Tim Miles

AP Photo/Nati Harnik

Nebraska AD tweets Miles will return

Leave a comment

The season came to an end for Nebraska on Wednesday, but Tim Miles’ immediate future with the program looked settled.

He is coming back for another season.

Nebraska athletic director Shawn Eichorst tweeted, “Look forward to the next season of (Nebraska) basketball under (Miles’) leadership…the future is bright!”

Miles’ job security was in question with a third-straight losing season – capped by their opening-round Big Ten tournament loss Tuesday to Penn State – and fourth in his five seasons in Lincoln. After winning their first three games to start Big Ten play, the Huskers proceeded to lose seven of their next eight and then finish the year on a five-game losing streak.

Nebraska’s season was dealt a difficult blow before it even started when Andrew White decided to utilize the graduate transfer rule and bolt to Syracuse, where he’s averaging 17.9 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. With White, Nebraska would have had an intriguing roster, but without him, it liked the punch and firepower to make a dent even in a down Big Ten.

Before Nebraska, Miles made his mark at Colorado State, where his teams got better every year of his tenure, going from seven wins in his first year to 20 and an NCAA tournament berth in his fifth. It’s been nearly the reverse at Nebraska for Miles after getting the team into the NCAA tournament in his second year, but following that up three sub-.500 seasons in a row.

Certainly, the job in Lincoln is no easy one without a deep natural recruiting base at a school that prioritizes football and in a league that has some of the country’s top programs. Still, the Huskers have invested in basketball in recent years, most notably Pinnacle Bank Arena, which opened in 2013 with a price tag north of $184 million, even though they ranked 11th in the Big Ten in basketball spending, according to the Omaha World-Herald.

The bottom line is that the Nebraska job is a tough one, and Miles has previously shown he has been able to tame it with that NCAA tournament appearance. Three-straight losing seasons makes that March seem like quite a long time ago, however. There’s little doubt that Miles can coach, but building and sustaining momentum is no easy task at Nebraska. Miles has coached Nebraska to half of their NCAA tournament berths in the last 20 years. 

He’ll will be back for another year, but you can bet he’ll be on every hot seat list to start next season. Putting the program back on an upward trajectory will be a must.

Team of the Week: Nebraska Cornhuskers

Dylan Buell/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Heading into the start of Big Ten play, Nebraska was in a bad way.

They had lost six of their last eight games, included in that group a home loss to Gardner-Webb. It was bad enough for Tim Miles that Nebraska’s notoriously gregarious head coach instituted a self-imposed twitter ban … on himself.

And that was before they found out they would be playing the rest of the season without Anton Gill.

But then they opened up conference play by going into Assembly Hall and knocking off Indiana. It wasn’t a fluke, either. The Huskers earned that win by outplaying the Hoosiers. They followed that up by going into College Park on Sunday and knocking off Maryland. That wasn’t a regular win, either, as Nebraska erased a 13-point deficit in the final six minutes and closed the game on a 14-0 run.

What that means if you’re scoring at home is that Nebraska, who is now 9-6 on the season, is currently sitting at the top of the Big Ten standings at 2-0 with a pair of road wins on their résumé.

RELATED: Player of the Week | Team of the Week | Five Takeaways

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and Audioboom

THEY WERE GOOD, TOO

  • Oregon: The Ducks had themselves quite the week, beating No. 2 UCLA on a buzzer-beater before knocking off No. 22 USC in blowout fashion. Not only did they hand both of those programs their first loss of the season, but Oregon also got their all-american Dillon Brooks back playing like an all-american.
  • Virginia Tech: The Hokies made a statement of their own this week, giving No. 5 Duke a beatdown in Blacksburg on Saturday afternoon. Buzz Williams has a good team this season, one that hasn’t gotten the credit for how good they’ve been. This is the kind of win that will make people take notice.
  • Villanova: At this point, Villanova pretty much has to be considered the favorite to repeat as national champions, right? On Saturday, they went into Omaha in one of the loudest buildings in college basketball and knocked off a top ten Creighton team. The Wildcats never seemed to get rattled if it wasn’t Josh Hart making the big plays, it was Jalen Brunson scoring 11 straight points. This team isn’t perfect, but I don’t know if there is a team in college basketball that’s closer than them.
  • Arizona: The Wildcats, who are still playing without the services of Allonzo Trier 15 games into the season, handled their first road trip of the Pac-12 season flawlessly, dispatching both Cal and Stanford in fairly pedestrian fashion. Arizona is not on the same level as Oregon or UCLA in the Pac-12 at this point, but given everything that they’ve dealt with this season, I’m not sure there’s been a more impressive team performance than what Sean Miller’s club has done.
  • Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets were supposed to finish at the bottom of the ACC this season. They still might do just that. But that won’t change the fact that, on Saturday, Georgia Tech upset No. 9 North Carolina in their ACC opener.

