Nebraska Coach Tim Miles met with the Big Ten Media Thursday morning to talk about the 2013-14 Huskers, the upcoming season and the opening of Pinnacle Bank Arena. Check out the video link below of the photo gallery from the day in Chicago.
THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Coach Tim Miles.
COACH MILES: I'm pleased to be back here at Big Ten Media Days. I see we're picked 12th out of 12th again. And it's not just by you guys. I see it's by everybody. Like anybody, you take that to heart a little
bit. I remember I was looking at all the things, and I wanted to feel better. And I came home to talk to my wife and she says: Why aren't you out recruiting?
Getting no slack at home.
I understand why we are -- facts in life are really interesting. I've always tried to ignore them. I take the Mayville State job, all these places you guys have never heard of. They've been 2-22, 2-22 (in the two seasons before) and we win. Southwest Minnesota State had one winning season in 13, and we find out how to win. And North Dakota State goes through the Division II to Division I transition. I tried to call everybody that had made the same transition, and they had all been fired. And the one guy says to me: Are they trying to get rid of you? Colorado State starts and it's a debacle, we go 0-16 (the first year). And in Nebraska we're not viewed as much, obviously, and I just -- I don't believe -- I'm a dreamer. I really do believe in Nebraska. I really do believe in what we are doing and how we can do it.
And I just love what the commitment is from our administration. I love the fan support. And I believe in our guys. So I don't think we're going to end up 12th, and I think it's going to be a good thing. So I don't know how you follow up (Richard) Pitino, I'm sure he was great and really smart and intelligent, but at the end of the day I know we have a way. I know it works. It's worked every little place you've never heard of and some others you might have heard a little bit about of, and it's going to work in Nebraska.
And I'm excited to get started sooner than later. Now, this team's interesting. You know, we're young. We're impulsive. I don't know if you ever were young or impulsive. But these guys, somebody said, oh, they're going to be like a roller coaster. Said, no, we're going to be like an EKG. I mean, it's going to be an interesting year. I like our guys, though. They have a great appetite for work. We were lifting at 6:15 a.m. all fall and we had guys in the gym at 5:30 on a regular basis doing their shooting and doing their ball handling, working themselves into a lather at 5:30 a.m. I was up at 5:30, but I was running to the can. That's about it.
These guys really do want to get this done for Nebraska. So I don't think you're probably going to have many questions after that. So let's keep this to a minimum. I'm putting in a new directive that if you're picked first, you have to take the most questions and as you get down to be picked at the end, you get to take the least questions. So I'm taking one.
And there's one guy that didn't vote us last, so he can ask it.
Q. You're entering a new arena this year. How has that impacted the program from a recruiting standpoint and also drumming up local support?
COACH MILES: The local support, you know, we sold the thing out, and just our season is sold out in just a few weeks of opening season ticket sales. And it's just -- the support's been phenomenal. We had an opening practice, over 7,000 fans there. And you could feel an electricity in the gym.
Obviously it's a state-of-the-art place. They just put a practice facility in now two seasons ago that is state of the art. So it's really cool and it's great for recruiting because the kids love it. But let's face it, until we win -- and we do that -- it's going to help but it's not going to be why kids pick Nebraska. But I think it shows a commitment and a progression about Nebraska basketball that the old rule doesn't apply.
We are more than just a “whatever” school. And when I say "whatever," is because you don't have to peel the onion back far to find out Connie (Yori) and I are both picked 12th. She's 12th in the country; I'm 12th in the league. You look at our women's basketball, has great success, and gymnastics has been good. And obviously football has been a hallmark program forever. Our women's softball team. Rhonda Revelle had them in the World Series last year. And Darin Erstad was in the Big Ten championship game in baseball I think. We won the bowling deal. I watched that on ESPN. I was going nuts. It was good. We were good at bowling. So I just can't say enough about Nebraska, and it's just time for men's basketball to do our part.
Q. Chris Collins coming into the Big Ten, he's never obviously been a head coach before. What would you say is the toughest adjustment to coming into this league?
COACH MILES: He's got a different setup than I do, by the way. He can talk to his dad or Coach K and get pretty good advice. Chris is a smart dude. He knows what he's doing on his own.
The advice is the same. This is a difficult league, because there's nothing easy. You never get an easy basket. You never have an easy opponent. Even we're hard to play against. And I just think that there's going to be a crisis of confidence. I don't care. When you lose -- I have won 17 in a row; lost 16 in a row. Won 11 in a row; lost nine in a row. You go through these peaks and valleys and you have this crisis of confidence. You have to stay with it and believe in it and never give up. And Chris has got a lot of expectations, but he's doing well, too. I think he's going to be good. I think Pitino is going to be great. The coaches in this league just keep getting better and better. I asked one buddy of mine, “What do I say? We were picked 12th again.” He said, “You've got them right where you want them.”
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach.