Men's College Basketball

JWCC's Miller chooses to continue career at Indianapolis

John Wood Community College All-American guard Cory Miller Jr. will sign a national letter of intent to continue his career at the University of Indianapolis, an NCAA Division II school in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. | Photo for the H-W/Clark Brooks, PhotoNewsMedia
By Herald-Whig
Posted: May. 4, 2019 12:30 am Updated: May. 4, 2019 12:34 am

QUINCY -- The more college campuses he visited in search of the right fit to continue his basketball career, the more Cory Miller Jr. came to a stark but necessary conclusion.

This decision wasn't as much about basketball as it was life beyond the game.

"The ball's going to quit bouncing at some point," said Miller, the John Wood Community College All-American guard. "As much as I hate to say that, it's the truth. The ball's going to quit bouncing for you, so you have to set yourself up for what comes next."

And in his case, that will be a life molded by a degree in business finance.

The University of Indianapolis can help prepare him for that better than any other school he considered. The success of the Greyhounds on the court made the Great Lakes Valley Conference doubly perfect.

Miller, the 6-foot-3 Unity alumnus who was the 2017 Herald-Whig Player of the Year, committed Friday to play for the Greyhounds. He will sign a national letter of intent within the next week to make his move official.

"It was a long process," said Miller, who visited eight NCAA Division II programs within the last five weeks. "I learned what I wanted from a program because I really wasn't recruited like that coming out of high school. I learned the things I wanted were influenced by other factors as well."

The right academic setting was one of the biggest factors.

"After talking with the people in the business school at Indianapolis, I knew they could prepare for me for life after college," Miller said. "It really felt right."

So did playing for Greyhounds coach Stan Gouard, who has led Indianapolis to a nine consecutive winning seasons and six NCAA Tournament appearances in that span. The Greyhounds were 19-10 last season and 12-6 in the GLVC. That included an 86-83 victory over Quincy in the final regular-season game at Pepsi Arena.

"The coaching staff there is really good, and the team made me feel right at home," Miller said. "I got a quick family feel the moment I was around those guys. That made it feel right."

Plus, the school is in the heart of a major metropolitan area.

"I wanted to get out and spread my wings a little bit," Miller said.

An All-American season afforded him that chance.

Miller led the Trail Blazers to a sixth-place finish at the NJCAA national tournament with a memorable performance in the four games in Danville, Ill. He averaged a tournament-best 25.8 points, shot 50.8 percent from the field, 53.3 percent from 3-point range and 72.9 percent from the line, to go along with eight rebounds per game.

Overall last season, Miller averaged 21.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. He shot 50.7 percent from the field, 44.6 percent from 3-point range and 77.5 percent from the line. He was named the Region 24 and the Mid-West Athletic Conference Co-Player of the Year.

"He can't walk away from this program without being in the conversation as one of the best players, best teammates, best ambassadors for this school and this community," JWCC coach Brad Hoyt said. "He's earned a place at the heart of that conversation."

It's why schools such as Quincy University, Truman State, Lindenwood, Northwestern State, Central Missouri, Grand Valley State and Emporia State pursued him.

"He's been through such an extensive process," Hoyt said. "He's fortunate to have so many high-quality programs and high-quality people show interest in him."

All that's left is to prove they made the right decision recruiting him.

"He'll accept the challenge to earn what's given to him," Hoyt said.