Any freshman — or resident assistant — on campus will tell you, coming to college requires some time in order to fit in and to settle down. It’s a process that may be a bit uncomfortable, but soon enough everything falls into place.
This transition in life can come with difficulties, especially if you find yourself starting for the North Dakota State men’s basketball team. This is what Dylan Miller had to do.
The Panama, Illinois, native walked on to this campus earlier this fall and now finds himself starting for the Bison as the Herd heads toward the postseason.
Did he have any trouble adapting? He quickly responded, “I don’t think so.”
Early in the season, the freshman forward was not getting many minutes, but when he was on the court, he took his chances.
Head coach Dave Richman said Miller “is instinctive around the ball. He also shoots well for a big guy and is slowly but surely understanding things principle-wise defensively and is getting better and better.”
Miller, who stands at 6-8, 235 pounds, leads the Bison in shooting percentage at 58 percent. Along with this, he is averaging two rebounds a game as well as 3.1 points. His minutes continue to steadily grow after getting his first start in Grand Forks against University of North Dakota in December.
Miller had his best game of his young career against Northland College. He went 9-for-10 from the field on his way to scoring 19 points and collecting nine rebounds.
The big thing for Miller, being only a freshman, is to continue to improve his game and increase his comfort level.
Senior forward Chris Kading says Miller just has to work on the normal freshman things, such as getting more comfortable. Kading was also impressed by how quickly Miller adapted to the team.
“All freshmen go through it, that first summer you don’t really know anyone, but by the end of the year, he’s spending all the time with the guys,” Kading said.
Junior Dexter Werner has also been impressed by Miller’s potential, saying, “He’s got a great frame, good skill set and will continue to get better from there.”
Looking back to the beginning of the season, Miller says that the biggest change has been his confidence.
“I think I’m a lot more confident now in my game and I’m more comfortable playing with these guys,” he said.
Off the court, Miller enjoys fishing, though he has not found anywhere good around Fargo to reel in the big one, yet. Otherwise, he said that he is an open book and is looking forward to making some memories off the court.
Miller decided to come to Fargo for a couple important reasons.
“I feel like the team is family, and Fargo feels like a hometown,” Miller said. This family feeling is what drives him toward his long-term goal of making life-long friends and helping the team reach its goals.
As a young player with potential, Richman said it is up to him to get better and elevate his game.
By the sounds of it, that is what he plans to do.
When asked about his short-term goals, he put it simply: “Get better.”