After reaching the NCAA tournament for the first time since the 1990s last season, Nebraska had hopes of building on that success in 2014-15. However things have not gone so well for the Huskers, and Sunday may have been rock bottom for a team that has now lost five straight games.
Nebraska dropped to 13-14 over all and 5-10 in Big Ten play with a 74-46 home loss to Iowa, with the margin of defeat being the worst of the season for Tim Miles’ team. Frustrated with his team’s level of play, Miles announced after the game that the team has been banned from the locker room at the Hendricks Training Complex.
Iowa closed the first half on a 21-2 run, taking a 42-16 lead into the intermission. Nebraska was outscored by just two points in the second half, but by that point the damage had been done. As was the case in their four prior defeats (and throughout the season as a whole) Nebraska struggled offensively, shooting 32.7% from the field and 2-for-18 from beyond the arc.
The difference against Iowa was Nebraska’s defense, as the Hawkeyes shot 50 percent from the field and assisted on 17 of their 29 made field goals. In this current losing streak, only Maryland (46.5%) shot better than 44 percent against Nebraska prior to Sunday’s defeat. When asked about his team’s effort following the loss, Miles did not mince words while also recalling a prior stop in his head coach career.
“You never want to throw your players under the bus, but that was just beyond disappointing,” Miles said. “That’s not what we represent. I told our guys, ‘when I was at Southwest Minnesota State, to pay for shoes we used to have to go to the Renaissance Festival in Shakopee, Minnesota for a weekend and pick up trash. We were the trash guys.
“And if I had the option, we would do that tonight, tomorrow and the next day and pay back the fans the cost of attendance for their ticket. Because our fans have been so supportive and so great, and you get 15,000 people out there and you just go ‘non-compete’ mode. I thought we showed a softness and lack of leadership, and a lack of willingness to listen to leadership.”
Miles had more to say during his postgame press conference, which can be viewed here. No time frame as to how long the players will be banned from the locker room was given, and the Huskers will be back in action Thursday night at Ohio State. It will be interesting to see how Nebraska responds to Miles’ move to ban them from their palatial digs, as they have three games left to play before the Big Ten tournament.
And if you’ve never seen Nebraska’s locker room, here’s a video tour recorded in April 2013.