Sunday, March 25, 2012
PYB definitely has been flattered during our semi-excused absence over the last week, as several readers have chimed in asking us our take on what was the NU basketball coaching search and then ultimately the selection and hiring of Tim Miles. We know just as much as any of you: nothing.
That said, we had a nagging feeling and predicted Athletic Director Tom Osborne would botch this hire. We won't know whether that feeling is warranted for at least four years. We do know, though, that the reason Osborne gave for dropping the axe on Ken Sadler was that the program had 'lost momentum' and needed a change in course. So, instead of changing course, TO went right back to where NU has always gotten its hoops coaches.....a program where the coach got his barely relevant team to a 20-win season or two. Uninspiring (just like this Randy York rah-rah piece on huskers.com--what a piece of shit), to say the least....and hardly an immediate momentum changer.
Osborne should definitely be criticized for not openly pursuing Larry Eustachy, who has gotten control of his personal life and led Southern Mississippi to a basketball revival in Hattiesburg. Of all people, TO should know about second chances. Apparently, you can beat the shit out of women and get back in the game but you can't overcome a drinking problem and get another job.
TO should also take heat for publicly admitting he took counsel on the hire from Craig Bohl, Ndamukong Suh and Bill Doleman. In Suh and Doleman, you have two great NU guys. But what the fuck do I care what a football player or a television announcer thinks about hiring a basketball coach? We know just as much or more about the game of basketball than either one of those men. In Bohl, you have the second-worst defensive coordinator in school history and a guy who couldn't succeed at a top-tier school and had to run for cover in the lower ranks, ie Dana Altman. A pathetic move by Osborne, to put it mildly.
As much as we refuse to blindly rave about hiring a completely unknown entity, we won't hate on Miles and his chances at NU for now. PYB knows that Osborne is a savvy businesman, but his track record of hiring coaches is somewhere in the range of terrible to incomplete-at-best (Solich, Pinelli, Erstad). So, we'll sit back, see if Miles has a strategy, see if he can execute that strategy, and see if he can make Nebraska basketball more than a punch line.
Miles had some good punch lines of his own at his introductory press conference Saturday, but Sadler had plenty of good jokes and hillbilly charm to go around too. Sadler knew the Xs and the Os, he just couldn't get a game-changer to come to the stark-white surroundings of the Star City. Even if Miles can't coach for shit, it'll be worth a few seasons of Edmund Exley/LA Confidential jokes.
So, in a Cornhusker world where erecting multi-million dollar buildings has been substituted for raising championship banners, we get to bask in what are now our happiest days as Nebraska fans. Days with press conferences announcing new coaching hires and the promise of better days ahead have supplanted victory celebrations, Directors Cup relevance and the pride the state could glean from fielding excellent teams across the entire athletic department.
Whoever said "If you build it, they will come" was a fucking liar.