Some Criticism of the Critics

The Omaha World-Herald published some comments this week from former Husker basketball players Andy Markowski and Beau Reid that were hardly enthusiastic about the Tim Miles hire. As former players during some of Nebraska's better years, they certainly have the right to an opinion. They also understand college basketball and NU basketball better than most. Still, their arguments don't necessarily make the strongest case why Miles shouldn't have been hired.

 

Criticism #1: On paper, he looks like Barry Collier and Doc Sadler did when they were hired.

That's true. But on paper, so did Mike Krzyzewski. In fact, Coach K probably looked worse. Nebraska was in no position to hire Billy Donovan away from Florida. What you want is the next Coach K. or Donovan and both of those guys came from smaller programs without much postseason success to speak of.

Criticism #2: We hired a program-builder not a program changer.

What exactly has Nebraska built to date? Sure, if this were the waning days of the Danny Nee era, you could be positioning the team to take the next step. But it's been 12 years since Nee left. This isn't a program looking to hire Phil Jackson to finish a job that Doug Collins started. This is more like Kansas State hiring Bill Snyder back in 1989. Someone who can take a program without much history or any kind of resources advantage and make them competitive. Someday, I'd love to be in the position to complain that our coach can't get us past the Sweet 16. For now, I'll take someone that can get us an 11-seed.

Criticism #3: We needed to hire somebody that got everybody to stand up and take notice.

Well, the Huskers could have cast their lot with Bobby Knight, Nolan Richardson, or some other big name that upon closer scrutiny doesn't make much sense. But what does that buy you? Bill Callahan was two years removed from a Super Bowl. How did that work out? Was Tom Osborne the biggest name available when Bob Devaney retired? Isn't the right guy a lot more important than the famous one? You could go back to the Coach K. example or any number of other unknowns who panned out in a big way. If anything, the big name should set off red flags more than a guy who's just managed to quietly climb the ranks by improving his teams year after year.

The arguments against Miles don't guarantee failure, just as the arguments for him don't guarantee success. But there was no "can't-miss" hire available. Nebraska had to make a good bet, and a consistent winner in a number of environments that's found gems in the Midlands before seems as good as any.

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Comments 4 comments so far

If it’s hard to recruit top highschool football players to Nebraska it’s gonna be near impossible to recruit top bball players to Nebraska so I think they made the right hire in miles a program builder

Maybe the two bb players should have a sit down with Mr. Suh and discuss.

I really hope that Miles works out…I do!  Husker BBall is (finally!!!) getting some much needed “love” (aka: improvements) - training center, new arena.  This made it a perfect time to try to find someone that really could pull Husker hoops out of the basement and propel it to a championships level.
 
If Miles can become the Bill Synder of Husker Basketball, I’d be very happy.  A coach that can get to the 2nd round a couple times or maybe a Sweet 16 would be great - never mind a B1G Championship (or h-e-double toothpicks, even just get to the CCG.)  Damn, do that and Miles will get a statue and/or stadium named after him.

My biggest criticism is that Miles does not have the experience of game planning/playing against top talent in a B1G. Talent in B1G is levels above MWC - I really do not see the difference between Miles and Sadler, Collier, etc. 

Who should they have picked…I am guessing most names that I could think of turned us down - or did not even take Osborne’s calls. But, an ACC, Big East, B1G assistant coach that has that experience might have been better prepared.  But, having Ron Coleman join Miles at Nebraska is a nice addition, in my mind. 

One last point, Miles seems to be a program jumper…he if wins a little here, I bet he is gone pretty quick to even a higher level program.  He does not seem to be a “long-term” hire in my mind.

NebCali:  Agree with your comments, and he has been a jumper once he has built a program to a certain level of success.  As for “long-term” hire, NU BB is not preceived as a destination position like a KU or UK, and will most likely never get there.  I would just welcome some success on the court for the mens BB program and will support Miles effort to get it done.

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