When Miami University hired Travis Steele to be the 28th head coach in program history in March 2022, Miami fans were most excited about his recruiting chops. At his last job at Xavier University, Steele brought in a nationally ranked class every year as head coach, including two ranked in the top 20. As an assistant, he helped secure two top 10 nationally-ranked classes. His groups featured many 4-star athletes, a type of player that Miami has never seen.
Steele didn’t sign any four stars to Miami in the high school class of 2023, but he signed some seriously exciting prospects. Here’s a little information about each of the new guys you’ll be seeing at Millett next year.
Mekhi Cooper - 6-0 G - Bolingbrook High (IL):
Cooper is known as a conscientious floor general who can shoot from all over the arc. Twitchy athlete and a vocal leader on defense. Scouts who have kept tabs on him say that his playmaking has taken huge strides in the past year. Steele believes that he can score at all three levels in college.
He didn’t get a ton of attention before this summer, but a strong showing on the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) circuit led him to get six offers in less than two weeks in late June of 2022. In late July, he committed to Miami. In a press conference earlier this season, Steele said he sees Cooper as more of a true shooting guard.
Evan Ipsaro - 5-10 G - Covington Catholic (KY)
This is the guy that Steele sees running the point in the future for the RedHawks. Ipsaro is the “top dog,” for Covington Catholic high school in Park Hills, Kentucky, a team that has gone 22-4 this season. They’re ranked number three in the state. Ipsaro is averaging 25.2 points per game (ppg) on the season so far, making 56.9% of his shots from the floor.
Despite those impressive scoring numbers, Ipsaro is known as an elite passer with a high basketball IQ. He’s even leading his high school team in rebounding. He’s great at getting to the basket and incredibly dangerous from the mid range. He’s only shooting 25% from three this season, and he’s still averaging over 25. Read into that how you want.
Reece Potter - 7-0 C - Lexington Catholic (KY)
It’s pretty fun to think about the prospect of a 7-footer roaming the floor at Millett Hall, especially when you think about the crafty playmakers Steele has coming down the pipe in Cooper and Ipsaro. Potter is leading Lexington Catholic, who is 17-3 and currently ranked the second best team in Kentucky, with 18.0 ppg and 9 rebounds per game (rpg). He’s shooting 55.3% from the field, and he’s even making 32.7% of his three pointers on the year.
Listed at 215 pounds, Potter looks surprisingly strong for a 7-foot-tall 18 year old, but he’ll probably need to put on some weight if he really wants to make a difference at the college level.
Eian Elmer - 6-6 F - Robert A. Taft HS (OH)
Enjoy what you're reading?
Signup for our newsletter
Elmer averaged 8.1 ppg and 7..4 rpg last season. Since committing to Miami, he has been a revelation. He’s averaging 15.4 ppg on 64.7% shooting. He’s averaging 11.1 rpg, 3.8 blocks and 2.3 steals. He’s even shooting 37.9% from three.
He started the season as maybe the fourth or fifth most exciting guy in this class. It’s not a stretch to say he could be number one right now. Long and athletic with a scoring touch from all three levels, one scouting service said Elmer has “almost unlimited upside.”
Now just imagine he did this in front of a packed crowd at Millett?
Jackson Kotecki - 6-9 F - St Ignatius HS (IL)
Kotecki is solid and strong down low on both sides of the floor. He can block shots, and he already looks to have a pretty college-ready frame. If he’s left open outside, he can nail threes. He’s an impressive athlete at 6-foot-9. He’s dangerous with his back to the basket and he can face it as well. For probably the least hyped prospect of the bunch, Kotecki looks like a player with a seriously high upside.
Miami basketball (8-17, 2-10 Mid-American Conference) isn’t having a great season in 2022-2023. But RedHawk fans should be excited for the future. I know I am.