NCAA Division I Sports
NCAA Division I Sports
Weight: 189 lbs.
Birthdate: April 16, 1973 in Cleveland, OH
High School: St. Joseph High School in Cleveland, OH
Instead of Tommie Frazier leading Nebraska to the national championship, that could have been Tony Miller. Instead of Colorado's Kordell Stewart lofting that game-winning pass to beat Michigan, that could have been Tony Miller. “The things that I could do in football, it seemed like I could do whatever I wanted,” he said.
But Miller shocked his college football suitors Nebraska, Colorado, Ohio State, Michigan and Notre Dame by announcing before his senior season that he was giving up football to concentrate on basketball. So college football's loss has been Marquette University's gain. Miller, with his ball-handling skills, court vision and fine passing touch, helped return the once-storied program back to respectability.
Miller does not regret his decision to forgo football and not follow in the footsteps of his high school teammates Desmond Howard and Elvis Grbac, both of whom went to Michigan and currently play in the National Football League. “I don't think about it that much anymore,” Miller said. How Miller ended up at Marquette is also quite a tale.
All of the previous basketball stars at St. Joseph High, a football and basketball powerhouse in Ohio, flocked to Ohio State. Clark Kellogg and Treg Lee started that tradition and Miller wanted to uphold it. But Ohio State coach Randy Ayers had given his last scholarship to Doug Etzler, a point guard, during the early signing period. Miller selected Marquette over Richmond, Xavier, Dayton and Eastern Michigan.
The slight which may have been real or perceived from Ohio State has stayed with him. “I wanted to go to Ohio State, definitely,” Miller said. ” . . . Until this day, I feel like I have to go out and prove something every day.“ Even if Miller's number is never retired, he will have left MU basketball fans with lots of memories. Like the one of Miller streaking coast-to-coast against Kentucky's full-court pressure to score a layup and drive a stake into the Wildcats. The play propelled MU to the Sweet 16 of the 1994 NCAA tournament.
In 1995, Miller posted a triple-double in a victory over Wisconsin. “It was just a great win for me, for Will and even believe it or not a big win for Kevin O'Neill,” Miller said. “Me and him are real close. It was a win for Kevin, as much as he always put it down, he used to always want to win that game.”
Miller averaged just 8.7 points as a junior, but his playmaking ability was evident by his 7.3 assists per game. He shot 51.6% from the floor and 68.5% from the foul line. Tony was an all-conference football quarterback as a junior, leading St. Joseph's to the 1990 State Championship, but he decided to focus on basketball and did not play football in his senior year.
Tony's stats didn't increase significantly during his senior season, as he averaged 9.5 points and 7.8 assists, shooting 54% from the floor and 69.7% from the foul line. He followed up his success on the gridiron with another state championship for Cleveland St. Joseph's- the Ohio Division 1 state basketball title. “I can't say enough about Tony and what he's done for our school,” said his high school coach, Mike Moran. “Tony's a fabulous floor leader, who can keep a coach smiling.”
Tony started all 29 contests in his freshman season, scoring in double figures seven times and dishing out double-figure assists six times. Miller set a Marquette single-season assist record as a freshman and led all NCAA Division 1 freshmen in assists (221), ranking eighth nationally in the final NCAA statistics.
Kevin O'Neill on Tony Miller- “I don't believe anyone in the country had a more valuable freshman year than Tony Miller did for us. The key for him is to become more offensive-minded and much more verbal as a leader. Tony knows how to win and now needs to learn to lead in the way he is capable.”
Miller again started all 28 games, scoring in double figures in 11 games and handing out double-figure assists seven times. In addition to leading Marquette and the Great Midwest Conference in assists for the second consecutive year, Miller led his class nationally (213) and finished eighth nationally amongst all players. Tony also led the Great Midwest Conference in three-point field goal percentage (46.9%), was tenth in steals (1.46), 19th in scoring (8.8) and 20th in rebounding (4.14). Tony also became the first player in Marquette history to surpass the 200-assist mark in two seasons.
Tony was named team tri-captain and dismantled Kentucky's full-court press in the NCAA Tournament, to help lead the Warriors to a Sweet 16 berth againts Duke.
Miller was named team captain for his senior campaign and although the team failed to return to the NCAA tournament for the third consecutive year, Tony did lead them to a Runner-Up spot in the NIT. His career average of 7.7 assists per game ranks 11th in NCAA history.
Could not finish the 1996-97 season because of an ankle injury. Had treatment and recovered completely. Extremely quick and an outstanding defender. Plays as a pure point-guard and is creative in offense. Improved his outside shooting dramatically. Has outstanding passing skills. Knows what it takes to win and understands the game very well. A pure winner who plays with a big heart! Has nice ballhandling skills. Always finds the open man on offense. Proven leader and outstanding defender! can play defense on each back court position.
Miller won national titles with Den Helder & Amsterdam. He replaced Melvin Watson in Bree (2002-03) temporarely because of a knee injury. Very coachable player who wants to win! FLOORLEADER! Signed with Demon/Astonauts Amsterdam in January 2004. Tony played 23 minutes per game and was just their “part-time” back-up PG. Because of his history and excellent reputation in Holland, Amsterdam decided to bring him in as their third foreigner while Joe Spinks was playing as Dutch being 5+ years in Holland, besides Teddy Gipson and Nii Nelson Richards. Tony won 2 National Titles in Holland, with Den Helder and Amsterdam.
In 2007, Tony was with Omniworld Almere in the Netherlands. http://www.eurobasket.com/player.asp?Cntry=NED&PlayerID=6651
His final season of professional basketball came with the Everton Tigers of the British Basketball League (BBL) during the 2007-08 season. BBL Site - Search Under "Players"
|04/05||Cape Holland Den Helder||HOL 1||21||34||7.2||3.9||5.6||2.0||2.3||0.0||45.9||82.5||19.1|
|03/04||Amsterdam Astronauts||HOL 1||14||23||5.1||3.1||2.7||1.8||1.1||0.1||39.5||84.6||29.0|
|02/03||BBC Bree||BEL 1||x||13||8.1||2.8||2.9||2.6||2.1||0.0||45.9||56.8||19.4|
|00/01||Conesco Security/Den Helder||HOL 1||x||28||6.5||3.0||4.9||1.5||1.9||0.0||40.2||70.7||30.4|
|99/00||Power Wevelgem||BEL 1||x||26||12.1||3.4||5.4||2.8||2.4||0.1||41.0||68.7||37.5|
|98/99||Den Helder||HOL 1||x|
|97/98||Den Helder||HOL 1||x||46||14.2||3.9||9.6||3.6||2.3||0.0||49.6||58.4||35.2|
|96/97||Zalgiris Kaunas||LIT 1||x||16||10.3||2.6||7.8||2.1||2.4||0.0||43.6||67.5||37.5|
In the summer of 2009, former Marquette Coach, Kevin O'Neill hired Miller as an assistant on his staff at USC, where his official title is “Strength & Conditioning Manger” (we can't help it if people at USC don't know how to spell “manager”) Tony Miller's USC bio