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Harry

The seemingly impossible move that aided North Texas’s CBI championship

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As North Texas prepared for its CBI opener at South Dakota, Grant McCasland had a problem.

The Mean Green were limping when they accepted the tournament invite, having lost seven of their last eight games. McCasland had a dynamic, slashing playmaker in sophomore point guard Ryan Woolridge but the court had shrunk around him. UNT had shot just 28.3 percent from three in the previous four games, and McCasland needed to create space for his lead guard.

As the morning shoot around unfolded, junior guard Michael Miller missed shot after shot. McCasland couldn’t take his eyes off of him.

“I saw him staring at me and I was thinking, ‘what’s going on?’” Miller said.

What was going on was that McCasland had come up with an idea to fix his team’s sagging offense. The first-year UNT coach called over Jon Trilli, his Director of Basketball Operations, and bounced the idea of him.

It was out there.

Miller, who had made just three of his 23 three-point attempts, would be given the green light from deep against a tough Coyotes’ defense. And he’d have to shoot them with his right hand, which for most players would go unsaid. Except Miller was a left-handed shooter.

Miller was told to switch to his normally non-dominant hand the rest of the shootaround. He immediately made six shots in a row, missed one and then made four more in succession. That’s when McCasland called him over.

“I told Mike, ‘here’s the deal: I’m going to start you tonight and I want you to shoot eight three pointers and I don’t care if you make them,’” McCasland said.

Miller didn’t hit the quota, but it paid off. That night, he scored 19 points and went 4-5 from three, more than doubling his season output from distance. It helped the Mean Green knock off a 26-win South Dakota team, and started them on the path to a CBI championship.

read more:  https://www.midmajormadness.com/2018/7/13/17551840/michael-miller-switch-hands-shooting-north-texas-unt-basketball-mean-green-mccasland-cbi-champions

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