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I am by definition a homer when it comes to everything Nebraska sports. Just to clarify I get on every band wagon early and drink up koolaid as if my life depended on it. Its a fault I live and deal with along the dire heartache that follows regularly, especially when it comes to Nebraska Basketball.
For the record, I was a Groce guy... I was very excited about him, and I thought with 100% certainty he was going to come to Nebraska. Then Illinois opened up their head coaching position and those dreams were dashed away, only to be replaced by a guy from South Dakota... and not even a "bigger" city in SD. Tim Miles name was getting thrown around, and there was nothing appealing to him by looking at his picture other than he looked a like geeky guy with glasses.
I started reading a bit more about Coach Miles and saw he actually did have success at building programs, and being successful... I'd heard that before. I kept going back to the argument that its one thing to build a smaller program into a cinderella/missouri valley type team. You don't play top tier talent week in and week out as Nebraska was and will in the B1G. I looked at CSU, and it reminded me a bit of a missouri valley team, not all that much different than say a Creighton. Lots of guys running around on the same page, not huge dominating players but a group that could score and run with everyone. That honestly was appealing as Nebraska didn't run with everyone in the last 10 years past the midway point of the second half.
I got a chance to talk to Coach Miles at a dinner after he was hired and the dude was, dare I say "gitty" about being the head coach at Nebraska. Its like he just got the best present ever given to a kid on christmas. His smile is contagious, and he had a insane amount of passion. The big difference I saw right there from every other Nebraska coach is he didn't sugar coat a thing. He was bluntfully honest about how bad the team is, and that he didn't know if we would win a game out of conference let alone in conference. I would much rather hear the truth right out of the gate, then get fed a great steak dinner only to find out it wasn't steak, but a masterfully manufactured mixture of horse,soy and the neighbors dead dog.
Coach Miles assured everyone that his teams would play hard, regardless of the scores and will play til the final buzzer. I could live with that, as thats all I would expect from a coach that just said his team could and highly possibly put up a goose egg in the W column.
As the season went on it was obvious what was needed, and that if we executed we could win a few we weren't supposed to. Nebraska played a brutal schedule and came out on the other end, not like a shinny new penny... but certainly not the scraps and leftovers other teams thought we would be. We got our fair share o woodshed beatings, but that was expected. What we didn't expect was to take top caliber "blue bloods" to the final minute while being 1 or 2 shots away from a lead.
Probably the thing I am the most excited about coach Miles after his first year is he never changed from start to finish... his attitude and the way he carried himself remained constant even in the face of adversity. The way he deals with the casual fans and the media is a breath of freshair, in the midst of PR issues with football. There is no Nebraska fan or heck a fan of any school that sits down with Coach Miles and won't be a fan and support him afterwards.
Tim has also been a breath of fresh air in the recruiting trails. He isn't afraid to go up against the best for the best. Something previous regimes never did. Coach Miles has never settled on recruits (it is his first year and there is a shot it could still happen, especially on a big man... but Atewe is N) We've landed some great talent for next year and the group is poised to be a formidable one. Maybe not NCAA tourny formidable, but its swinging upward in a fashion Nebraska fans aren't used too.
With guys coming back like Shields and Rayray, adding help from Rivers and the new blood coming in, Nebraska should be deeper in both talent and bench. Something Nebraska surely didn't have this year and should help in bountiful amounts next season. I fully expect Nebraska to make another huge stride in the right direction next year. I for one can't wait, and with the new arena its going to be a exciting year start to finish.
.500+ next year with a MIT bid... can't wait!
"In the deed, the glory"
Nice essay, Josh. It feels good to feel optimistic about Nebrasketball.
And just for the record, "big city" and South Dakota is an oxymoron. We all live in gopher holes, scattered across the state.
Nice write up Josh. I'm excited about Miles too. If he snags some of the solid big guys he's after, NU will really start competing next year.
Nebraska Old Gold Knights
Totally agree with your thoughts except i haven't had the pleasure of meeting coach Miles so i will take your word for that part.....Next years predictions look pretty good to me and i hope your right about Atewe being N. I've thought we have an excellent chance at getting him to commit...Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the team. +1 Sir...
Solid post +1, I feel Atawe has a real good relationship with the staff and players, makes me feel he's N, definitely hope so
uv for the Homer.
Twitter: @mikejschaefer Email: email@example.com
Feed me to the wolves, and I will return leader of the pack. #FreeDA
Oath Before Orders
NEBRASKA FOOTBALL= Great Players, Great Coaches, AMAZING PEOPLE
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