Jon Miller

Jon Miller was recently named the head coach for the Prior Lake boys basketball team.

Jon Miller is walking into a pretty good situation as the new head coach for the Prior Lake boys basketball team.

Miller will take over for Bob Schweim, who stepped down after last season after leading the Lakers to a program-best 25 wins (25-4 overall). Prior Lake lost 62-45 to Eden Prairie in the Section 2AAAA title game.

Miller has over 20 years of teaching and coaching experience. He was a former assistant coach to Bruce Kugath of Shakopee, who is member of the Minnesota Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame and a member of the 500-win club. Kugath coached the Sabers from 1993 to 2018.

Meanwhile, Schweim coached the Lakers for four seasons, compiling a 74-35 overall mark (50-22 in the South Suburban Conference) and a 4-4 playoff record.

Last winter, the Lakers played in their first-ever section final as a Class 4A program. Prior Lake moved up to the biggest class at the start of the 2003-04 season.

Miller will try to get over Lakers over the hump this coming season with hopes earning the program's first state berth since it won back-to-back Class AA state titles in 1977 and 1978 with 24-1 and 24-4 records, respectively.

Before last season, Prior Lake had lost in the section semifinals five straight years and six of the last eight.

There will be top talent back for Prior Lake, including senior forward Dawson Garcia, who is being heavily recruited by many major Division I programs in the country. Senior guard Tyree Ihenacho is also a top prospect in the state.

However, Miller will need to find a way to bolster the bench and the starting five behind Garcia and Ihenacho. The Lakers played mostly nine players last season and seven were seniors, including 6-10 center Robert Jones, who was arguably the top shot blocker in the state and will play Division I this fall at the University of Denver.

The 6-foot-10 Garcia is ranked the No. 38 prospect in the country by rivals.com in the 2020 graduation class, and he's the No. 5 power forward. He's the No. 29-ranked prospect by 247sports.com and the No. 4 power forward.

Division I offers have been pouring in for Garcia from some big-time programs — Kansas, Indiana, North Carolina, Arizona, Texas Tech, Baylor, Xavier, Texas, Wisconsin, Minnesota and more. There's also been a high level of interest from perennial powers like Duke, Kentucky, Gonzaga and Michigan.

Garcia led the team in scoring this past winter, averaging 27.5 points per game, while pulling down 11 rebounds.

Tom Schardin covers sports for Savage and Prior Lake. He is dependable, sarcastic and always joking around. Tom enjoys running and swimming and is often busy coaching his two kids' sports teams.

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