Elijah Fisher is an athletic, physical swingman that excels at attacking the rim to score, get assists, and rebounds when he is on the floor.  He will really need to improve his jump shot, but he is a versatile player that could run the point if necessary.  He has the skills to develop into being a first round pick in the future, and he could end up being a solid role player similar to Lance Stephenson in the NBA.

Other Notes:

Here are my notes on other players that caught my eye, as the players listed below both played well, and could potentially be NBA draft prospects sometime down the road.

Buffalo’s 6-11 incoming freshman center, Isaac Jack played very well for Fort Erie to help lead his team to a win in this game.  He did a very good job of scoring on hustle plays as well as out of the post, and he also rebounded the ball very well.  He is a strong, agile big man that played unselfishly, and he showed good footwork out of the post, which enabled him to score on fadeaway jumpers. 

He also played sound position defense, as he would contest shots and get his hands on balls to help his team get steals and deflections.  Sometimes he would throw hasty passes that would go astray or get beat off the dribble, but usually Jack would be in the right spots, and he did a good job of making plays on both ends of the floor.  Overall, Jack is a mobile, skilled big man that will likely help shore up Buffalo’s interior play, and he could make an immediate impact for them this year, as he could be a prospect to watch in the future.

Jaden Clayton is an agile, skilled playmaking point guard that thrived at making passes off the dribble and in transition to rack up assists, and he also rebounded and defended well.  He was active in poking balls and intercepting passes to get steals, and he also ran the floor to score on a couple of fast break layups. 

Clayton didn’t shoot the ball very well and sometimes would throw careless passing turnovers, and his lack of size would sometimes make it difficult for him to contest jump shots.  Still, he is a creative, playmaking point guard whose ability to pass the ball and solid court vision could enable him to be a solid player at Maine in college basketball, and he could develop into a reliable backup point guard in the NBA someday.

Fort Erie’s 6-10 center, Jayden Webley is a very strong, mobile center that thrived at scoring out of the post and also threw down a couple of strong put back dunks.  He excelled as an inside scorer and rebounder, and he has tremendous strength that allows him to finish plays above the rim.  He’ll need to take better care of the ball to limit turnovers and he may need to improve his lateral mobility to improve defensively.  Still, he is a talented prospect that definitely has the ability to play at the NCAA Division 1 level, and he could be a prospect to watch in the future.

Fordham’s 6-6 incoming freshman swingman, Romad Dean played fairly well for Crestwood in his team’s loss in this game.  He excelled at attacking the hoop to score in the paint and to grab rebounds.  He thrived at scoring on hustle plays, and he showed a knack for scoring off the dribble, as he used a Euro-step to score on the break while getting fouled, and he also scored on a powerful dunk another time. 

He didn’t shoot well from the outside, as he missed all of his threes.  Dean played unselfishly, and he rebounded the ball well.  He also thrived at picking off passes to get steals, and he also would actively contest shots to force misses.  Overall, Dean had a solid showing in this game.  He is an athletic, energetic player that will make high-motor plays, but he will need to improve his jump shot.  He could develop into being a solid player for Fordham, and he could be a prospect to keep tabs on in the future.

Crestwood’s Zaiden Cross shot the ball fairly well in his team’s loss to Fort Erie.  He did a decent job of knocking down threes, although he took many threes and was very streaky over the course of the game.  He was at his best in making open spot-up threes, but he also made a smooth, step-back three in this match.  He also was able to pull up to make a mid-range jumper.

Cross also passed the ball well, and he did a good job of finding teammates on the move and off the dribble to notch assists.  He also was able to intercept a pass to get a steal.  Overall, he was quite streaky as a shooter, but he also made plenty of threes, and Cross is an agile, skilled swingman whose ability to knock down shots could make him a prospect to watch sometime down the road.

Fort Erie’s 6-7 forward Brayden Jackson made two open, spot-up threes, and he even banked one in from way out.  He has good size to shoot over defenders, and he also was able to draw a non-shooting foul off of a drive to demonstrate his scoring potential.  He could be a prospect to keep tabs on, especially if he continues to progress and develop as an overall player.

Those are my thoughts on how players fared in this game.  Thanks for reading.

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