The preseason AAC player of the year has entered the transfer portal. Caleb Mills has been highly regarded as one of the better scorers in the conference. Mills’s 2020-21 season was off to a rocky start due to an ankle injury limiting him to just four games before leaving the team last week and now has opted to transfer. In this one, we’ll talk about the potential suitors for Caleb Mills, as the list will be too long.
Bruce Pearl has a long pedigree of being able to develop guards over multiple seasons, recently you think of Samir Doughty, J’Von McCormack, Jared Harper, and Bryce Brown, players that were all massive players on the Auburn team that nearly went to the NCAA Championship game. Coach Pearl and the staff is familiar with Mills, as they recruited him in High School. Looking at the future, you have Justin Powell, who may end up being a one-and-done, but if Auburn gets to move Powell off-the-ball with Mills on the ball, that makes Auburn lethal next season. There is no doubt that Auburn will be contacting Mills.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets:
There is another school that’s very familiar with Mills in his previous recruiting venture. GT’s point guard Jose Alvarado is likely gone after the season, and while they have Kyle Sturdivant and Bubba Parham, but if you have a shot for Mills, you take the chance. Mills conducting the offense with a guy like Mike Devoe next to him makes for a dangerous Georgia Tech team. The guard depth would also be up there for best in the nation with Mills/Devoe/Parham/Sturdivant.
North Carolina Tar Heels:
Chapel Hill is a mere three hours from Mills’s hometown of Arden, North Carolina. We have seen these past two seasons how much guard issues have plagued the Tar Heels; Cole Anthony last season was injured & and ineffective, now Caleb Love, a consensus five-star, has struggled this season. Love is likely one-and-done regardless, meaning there’s going to be a hole for next season’s roster. Next season, the Heels don’t have a true point guard; that one can be Caleb Mills. We have seen Roy Williams target transfers recently, such as Christian Keeling and Justin Pierce; although those didn’t pan out, Coach Williams will absolutely be searching the transfer portal this season. These past two seasons, UNC is shooting 30% from three, and Mills will be a big piece into fixing that.
Coming into the season, I had imagined Will Richardson would be NBA draft bound next season. A wrist injury had hindered Richardson’s season before it even got going, and he has yet to return; Richardson will likely return next season. Chris Duarte will be gone after the year, leaving a hole to be filled for the Ducks; adding a player like Caleb Mills in place of Duarte would be phenomenal. Coach Altman has often went into the transfer portal and will continue to look to go that route, and Mills, with three seasons of eligibility left, will be intriguing for the Ducks.
On the surface, this likely seems like a weird move for Mills to make, going to the A-10 when he will no doubt have offers from every conference. VCU went after Mills in High School, and Mike Rhoades loves to play defense. Looking at next years team, Bones Hyland is likely gone, Ace Baldwin runs the point, so Mills can play the two spot, but will be able to up his defensive ability. Mills will become quickly a top five player in the A-10 next season if Mills opts to head to VCU. If Mills wants to boost his individual numbers the most, this is the spot for Mills.
Despite this being in a different state from North Carolina, this is extremely close for Caleb Mills. Just two hours from Mills’s hometown, Rick Barnes will lose Keon Johnson and Jaden Springer after the season, possibly Josiah-Jordan James, which will leave a bit of a hole for the Vols next season. The Vols will add Kennedy Chandler and bring back Santiago Vescovi, but having a player like Mills coming in never hurts.
Coach Williams can’t be happy with the guard play recently, and he will be heavily invested in the portal this season.