Alfie Miller is Northern's latest 3-point sensation
The 3-point shot has been a consistent part of the Montana State University-Northern Lights’ offense for quite some time now. But when the back-to-back Frontier Conference champion Lights graduated a bevy of talented shooters last spring, questions surrounding who was going to make three’s for the Lights surfaced.
Enter junior sharp-shooter Alfie Miller.
The 5-11 shooting guard from Seattle, Wash., came to Northern from Mount Rainier High School, where he was the school’s all-time leading scorer, as well as prestigious Shoreline Community College in Seattle, where he was one of the NWAAC’s top 3-point shooters in his two season’s there.
And though the Frontier and NAIA Division I is a major step up in competition, Miller, and his ability to make the long-range bomb, has certainly found a home with the Lights.
Miller has made 64 three’s this season, which is tops in the Frontier and 12th nationally. He also ranks among the Top 20 in the NAIA in made three’s per game and 3-point field goal percentage. Miller is shooting 44 percent from distance, which is third in the Frontier, while he averages 11 points per game coming off the bench for the Lights. He’s also coming off a stellar19-point performance in which he made six three’s in a critical win over the Great Falls Argos on the road last Thursday night.
Miller is majoring in business administration at Northern, and he’s certainly had no trouble in fitting right in with a new-look Lights’ squad.
Here’s five questions with Northern’s mad bomber as the No. 15 Lights prepare to host the Argos in a rematch Friday night.
HDN: What drew you to Northern coming out of the Seattle area?
Miller: “Coach Huse talked a lot about the total experience here. It’s a small town, but he talked a lot about the community support and how great the fan support and the basketball environment is here. I also had the opportunity to come here and play with Jesse (Vaughan) and Roshawn (West), who I played with at Shoreline. So that was big for me. And I also think just listening to coach talk about the discipline of the program. How this program is about so much, and how he prepares his players to be men.”
HDN: What’s the biggest difference playing in the NAIA as opposed to junior college hoops?
Miller: “If you’re a good player at the junior college level, you’re going to get your points. But at this level, team’s scout you and they are prepared for what you do. They know who you are and how to defend you. So it’s a lot tougher to score at this level. And the game is a lot faster-paced on both ends of the floor.”
HDN: You guys are a relatively new team this year. What’s it been like to follow back-to-back Frontier championship teams?
Miller: “We knew coming in, as a new group, we had some big shoes to fill here. The seniors from last year’s team had a lot of success. And we knew right away we had to come in and earn the respect of the fans and the program. And it’s been fun. It’s been fun coming together as a team. I think we’ve done a good job of distinguishing ourselves this season.”
HDN: Seattle is much different than Havre. What’s been the biggest adjustment?
Miller: “I guess, just coming to a much smaller town. And, at this level of basketball, you’re constantly busy. You’re busy with school, practice, film, weights and all of that. So just staying on top of things has been an adjustment. It’s a much longer season.”
HDN: You guys have a big rematch with UGF on Friday night. How’s that going to go?
Miller: “That was a fun game playing them (Argos) down there. And we know they’re (Argos) coming for us on Friday night. So we want to play well again, especially coming off a tough loss at LC State. We know we need to come out with that same defensive intensity we had down there (Great Falls), and just make sure we play well on both ends of the floor.”