Offensive Minded

Offensive Minded

A new NCAA rule is allowing college basketball teams to have a few hours a week of practice during the summer. It has been great for Southern Miss with a new staff in place, and is allowing for Jonathan Mills a chance to work on his game. Mills talked about his summer with GoldenEaglePride.com following Thursday's practice.

Southern Miss fans know what Jonathan Mills brought to the table last season. The Eagles needed a man to do the dirty work underneath, and Mills was just the right man to do it.

A physical presence who rebounds well, though undersized, and also a guy who will play tough in your face defense.

What fans may not know, however, is that Mills is finding an offensive game this summer.

"Everyone knows that last season I didn't shoot or score much at all," he said in an interview with GoldenEaglePride.com after Thursday's practice.

"Coach Tyndall came in and told me that he wanted me to develop into a scorer. He said I had the ability to develop that, so that's what I've been working on this summer.

"I have developed a jump shot, and can really handle the ball so much better than I could last year. He's also worked with me on my low post game so that I can score when I get it down there. I feel like a completely different player."

He said summer work-outs as a team are going well.

"It has been great to get to know Coach Tyndall and his staff this summer," he said. "Its a huge advantage for us because we'll come into fall practice knowing his system and style.

"Everyone is buying in, working hard, and really getting after it. We know we have the chance to be really good this year."

Mills has developed a good early relationship with Tyndall and his staff.

"Coach Tyndall is great," he said. "He's encouraging, energetic, and really gets us going. But its not just him. He has assistant coaches who we all love too.

"The transition couldn't be going any better. Just look at how many of us are here and working. Its incredible."

He knows his role is going to increase a lot this season, but it is a role that can be shared by several returning teammates.

"You've got guys who have been around here and know what it takes to win," he said. "Rashard, Neil, and myself are going to lead by example. We have some good talent coming in who are going to help us, but its our job to make sure they are ready to play."

The chemistry that was so instrumental in the NCAA run last season, Mills says, remains with the guys who are still around.

"I think the work we've put in this summer shows we are committed to getting back to the NCAA tournament," he said. "The seniors are here and working hard. We know we can be good, but we have to work. These guys and myself are going to make sure that we put in the work."

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