Hamilton and Simmons were on a level above Miller, but didn't have the same luck to make their way onto the end of an NBA roster.
(Ducks for cover from those who don't want to believe the truth)
If they were both MM's height, I might agree w/you, but that extra couple inches was worth more than luck.
This is kind of a tough one. Yes, those couple of inches help.
In all fairness, college Miller does not belong in the same conversation with college Simmons or Hamilton. One random metric - on one side of the ledger, both guys were league POY and multiple all league first teamers vs one appearance on the all league 2nd team and one on the 3rd team.
College Malcolm was a very different player than 3rd year pro Malcolm. I don't know enough about how Keith or Kevin played in Europe to say whether or not 3rd year pro Kevin or Keith were on a level above 3rd year pro Malcolm
With all due respect to Malcolm, I seriously doubt that he would compare himself as collegiate Malcolm to either collegiate Kevin or Keith. Believe he’s on record as acknowledging he was a late bloomer.
How much of a factor was the illness and death of his mother in his first two years at HC? That no longer gets much mention.
I would say it had a tremendous impact regarding his development during his first two years. How could it have not? A lost of a parent during this crucial time in a person’s development is a major detrimental inflection point regarding focus. The grieving process is much longer than two years when you loose a parent, and especially your Mom.
For my money, I thought Simmons was the "better" Keith, but many in the program and fans as well considered Hamilton "better." If Hamilton was better than Simmons, I don't think we have seen a player as talented or more talented since.
When comparing one player to another, I like to subtract one player's stats from another to see what the difference is. For example, looking just at offense, and shooting in particular, and recognizing that there is more to the game than raw statistics :
2 Point Shooting
KHam was 242 for 556 Keith was 367 for 663
Difference is that Keith made 125 more twos with 107 more shots--no competition there with Keith shooting 1.168 on the incremental shots
3 Point shooting KHam was 222 for 640 Keith was 194 for 463
Difference is that KHam made 28 more threes with 177 more shots-- so KHam shot .158 on the incremental shots
Free Throw shooting Kham was 342 for 570 Keith was 338 for 435
Difference is that Kham was able to get to the line more and take 135 more free throws...but he made only 4 more free throws
Two truly great Holy Cross players--and I looked at only one component of offense with no look at the defense which is half the game, of course.
Regarding defense, with his long wing span and quickness, Kevin could deflect a pass that ordinarily would reach it's intended target. That alone could disrupt an opponent's offense but then the next time down the court the opposing ball handler might throw the ball extra wide or to a player less open farther away from Kevin and it's hard to chart those decisions and their consequences, but should have been a net positive for HC.