Justin Miller is ready for the next step of his college career.
The former Owensboro High School basketball star, who spent the last three seasons at Louisiana Lafayette, is transferring to Detroit Mercy for his final year of eligibility.
"I just felt like it was in my best interest to leave Louisiana and just go somewhere where I can focus on developing as a player and getting ready to be a pro," said Miller, who helped guide the Red Devils to a state championship in 2015. "I feel like Coach Mike Davis at Detroit was the best option for me to develop my skills, prepare for the pro level and get my degree."
In his career with the Ragin' Cajuns, Miller finished with averages of 9.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per game.
He started 31 of 33 games as a true freshman, averaging 11.1 points and 5.2 boards per contest before those numbers dipped to just 7.1 points and 3.7 rebounds as a sophomore -- a result of starting only three of 32 games and his playing time nearly being cut in half.
This past season, Miller resumed his starting role for most of the year and put up 9.0 points with 7.4 rebounds per game.
"I had a good three years down here," the 6-foot-6, 245-pound forward said. "It's not like I had a bad career there or anything. ... Last year, I really wasn't a main focal point of the offense like I thought I'd be. I thought I'd be the second or third option, but I ended up being fourth or fifth on the offensive end.
"I'm capable of more than what I did last year. I just wanted to test the waters out and just see if there's a better place for me to develop my skills."
Enter the Titans.
When Miller sought his next landing spot, he reached out to Will Finch, the current video coordinator at Detroit Mercy and one of Miller's former prep school coaches at 22 Feet Academy in South Carolina.
After talking it over, Miller took a trip to Detroit to see what the program was all about.
Over the course of two days, he worked out for nearly six hours a day and put up almost 6,000 total shots with Detroit Mercy leading scorer Antoine Davis (26.1 ppg last year), the coach's son.
"I just felt like I got so much better in two days working out like that," Miller recalled. "That's what Coach Mike Davis told me -- he was going to set me up with a routine to help make me a pro, whether I wanted to be a pro or not.
"Mike Davis is a legend. He took Indiana to the national championship game, and I know he'll help me. I felt like playing under him was right for me."
Though Miller will sit out a year due to NCAA Division I transfer rules, he'll be available for the 2020-21 season. After that, his intentions are clear.
"Of course, I want to play in the NBA one day, and I think I will," he said. "Hopefully, though, I can get in a good league overseas. My goal has always been to get to the EuroLeague and do what I can -- anything I can do to make some money and help my family."
Until then, however, Miller will use the next year to ready himself for the path ahead.
"Mentally, I feel like sitting out a year will help me," he said. "I've always had issues with my body and my playing weight, but I'm a hard worker. I'll be in the gym every single day working on my body and working on my craft. More importantly, I'm only 30 hours from getting my (kinesiology) degree.
"I'm looking at this as a positive. Getting mentally stronger, just learning the system and getting a year's worth of Mike Davis' routine and training, I think it'll all work out."