NASHVILLE --- Former Tennessee State men’s basketball star Patrick Miller made a smooth transition to the NBA Development League, spending the 2015-16 season with the Texas Legends after playing his first professional season in Turkey.
“It was a pretty good year for me, personally,” Miller said. “The overall experience of going to the D-League after going overseas, it was different, but I enjoyed it and I feel like I learned a lot.”
Suiting up for the Legends, which are the D-League affiliate of the Dallas Mavericks, the 6’1 guard put up 11.5 points per game to go with 4.1 assists and 3.4 rebounds. He also shot 42.4 percent from three-point range for the Legends, which finished 23-27 overall on the season.
In addition to playing for Head Coach Nick Van Exel, who is a former NBA All-Star, Miller played alongside players with NBA experience including Chris Douglas-Roberts, Josh Childress and Andre Dawkins.
“Just being around the feel of being in the NBA, players who were in the league and trying to get back and being able to be coached by Nick Van Exel, it was good,” Miller said.
Spending his first professional season in Turkey helping Yesilgiresun win the TB2L Championship, Miller adjusted to the more up-tempo style that came with playing in the NBA Development League.
“In the United States, it was faster for me,” Miller said. “We watched a lot of film, and I was able to adjust to it. I felt like it fit my style more being able to get up and down the court.”
The former TSU star who ranked fifth in the nation with 23.7 points per game as a senior for the Tigers in 2013-14, will have options for his career moving forward.
In early May, he attended the NBA Development League’s Elite Mini Camp, a two-day scouting event that gave Miller and 39 other players an opportunity for the D-League’s best players to perform in front of NBA personnel prior to NBA Summer Leagues and training camps. Returning to the D-League or overseas could also be options for the 24 year old guard.
Throughout the Legends’ season, Miller was able to watch some of TSU’s games online and stayed in contact with the coaches and some of the players on the team. He pointed out the similarities between TSU's 2015-16 team and the 2011-12 team when Miller was a sophomore. Both teams won 20 games and earned a berth in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament.
“I feel like they were really good this year,” Miller added. “Next year, I feel like they’re going to be even better.”