The Dominion Post  

WVU’s Carter, Miles built a bond through ups, downs

Created on:   Wed, Nov 22, 2017   4:35 PM

Last modified:   Wed, Nov 22, 2017   4:35 PM

The Dominion Post

MORGANTOWN — Daxter Miles Jr. will not be with his family in Baltimore on Nov. 23 for Thanksgiving.

The WVU senior guard will be in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., helping the 23rd-ranked Mountaineers (3-1) take on Marist (0-3), at 8:30 p.m. Nov. 23, in the first round of the AdvoCare Invitational.

But Miles will still have family there. Right next to him, to be exact. That’s how close Miles and WVU point guard Jevon Carter are.

“That’s my guy,” Carter said of Miles. “We came in together and we’re going out together. We’ve been through it all.”

They have a bond built on the foundation of going through the recruiting process at the same time and both choosing to sign with the Mountaineers.

They were looked at as the future of the program when they were freshmen, in 2014, but Miles became an instant starter. “We kept yelling for five guys, and Dax kept going out there,” WVU head coach Bob Huggins once told the story of how Miles first became a starter.

Carter worked his way into one of the first players Huggins brought off the bench in his first season.

They became close friends and roommates, and that strengthened their relationship to the point where they consider each other to be family.

“That’s my brother,” Miles said. “We came in together. From day one, we were roommates. He showed me how to work.”

They share similarities, but their differences also played a role in helping them to develop their games.

Carter’s work ethic is unrivaled among his teammates. On the court, he is serious and determined.

Miles isn’t afraid to tell an opposing player what he’s thinking. He is the furthest thing from timid or hesitant.

“I gave him a little of my killer mentality,” Miles said. “I gave him my attitude. We just feed off each other.”

In return, Carter showed Miles a little about what it means to work hard for something you want.

Over their four years, they have been through some ups and downs.

Carter was thrust into the starting lineup late in his freshman season, when Juwan Staten and Gary Browne both went down with injuries.

Outside of AAU, Carter had never played point guard, and he struggled early on while learning the finer points.

Meanwhile, Miles has dealt with a number of injuries throughout his career. A twisted ankle and then a strained hamstring kept him out of three games as a sophomore. An illness cost him the first three games last season.

Miles also suffered a thigh bruise in the preseason this year that kept him from practicing and getting into game shape by the start of the season.

They have been through the highs of four regular-season victories against Kansas and two straight trips to the Big 12 tournament championship game.

The lows include a shocking upset loss against Stephen F. Austin, in the first round of the 2016 NCAA tournament, and a crushing defeat at the hands of top-ranked Kentucky, in the 2015 Sweet 16, after Miles told some media members that WVU would hand the Wildcats their first loss of the season.

Through the years, Carter not only learned how to play point guard, but also developed into the national defensive Player of the Year last season.

Miles is still brimming with confidence on the court, but is more cautious with the media.

“He’s focused,” Carter said. “This is our last year. It’s all or nothing. He’s proven that he’s willing to give it all he’s got.”

They may not be roommates any longer, but they still remain close.

“Literally, you walk outside my door, his door is right there,” Miles said. “I moved and he followed me.”