Stone, Trimble lift No. 4 Maryland to 70-65 win over Huskers

AP Photo/Andy Manis
Leave a comment

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) Freshman Diamond Stone had 16 points, 10 rebounds and a season-high eight blocks, and No. 4 Maryland held off Nebraska 70-65 on Wednesday night.

Melo Trimble had 14 of his 20 points in the second half as the Terrapins overcame a slew of turnovers to remain a half-game behind conference co-leaders Indiana and Iowa.

Stone dunked off an assist from Trimble to give the Terps (20-3, 9-2 Big Ten) the lead for good, 60-58, and he dunked again after rebounding Jake Layman’s missed free throw to make it 66-61 with 2 minutes to play.

The Huskers were within three points when Trimble put the game away with two free throws with 8.2 seconds left.

Andrew White III had 19 points and nine rebounds to lead Nebraska (12-11, 4-6). Shavon Shields was just 4 of 17 from the field and finished with 11 points and seven rebounds.

Maryland committed 18 turnovers, its most in a conference game this season, but the Huskers converted them into only nine points. Nebraska was unable to overcome its season-worst 31.8-percent shooting.

The Terps blocked a season-high 13 shots.

Nebraska was within 68-65 with 35 seconds left when Shields fouled Stone, an 81 percent free-throw shooter. Stone missed his third straight free throw of the game, though, but he was able to block Shields’ layup try at the other end.

After White missed what would have been a tying 3-point attempt, Layman came up with the rebound. Trimble was fouled and shot the clinching free throws.

The Terps had lots of chances to put away the game but couldn’t against a Nebraska team that has dropped four of five Big Ten home games.

Maryland turned the ball over 13 times in the first half and mostly got away with it because of Nebraska’s poor shooting. The Huskers brought the crowd to their feet when White dunked a lob from Benny Parker to tie it 27-27. After Layman’s hook-shot air ball, Jake Hammond made a free throw to put Nebraska in front by a point, but Stone’s jumper from the free throw line gave the Terrapins a 29-28 halftime lead.

TIP-INS

Maryland: Stone has scored in double figures in 16 of the past 19 games. … The Terps lead the nation in wins (19-2) in games decided by six points or less the past two seasons. … They entered the game as the only team in Big Ten to have five players averaging 10 or more points.

Nebraska: The Huskers were assessed a bench technical early in second half after Trimble stripped the ball from Shields right in front of coach Tim Miles. … They matched their season low with six turnovers and have had 10 or fewer in five straight games. … Glynn Watson Jr. has scored 10 or more points in seven straight games.

UP NEXT

Maryland hosts No. 18 Purdue on Saturday.

Nebraska hosts Rutgers on Saturday.

No. 21 Purdue beats Nebraska 89-74 behind Hammons’ 32

AP Photo/Darron Cummings
Leave a comment

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) A.J. Hammons scored a career-best 32 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, leading No. 21 Purdue to an 89-74 victory over Nebraska on Saturday.

Rapheal Davis had 17 points and six rebounds, and Isaac Haas scored 13 points for Purdue (19-4, 7-3 Big Ten). Caleb Swanigan contributed six points, 12 rebounds and five assists for the Boilermakers, who improved to 5-0 against Nebraska (12-10, 4-5) in Mackey Arena.

Shavon Shields and Andrew White III each scored 16 to lead the Cornhuskers, who had no answer for 7-footers Hammons and Haas.

Hammons, who had 16 points and eight rebounds in Wednesday’s win at Minnesota, surpassed his previous best of 30, notched in a loss to Indiana on Jan. 30, 2013. He scored the Boilermakers’ first eight points in the second half.

Purdue got a 3-pointer from Davis and a baseline jumper from Swanigan to increase its lead to 76-65 with 6:16 to play. Hammons broke his career high with a dunk with 4:28 remaining for a 78-65 advantage.

Davis’ 3-pointer gave Purdue a 61-51 lead with 12:34 remaining, but back-to-back baskets from Shields and Glynn Watson Jr. trimmed Nebraska’s deficit to 61-55 with 11:49 to play.

