Paul McMillan IV getting plenty of recent Kentucky attention
John Calipari has wasted no time in looking ahead to the 2022 class. Six players out of that group have made their way to Rupp Arena as guests of the Wildcats in the past two weekends.
Perhaps none of them have received more attention from the coaching staff than Paul McMillan IV. The 6-foot-2 point guard attends Woodward Career Technical High School in Cincinnati. He already has offers from his hometown programs at Cincinnati and Xavier, as well as others from Ole Miss, Dayton, and UT-Martin.
McMillan made the short trip down south on Interstate 75 for Big Blue Madness. Joel Justus returned the effort this past week when he paid an in-home visit to see McMillan. Besides Kentucky, he has already taken unofficial visits to Xavier, Cincinnati, Purdue, Louisville, and Dayton.
McMillan has already displayed talent far beyond his years. He averaged 24.7 points, 4 assists, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.3 assists as a freshman. He was named first team All-District, Cincinnati Metro Athletic Conference Player of the Year, and Division II Second Team All-State. He also was a major contributor for Manimal Elite 17U on the Adidas Gauntlet Circuit, despite being two years younger than most of his teammates and opponents.
McMillan is also a tremendous student. He attended Hughes High School last year, but transferred to Woodward so he could study building technology at the STEM school.
His father, Paul McMillan III, was a high level player in his own right. He averaged over 13 points per game at Loyola (Chicago) before playing professionally. McMillan also coaches his son at the high school level. He spoke with Cats Illustrated Saturday about his Paul IV and Kentucky's interest.
Q: Give us a scouting report for those who haven't seen him play.
McMillan: "Paul is a high IQ point guard. That has deceptive quickness. He's very shifty, and he really just sees plays before they happen."
Q: You mentioned high IQ. It sounds like his academic performance is just through the roof.
McMillan: "Last year he had a 5.0 GPA because he took some advanced placement classes. This year he is at a 4.0 again. Since he has been in high school thank God, he has only made A's."
Q: His averages and awards last year as a freshman are impressive. He has played up on the Gauntlet against players two years older than him as well. Talk about the success he has had going up against older players.
McMillan: "I've had a couple of my children that came before Paul that played high level basketball and went to college on scholarships. I played Division I ball as well and professional basketball. I stay in touch by going to coaching clinics and see what's going on at the college and professional levels. I kind of know the in's and out's of what it takes to be a high level basketball player. So Paul has benefited from having his brothers and sisters playing college basketball and being around some of the older professionals in the city as well as college players
So playing up was not really a big thing for him. He's played up since he was younger. But because we kind of know what to expect, how to take care of his body, the proper rest, make sure he's eating right, a strength and conditioning program to make sure he's getting the amount of rest to make sure he's getting strong enough to be able to play against the older guys, we've kind of been around and have the experience to be able to help him to be successful playing up."
Q: Tell us how the Kentucky interest came about.
McMillan: "He played up on the Gauntlet two grades. He had a lot of success doing that. Our Program Director with the Manimal program has had contact with Coach Kenny Payne and Coach Joel Justus over the years at Kentucky. Some of the assistants at Kentucky heard about Paul, heard he was in the Manimal program, and they started communicating via text messages and phone conversations with Coach Maze (Stallworth) with Team Manimal. That brought about them having the opportunity to take some interest in him and bring him on campus, and then come up to a practice. I'm not sure if they have seen his film or seen him play on the Gauntlet, but I know they probably know his numbers, and know what he did in his high school season and things of that nature last year."
Q: What did your son think about Big Blue Madness?
McMillan: "He loved Big Blue Madness. Kentucky is just a basketball atmosphere like no other. He really enjoyed it. He enjoyed meeting Coach Cal. He enjoyed meeting the staff and interacting with some of the other four and five-star athletes. He enjoyed the dunk contest and the atmosphere with all of the fans. Paul had a good time at Big Blue Madness."
Q: You got a Kentucky visit through the week from a Kentucky coach. Who was it, and what was said?
McMillan: "Coach Joel Justus came up and watched open gym at our high school. From that, he just said that Paul has a chance to be really good. Of course he's young right now, but if he continues to develop the sky is the limit. He has a chance to be really good. He likes how shifty he is. He likes his IQ. He likes the way he moves. He likes the way he can get to any spot on the floor whenever he wants to. But he also likes the way he distributes the ball and how other guys are getting the ball as well."
Q: Living in Cincinnati, you have two strong programs right there in town, and Ohio State is the state university. But Lexington is just a short drive away. Do prospects there and your son see Kentucky as a local school?
McMillan: "Anything within one-hundred miles is pretty much considered local: Kentucky, Ohio State, Louisville, Cincinnati, Dayton, Xavier, all of those schools are pretty much local. We consider those schools local here in Cincinnati. They are within an hour to an hour and a half drive."