Jamelle McMillan has been at Arizona State for a century, it seems.
Actually this is the senior point guard's fourth and final year. But "Arizona State" and "century" in the same sentence when it comes to basketball makes little sense. The Devils' slower-tempo motion offense isn't going to get them up near 100 points in a game. UNLV-Loyola Marymount 1990 this is not.
That said, McMillan's job as floor general will include looking to score more, and he indicated that coach Herb Sendek's offense could be more fluid. That should help raise his 6.6 points-per-game average from last season, 4.5 over his three years.
"Gonna have to," McMillan said. "It's a deal where he's opening up a little bit more freedom offensively with some motion so there's no right or wrong. Being aggressive is what's hopefully going to help this team, make it a little bit more easier on my teammates. Especially guys like Ty (Abbott) and Rick (Rihards Kuksiks). They're going to be face-guarded all over the floor. Gotta be a threat, both inside and outside, as far as me penetrating and finding guys."
The Devils have their first official practice today.
McMillan is in as the primary point guard after sharing time with the departed Derek Glasser at that spot last season.
"I'll have the ball in my hands just a little bit more," McMillan said. That means he'll be counted on to provide a lot of leadership, which he says comes with the job as point guard.
McMillan sees freshman center Jordan Bachynski as this year's Eric Boateng for ASU. Boateng was a rebounding machine and producer in the paint in his last season with the Devils, 2009-2010.
"Really big presence down low...he blocks everything," McMillan said. "Brings us a physical presence down low and isn't afraid of anything."
As for being at ASU for a while, McMillan said he's had a great career. Even if the numbers wouldn't indicate as much.
"Coaching staff has been unbelievable. The fans, they've been amazing," the Seattle native said. "So I'm just really proud of my decision to come to the Sun Devils. I wouldn't have traded my career here for anything, and hopefully I can make this last year a memorable on for everybody with my accomplishments with this team."
Jamelle is the son of former NBA guard and current head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers, Nate McMillan.