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.