Two-Way Tuesday | SMU Voice Rich Phillips on Shake Milton

By Matt Murphy | Blue Coats Beat | October 9, 2018

The two-way players who will spend time with both the Philadelphia 76ers and the Delaware Blue Coats during the 2018-19 season are second-round draft pick Shake Milton and third-year pro Demetrius Jackson. In each edition of Two-Way Tuesday, either Milton or Jackson will be in the spotlight.

This week, Milton is the subject once again. The focus: Insights from Milton’s college announcer Rich Phillips, the play-by-play voice of the SMU Mustangs.

Milton played three seasons at SMU and was the 54th overall selection in June’s NBA Draft. As a result, SMU became one of just three schools, joining Louisville and Maryland, with a selection in the first two rounds of the MLS, NFL and NBA drafts.

Phillips, who is also the host of Texas Motor Speedway’s “Total Access,” has called SMU Mustangs football and basketball games since 2001.

Blue Coats Beat: What sticks with you about calling games that featured Shake Milton?

Rich Phillips: Shake was a key part of the best regular season in SMU history. That 2016-17 team won 30 games and a second conference championship in three years. He was a very quiet guy, but could take over games at any time with his shooting. That was the season he also moved into the point guard position and really became a big leader on the court for the team.

BCB: How would you describe Shake’s game? How do you think he’ll adjust to the NBA game?

RP: From day one, Shake was a very smooth player in college. And his shot was outstanding, particularly on the perimeter. He handles the ball well and has the ability to slash to the basket. Altogether it’s a really good combination for a 6-6 guy who has even better reach. I would expect him to spend a lot of time around the three-point line, but when teams try to close out, he’ll be able to work his way to the basket.

BCB: What’s a specific story or memory that you have about Shake, on or off the court, that 76ers and Blue Coats fans would be interested to know?

RP: In his junior year (2017-18), Shake was really emerging as the primary offensive force for SMU, and there were times when it just seemed he was determined to not let his team fail. The highlight of that was a January game at Wichita State. SMU had lost three straight before the trip, and the Shockers were ranked fourth and had won 27 straight games at home. Early in the first half, Jarrey Foster (SMU’s second-leading scorer) suffered a season-ending knee injury. In light of all of that, Shake just took it upon himself to win the game. He scored a career-high 33 points, making five-of-six threes. On a couple of those threes, he was so far out that he was nearly on the mid-court logo. It was a simply fabulous performance that just served as a perfect example of what he was about. And afterwards he took all the praise in stride, which is just the way he rolls.