Oct. 25, 2012
THE MODERATOR: Next up is Nebraska coach Tim Miles. He enters his first season as the head coach with eight letter winners returning this season. Coach?
TIM MILES: Excited to be the Nebraska head coach and excited about the Big Ten.
Q. In terms of recruiting, looking at the state of Nebraska probably hadn't produced an abundance of All American basketball players. Where do you go and how will being part of the Big Ten help you to get into the major metro areas in the midwest? Is that an area you're going to look to?
TIM MILES: I think we will definitely recruit the footprint of the Big Ten and the old Big 12 north. I think you have to pick population basis, when you're in Nebraska, California, Texas, Florida, the northeast, you have to decide can I fish every pond and you can't. We're going to go to Texas, we recruited from Texas in Colorado at Colorado State, so we're going to keep going back there.
We have to develop guys, no doubt about it. We have to do a good job of developing our players and hopefully our style of play makes that happen in a better way, but you're in an elite league with elite players and we're going to have to look under any rock possible and go anywhere in the world and recruit.
Q. What was your view of the Big Ten before you got in the conference, trying to get a real coach's look at the players in the Big Ten?
TIM MILES: Technically, I haven't had my brains beat in yet, but I would like to thank the Big Ten for starting us at home against Michigan State, and the beginning of the schedule, thanks, Rick! Santa is going to give him some coal in his stocking.
It's a great league. My view watching Big Ten when I was a little boy, when you grow up in South Dakota and get two channels, you pay attention to what happens on the one that carries basketball so the Big Ten was always one of those leagues we would see Tom Davis and his press for Iowa, the Golden Gophers from Minnesota.
Our game has changed a little bit, certainly, but it's a league that you have Hall of Fame coaches, you have unbelievable teams with traditions and we're trying to put our mark up there with them. That's the best I can do without answering the question.
Q. What are the challenges of coaching at an athletic program that's dominated by football and trying to make basketball something that people get excited about?
TIM MILES: When I started coaching at Northern State in Aberdeen, South Dakota I was the assistant and I got $3,000 a year, and the next year I was the assistant at $2500. All the same I was excited and I remember doing an interview and my mom asked me "Tim, what did you want to coach for?" And I said "I want to turn Notre Dame into a real basketball school" I thought I would like a real challenge, so I took the Nebraska job. It's a school with remarkable fan support, administrative support, and at the end of the day when you look at things, I don't care peel back the onion. Volleyball is great, wrestling is in the top 10, track and field is good, women's gymnastics won the Big Ten last year. You don't have to go far to see our athletic department through-and-through is outstanding. Women's basketball has been terrific. We need to get men's basketball up and running where it should be. It's been since 1988 since we made the NCAA.
Q. Can you describe the impact of the new facilities that you guys have put in? Obviously you talk about getting basketball in a bigger place in the hierarchy at Nebraska but the way you have upgraded the facilities, can you speak to that and the impact on your program?
TIM MILES: Well, we put in the Hendricks Training Complex last year, a $20 million project and we have had everybody and their brother through there check it go out. Utah comes next week, the Brooklyn Nets were there this week, the Bulls were there, every college has been there.
Everybody is looking at it as a model, and it's really well done. We would invite you all to come but you might, so I'm not going to! Our day to day operations are as good as they are anywhere in the country, and when we put our Pinnacle Bank Arena is going to be a $200 million project and we were looking at the organization of the coaches locker rooms, the players' locker rooms, and I can't tell you how well thought out it is, it's going to be an amazing place and when you combine those two within two years of each other, it's an amazing physical capacity of what we're doing. We've just got to get some guys and have some fun with it.
Q. Starting out with a new program, would you prefer to have a roster of veteran guys who played for another coach or preferred the situation you're in where there aren't many guys that are left over that played a lot and you're going to have to build it from square one?
TIM MILES: This is my fifth start up, you know? Hence the gray hair! You prefer as much talent as possible, I'm just going to tell it you that. You would prefer the team to be in great shape. There is the acclimation part, you go as far as your seniors will take you. If their buy in is good and their mental capacity for a learning curve is good, they're going to pick up a new system and all the stuff that goes with that. You're going to be further down the road. We could play as little as eight scholarship guys this year, up with or two of those guys couldn't break into the rotation last year, so that's why we're picked where we are. I like this group, they're hard working, but we've got a lot of work to do.
We've got some good players we just need to add to it.
Q. Coach, you touched on this at the beginning. Talk about the depth of the conference and how many teams are at the top of the league.
TIM MILES: The three that are in the top 5 in the country or the ones after that only in the top 20? It's a great league! I don't think you have to go very far to find a great coach, a great program that knows exactly what they're doing, plays the game the right way. I'm really excited to be part of the league, but I think every night.
John Beilein told me he's a Cardinals fan and we struck up a conversation this summer, I'm a Cardinals fan, apologize to the Cub fans here, I know we've been doing it a long time to ya! At the end of the day, John said "I've been in a lot of leagues and there is nothing like the Big Ten on the environment, the on campus arenas, the fan support, there is nothing like it."
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Coach, good luck this year.
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