Thursday, November 17, 2016

Matt Miller (USMMA): Preseason Interview with AugBall expert Glen Miller

Matt Miller (left) walks off with older brother Glen Miller (right) after the
3 point competition at the August U Alumni vs Eagles and Friends game in 2011.

Many of the college basketball teams and players I follow are tipping off their seasons in the next few days. Matt Miller, a former Augusta/GAIS Eagle and current USMMA co-captain, will officially start his senior season November 18th. Here his older brother Glen Miller asks Matt some that give us a view of Miller's approach to his final season, his goals, and his plans after he graduates.

Glen Miller's interview with Matt Miller (Senior, USMMA)

  • Give us some quick thoughts on how you’re feeling going into your senior season.
Matt: I am excited about this upcoming season. We have a great group of guys who are showing up every day motivated to put in the necessary work for a successful season. This is the most eager I have been to come to practice every day and motivate myself and others to improve in everything we do.
  • You're only a handful of points shy of passing the 1000 point mark for your time at USMMA…talk about what passing that milestone means to you.

Matt: It will be an honor to join the short list of players to break 1000pts and become one of the leading scorers in school history. I was a little upset that I didn’t break 1000pts last season. I didn’t feel good about my overall performance. However, I am enthusiastic about this year. This season is the first time since freshman year that I have had an off-season to develop. The past two years, I have detached from a ship and gone directly to practice. Often, this was a week into the official start of the season. For the first time, I am feeling good about my game heading into our first game.

Miller scored 953 points at USMMA in his first three seasons.


  • With the loss of a big time scorer in David Smith, how you will you guys try to fill that void?

Matt: It is always tough to lose one of your leading scorers. Nevertheless, I believe we are going to be a great team this year. Everyone has improved since last year. Also, I believe we will play smarter and have better execution on the offensive and defensive end.

  • Your team has gone through a bunch of changes going into this season (moving to a different conference and getting a new head coach). Talk a little bit about that. 
Regarding the conference change, I am excited about it for a variety of reasons. First, in our previous conference, we were traveling out of the state most weekends and often played double headers. This type of schedule was incredibly tough physically and academically. The new conference is based in the NYC metropolitan area. Additionally, the style of game is something I am more used to playing against from HS. The conference is fast paced and guard based.





Regarding the coaching change, it is not ideal to have four different coaches in 4 years. However, the Interim Head Coach Denis Kazmir and new assistant Nathan Edick have done an excellent job thus far. Practices have been challenging, well organized, and competitive. Everyone is playing with enthusiasm and getting after it. Also, my Co-Team Captain Hunter Jones has done a great job getting the team on board and focused on what we are trying to accomplish this year.
  • What are your expectations going into this season? For you personally and as a team.  
We are going to have a great season. Further, and most importantly, I believe we will continue to improve throughout the year. I think our culture of immediate gratification often only appreciates the final score and not tomorrow’s promise. It isn’t where you start, but it is all about where you end up. I firmly believe that this will be my best season and the team’s most successful season. However, I am looking even past my final year. My Co-Captain and I seek to create a new basketball culture at the academy that puts this program in a position to be successful for years to come.


A "Matt Miller" search in the search bar on the right side
 of the screen will take you through many years of Miller
 getting buckets on the high school and college levels.


  • Lastly, tell everyone about your experience at school like USMMA. What are your plans post-graduation?

3+ years ago, I would never have guessed the opportunities and development that this academy would make available to me.  Studying in a marine engineering and shipyard management program, enduring a regimental lifestyle, and playing basketball have been the most challenging experiences of my life. However, this is not an experience I would trade for any other college experience. Often the most challenging things we do in life are the most rewarding. According to this, USMMA ranks #2 behind MIT, and ahead of #3 Harvard, in the highest median salaries of graduates.

During my time here, I have worked as an engineering officer in training on three different ships (250ft-1000ft) sailing to 18 different countries on four different continents. After four years, I will have worked for 300+ days and earned 177 academic credits. As a senior, I was appointed the Regimental Honor Board Chairman where I lead a staff of nine people in charge of maintaining standards of integrity as well as developing character and professional ethics at the Academy. Further, I am the president of the KP Investment Club and founder and president of a Fellowship of Christian Athletes club. All of these things have contributed significantly to my development as a person and leader.

Miller organizes and conducts the KP Investment Club every other week
meetings; and he authored this presentation for the year's first meeting.

After graduation, I plan on working as a marine engineer for a U.S. shipping company and taking a reserve commission as an officer in the U.S. Navy.     

  • How much of a bad ass is your older brother Glen Miller? I know he taught you everything you know and you owe him a lot. Share some thoughts on him. 

Haha you are my biggest fan, supporter, and a role model. Love ya brother, and I am proud of you.

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