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"Brad is the biggest individual I've ever known," says Gaels coach Ernie Kent, one of the few Division I coaches who seriously recruited Millard when he played at Seattlie's Blanchet High. "A basketball looks like a soft-ball in his hand. But he has a good touch and is good getting up and down the court. How people missed on him, I'll never know."
Last season, as a freshman, Millard averaged 2.0 points and 3.2 rebounds for St. Mary's; this season, after a summer that included intensive weight training and a visit to Newell's Big Man camp in Honolulu, Millard was averaging 11.5 points and a team-high 7.0 rebounds through last weekend. His 61 blocks had already set a school single-season record. "He's still a year away from game-in, game-out domination, but he already changes the game so much," says Kent. "NBA scouts say he'll be in the league if he keeps improving."
Though Big Continent has a 30-year-old brother who's 6'6", his father, Gary, is only 6'3", and his mom, Diane, is just 5'9". "I entered high school at 6'3" and left at 7'1"." says Millard, who adds that he eats less than most guys on the team.
"He has grown since he got here," says Kent. "Of course, it may be because last year he walked around campus with his chin on his chest, like he was trying to hide, and this year he walks with his chin up."
"I've gained confidence," says Millard. "I'm a big guy, and I'm not afraid to accept that now. You could say I've grown to like it."
Ridin' the Green Wave
Tulane can be thankful that 6'7" senior forward Rayshard Allen feels a strong affiliation with the Green Wave's class of '97. He announced in September that he would take a redshirt year to clear up academic difficulties and deal with the arrival of a new son. Two months later, though, Allen decided he wanted to play his final season with his senior teammates—who included his best friend, fellow forward Jerald Honeycutt, and guards Chris Cameron and Correy Childs—even though it would mean giving up the opportunity to be Tulane's star next season. Upon meeting first-semester academic requirements, Allen rejoined the Green Wave on Dec. 21. Tulane has been nearly unstoppable since.
Without Allen the Green Wave had gone 5-4; at week's end it had won seven straight and lost just one since the return of Allen, who's now Tulane's No. 13 career scorer (1,302 points) and its most accurate field goal shooter (58.5%) ever. He gives the team a powerful inside presence that has freed the versatile, 6'9" Honeycutt to step outside and polish his NBA lottery credentials with performances like last Thursday's, in which he scored a career-high 38 points in Tulane's 87-85 upset of then No. 14 Xavier.
"Rayshard gives us an added frontline player." says Honeycutt, whose offensive production was curtailed by double-teaming during Allen's absence. "It allows me to play small forward, and we can get a high-low passing game going."
If the Green Wave's class of '97 can keep its winning streak going, it could make a mark at the NCAAs in March.