On Wednesday, Jason King of Bleacher Report put out an interesting list of who he thinks will end up being the next person to coach at some of the most prestigious programs in the country.
Most of the list is about what you would expect. Brad Stevens is mentioned at both Duke and Indiana. Sean Miller’s name is tossed into the mix at a couple of schools, as is Billy Donovan’s. Buzz Williams to Texas and Tony Bennett to Wisconsin are easy picks to make, as is Richard Pitino at Louisville and Mike Hopkins at Syracuse.
But the most interesting name that popped up in King’s breakdown was that of Tim Miles, who made Nebraska relevant in hoops for the first time in recent memory. Not only did King pick him as a potential successor to Tom Izzo at Michigan State, he said that Miles would be a fallback plan for — get this — Kentucky should they miss out on the likes of Donovan and Sean Miller.
And here’s the thing: I think that would work out well. Tim Miles can flat out coach. There’s a reason that he wins wherever he goes, and Kentucky will certainly like that.
But what will make Miles a perfect fit is his ability to connect with a fan base off the court. He’s a master when it comes to social media, whether he’s meeting fans for lunch, helping fans propose or taking selfies on the court with a fan after a big win.
He knows how to connect with a large, passionate fan base. And while basketball in Lincoln isn’t quite what it is in Lexington, Husker fans still pack Pinnacle Bank Arena on a nightly basis and it’s not just because they are finally winning games there.
We’re still a ways away from any of this coming to fruition, but it is an interesting discussion to have, especially when it seems like John Calipari’s names pops up in the conversation for every NBA job that comes open.
Thursday afternoon marked the first time since Friday that Louisville head coach Rick Pitino commented on the controversy that has taken his program by storm. Speaking with Terry Meiners of 840 WHAS in Louisville, Pitino discussed the escort scandal, what could have possibly led former staffer Andre McGee down the path he’s alleged to have taken in Katina Powell’s book and his future at Louisville.
The interview began with Meiners asking Pitino if it changed his thinking as to whether or not he needed to resign, which (as one would expect) Pitino shot down. Also discussed was the statement released by school president Dr. James Ramsey, which expressed support for athletic director Tom Jurich but did not mention Pitino at all.
“Well I can’t answer that, Terry,” Pitino said when asked why he wasn’t mentioned in the statement. “Twenty-six years ago Kentucky brought me in to make the program compliant to NCAA rules. (Then-Kentucky president) Dr. (David) Roselle and (then Kentucky athletic director) C.M. Newton thought I was the guy to come in and change around the images, change around the culture and add a lot of discipline to the program. And I did that.
“And then I came here to the University of Louisville, and if someone was five seconds late or not early consequences would be paid from a disciplinary standpoint,” Pitino continued. “This is obviously not a person being late, this is not about a person (not) working hard. This is about things that are very disgusting, things that turn my stomach, things that keep me up without sleeping.
“But unfortunately, I had no knowledge of any of this and don’t believe in it. It’s sickening to me, the whole thing. But I’m thinking of my 13 players, I’m thinking of our program, and I’m sorry that Dr. Ramsey did not think enough to mention me but that’s something I cannot control.”
Below is audio of the full interview, which ran just over 17 minutes in length.
Expected to be one of the favorites in the Mountain West this season, Boise State’s perimeter ranks have shrunk by one player due to injury. Thursday it was reported by the Idaho Statesman that freshman guard Malek Harwell will redshirt after suffering a torn ACL in practice. Along with fellow freshman Paris Austin, Harwell is expected to be a key part of the Broncos’ future beyond the upcoming season.
Now, instead of competing with an experienced backcourt that includes four redshirt seniors, Harwell will work to get his knee back to full strength for the 2016-17 season.
Among the guards who will play significant minutes this season are Anthony Drmic, who took a medical redshirt last season, Montigo Alford, Mikey Thompson and grad transfer Lonnie Jackson (Boston College). Chandler Hutchison, who started in Boise State’s final 18 games of the 2014-15 season as a freshman, will also compete for playing time.