A 3-pointed by Watson with 12:52 to go capped an 8-0 Nebraska run and sliced Purdue’s lead to 58-51, prompting a Boilermaker timeout.

Purdue scored the final five points in the first half – a Ryan Cline 3-pointer and a dunk at the buzzer by Hammons following an offensive rebound – for a 44-35 lead.

The Boilermakers shot 51.7 percent (15 of 29) during the first half. Nebraska shot 43.3 percent (13 of 30).

TIP-INS

Nebraska: The Cornhuskers entered Saturday’s game having won three consecutive Big Ten road games. A Nebraska basketball team has not won four consecutive league road games since the 1975-76 season. … The Cornhuskers were playing their first game since an 81-68 loss to Michigan on Jan. 23 in Lincoln, Nebraska. … Nebraska ranks second in the Big Ten in steals, averaging 7.2 per game. … The Cornhuskers have two of the Big Ten’s top eight scorers in No. 6 Andrew White II (16.9) and No. 8 Shavon Shields (15.8).

Purdue: The Boilermakers honored their “Three-Peat” Big Ten championship teams from 1994, `95 and `96, all coached by Gene Keady. … Before playing Nebraska, Purdue had won 19 of 20 home games, losing only to No. 3 Iowa on Jan. 2. … The Boilermakers lead the country in rebounding margin at plus-12.1 and outrebounded each of their first 22 opponents. … Purdue’s non-starters outscored the opposing team’s bench in 21 of the first 22 games.

UP NEXT

Nebraska: Hosts No. 7 Maryland on Wednesday night.

Purdue: Plays at No. 7 Maryland on Saturday.

No. 11 Michigan State suffers third straight defeat

Associated Press
2 Comments

Earlier this week Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo took responsibility for his team’s issues on the defensive end, as the Spartans’ adjustment to the points of emphasis announced before the season began hasn’t come as quickly as many expected. Wednesday night the struggles continued, as Michigan State couldn’t find an answer to the riddle that was Nebraska senior wing Shavon Shields.

Shields was outstanding, leading all scorers with 28 points, shooting 12-for-20 from the field, to lead the Huskers to a 72-71 win in East Lansing. Michigan State, which had a final shot at the win but Denzel Valentine’s jumper as time expired missed the mark, has now lost its last three conference games and has a 3-4 record in conference play.

With Iowa, which has already swept the season series, and Indiana both without a conference loss the Spartans’ chances of hoisting the Big Ten regular season title may have fallen by the wayside with this defeat.

Defense was once again the culprit, as Nebraska shot 50 percent from the field on the night. Tim Miles’ team isn’t going to rack up the assists, as they entered Wednesday’s with just over 48 percent of their made baskets being of the assisted variety. Instead, they use the likes of Shields, Tai Webster and Glynn Watson to break down opposing defenses, with mixed results to this point in the season.

That wasn’t the case against Michigan State, with the Spartans playing without their best perimeter defender in Tum Tum Nairn for the second consecutive game and at times seemingly afraid to make any kind of contact. Outside of Eron Harris the Spartans didn’t have the early foul trouble they’ve endured in recent games, but they still had issues slowing down Shields and his teammates throughout Wednesday’s game.

Also of note was the off night experienced by Bryn Forbes, who scored three points on 1-for-8 shooting. The senior’s struggled in two of Michigan State’s last three games, as Anthony Clemmons held him in check in Iowa’s win in East Lansing last week, and this comes after scoring 17 points or more in three straight games. In addition to needing to do a better job of adjusting defensively, the Spartans need to get to the point where both Forbes and Eron Harris are clicking on the wings at the same time.

That should come in time, but the bigger concern in the defense. Once again Michigan State struggled on that end of the floor, and while they did have a final chance to grab the win it proved to be too much to overcome.

PHOTO: Nebraska’s Tim Miles shows off custom sneakers

Associated Press
Leave a comment

Last July Nebraska head coach Tim Miles was able to make a fashion statement of sorts thanks to adidas, which supplied him with his own pair of Stan Smith sneakers with his face on the tongue. Saturday the head coach showed off another custom pair of sneakers, with these being the adidas Superstar in Nebraska colors with some other images that let everyone know who the shoes are for.

While the outside of the left heel simply has a “Coach Miles” graphic, the outside of the right heel has the Nebraska “N” logo and a silhouette of Miles. While some head coaches whose programs are sponsored by adidas received Yeezys during the summer, what Miles has is a true limited edition sneaker.