The all-time scoring leader in Shelbyville High School history, Malcolm Miller, is flying off to D-I Illinois State University to play collegiate basketball for the Redbirds.
Miller signed recently with ISU as a “Preferred Walk-on.” Scholarships for D-I are at a premium, but for the 1st Team Class 2A, All-State pick, from a small town, its the next best thing. He doesn’t have to walk on and make the team. He is already on the team and is headed to development this year as a red-shirt, so that he can then play the following 4 years for ISU.
“I grew up watching them,” Miller said.
ISU is the alma mater of the nation’s former leading collegiate scorer, Olympian, NBA player, NBA coach and now analyst Doug Collins from Benton, Illinois. ISU is also the alma mater of Miller’s parents, Clay and Jill Miller. Jill played collegiate volleyball for ISU.
“They wanted me to go there,” Malcolm said. “It was a goal, but not a must. I am happy for the opportunity to play there. The academic opportunity is definitely part of it. I’ll red-shirt the first year as a preferred walk-on and use that to develop. They want me to develop physically and get used to the strength and speed and used to their system. They think I have the potential, as a guard for sure.”
Officially Miller finished his career with 2,397 points, breaking a 57 year-old record (1962) this season. Miller started varsity all four years of high school. He led the Rams to a 4-year record of 73-39 (65%).
Miller averaged 21.6 points per game for his career, capping his senior year averaging 27.4 points per game. He shot 46% from the field for his career, and 52.8% as a senior, as a shooting guard. That includes making 233 of 693 triples (33.6%) in his career, 72 of 183 as a senior (39%).
He snared a total of 953 rebounds in his career, averaging 8.6 rebounds per game. He nabbed 322 his senior year (11.1 rpg), again for a shooting guard. He averaged a double-double as a senior, 27 points and 11 boards.
Miller scored 794 points his senior year alone, making 116 free throws. He had more assists than turnovers and more steals than turnovers. He led the Rams in every statistical category: scoring, rebounding, assists (3.9/g), steals (2.2/g), and blocks (1.3/g). He did all this with a target on his back.
He was surrounded by underclassmen for teammates and faced double-teams, triple-teams, and sometimes four or five players reacting to him.
“Without a doubt, he is as good as anybody who ever played here,” said retiring SHS varsity boys basketball coach Bob Herdes. “He is a talent you won’t see for awhile. And when you think about what he was asked to do... not just score, but rebounding. He never took a night off, in game, or even in practice. He is as good as it gets.”
Herdes couldn’t say enough about his marquee player.
“He learned to be a leader, when being vocal is not his style,” Herdes said. “He is the total package. On top of that he is a great kid. Could he have played on the state championship team (SHS ‘96)? Sure. He would have fit in wonderfully well.”
Herdes also put the preferred walk-on status in perspective.
“We don’t see in a small high school the competition and the kind of talent that plays at D-I,” Herdes said. “Malcolm will get stronger and quicker. His lateral quickness needs to improve. He has the physical tools and the mentality to play at the higher level. Malcolm worked hard in high school. Its a step up from a small school and they do this with a lot of kids. It makes sense. You will notice a difference in him, this time next year.
Coach Herdes led the Rams to one of their best seasons (24-5), since he was an assistant coach on the State Championship team. The Rams scored above the national average (63.9 ppg). They had a better field goal percentage (44%) and more rebounds (28.8 rpg), and more assists (13.5) than the national average.
Shelbyville won the Vandalia Holiday Tournament, finished 2nd in the CIC Conference for the regular season, losing to undefeated champion Central A&M, who finished 3rd in Class A State.
After the season Shelbyville had and now their marquee player signing D-I, what else could Coach Herdes say for himself and for Miller?
“This is a great way to out,” Herdes said.
Malcom Miller Statistics
2018-2019 (SHS 24-5)
G 29, Pts 794 (27.4 ppg), FG 303/574 (52.8%), 2s-231/391 (59%), 3-pt 72/183 (39%), FT 116/152 (76%), Reb 322 (74 O/248 D)(11.1 rpg), Ast 112 (3.8 apg), Stl 63 (2.2 spg), Blk 34, TO 63, Ast:TO 1.77, Stl:TO 1.00
2017-18 (SHS 21-7)
G 28, Pts 692 (24.7 ppg), FG 258/553 (46.6%), 2s-195/361 (54%), 3s-63/192 (33%) 113/144 (78%), Reb 255 (74 O/185 D) (9.1 rpg), Ast 108, Stl 70, Blk 33, TO 95, Ast:TO 1.13, Stl:TO .73
2016-17 (SHS 15-12)
G 26, Pts 532 (19.7 ppg), FG 207/478 (43.3%), 2s-145/291 (50%), 3s-62/187 (33%) FT 53/83 (64%) Reb 237 (83 O/154 D)(9.1 rpg), Ast 96 (3.7 apg), Stl 40 (1.5 spg), Blk 14, TO 65; Ast: TO 1.47, Stl:TO .61
2015-16 (SHS 13-15)
G 28, Pts 379 (13.5 ppg), FG 140/366 (38%), 2s-104/235 (44%), 3s-36/131 (27%) FT 63/85 (74%), Reb 139 (49 O/90 D) (5.0 rpg), Ast 63 (2.3 apg), Stl 33 Blk 20 (1.2 spg), TO 102, Ast:TO 0.62, St:TO 0.32