After missing three games with a hamstring injury, Hofstra point guard Stevie Mejia tried to give it a go against Binghamton last Saturday only to find out his injury likely will force him to the sidelines much longer than originally expected. But if the performance of backup Dwan McMillan in the Pride's 82-59 victory over Colgate Thursday night is any indication, he's ready and able to grow in the starting point guard role.
With Mejia (pictured) confined to the bench, McMillan had his finest all-around game of the season with 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting, 10 assists and 3 steals. That was on the heels of a season-high 15-point game in the win over Binghamton. Over the past four games, McMillan has averaged 11.3 points and 5.5 assists.
"I always had the same confidence," McMillan said. "I was just waiting for the opportunity. It's unfortunate that Steve went down, but I told them, 'I've got us.'"
McMillan is not a three-pointer shooter. His lone attempt from three-point range against Colgate was only his third of the season. What he does is get to the basket, and even if his shot gets blocked a couple times, as it did against the Red Raiders, he keeps driving the lane and either getting up shots or creating for others. He made some difficult baskets against Colgate, but his slickest move was a dish under the hoop for an easy basket by David Imes during the second-half stretch when the Pride took control.
Coach Mo Cassara used a three-quarters press midway through the second half to break the game open, and one of the key players in that situation was McMillan, creating pressure and scoring in transition. He was the only Hofstra player to go all 20 first-half minutes, and he totaled 33 for the game.
Asked if he's in shape for such an expanded role, McMillan said, "I'm getting used to it. I caught a few cramps toward the end. I've got to eat a few more bananas. Potassium."
Whatever it takes to keep up that same energy McMillan showed against Colgate.