Malibu Boys Basketball Tips Off New Season

MHS boys basketball starter Cade McMillin shines in the 2015-16 season. McMillin, now a senior, is a leader of the young team. 

Malibu High’s boys hoops team has captured two consecutive league championships. 

Coach Richard Harris wants to dribble beyond a regular season title this year, though. 

“This year, we are focused on making a playoff run,” Malibu’s third-year coach said. “We haven’t won a playoff game in eight years now. We want to change that.” 

The Sharks’ season began on Monday with a 68-45 loss to Valley Torah in the Milken Classic. Junior center David Hudson led Malibu with 12 points as the Sharks struggled shooting the ball. The team made six of 20 foul shots and three of 20 three-point attempts. 

Harris said Malibu had first game jitters, but expected the squad to play better in their second game of the tournament on Tuesday against Wildwood.

“We looked shell-shocked,” he said. “It should be our worst game of the season.” 

One player the Sharks will lean on heavily during the 2016-17 season is senior guard Cade McMillin. 

Harris said he wants the 6-foot guard and two-time All-Frontier League player to score points for the Sharks and be a leader. 

“He is the only returning starter from my previous two teams,” the basketball coach said of McMillin. “Not only does he have to score, but he will be our starting point guard. I want him to lead us on defense. I want him to lead us on and off the court.” 

McMillin, the team captain, isn’t the only returning varsity player Malibu features. The other returning Sharks from last season’s 12-13 bunch include 6-foot-4 junior center David Hudson, 6-foot-4 frontcourt player Canaan Wilson, 6-foot-1 junior wingman Jake Hughes and 6-foot-1 junior guard Quincy Allen.

Malibu’s starters include McMillin, Hudson and Hughes. Newcomers Keaton Hicks, a senior forward player, and junior guard Ty Harris are the other starters. 

Designated shooters from three-point range are Allen, Hughes and sophomore guard Tanner Sausser. 

“Those three are probably the best set shooters I have ever coached,” Harris said.

The coach has even given the trio a moniker that is a play off the nickname of certain NBA stars Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, known for knocking down triples for the Golden State Warriors.

 “I call them the ‘Splash Cousins,’” Harris said. 

The coach wants the team to hang its hat on defense this season.

“Offense can be very inconsistent,” Harris said. “If you focus on defense, things can go better. We need to get a lot of steals and play faster compared to teams from the past.” 

The two previous seasons featured Malibu being named Frontier League champs. This season, the Sharks are in the Tri-Valley League, which features teams such as Santa Clara, St. Bonaventure and Nordoff. 

Malibu competed in the league for two seasons before winning the Frontier League and qualifying for the CIF playoffs in consecutive seasons. 

Harris expects the Sharks to make some noise in the Tri-Valley League once league play begins in January. 

“We want to compete no matter what league we are in,” he said. “We have to take it one game at a time.”

Harris said his squad is working hard to reach the CIF playoffs and be successful.

“They have put the time in,” he said. “I don’t know how they will compare to our previous years’ teams, but from what I have seen, I think we will be pretty good.”