Today was the Big Ten Media Days for the men’s basketball season. Nebraska HC Tim Miles went on the podium and took questions from both the groups around and hit the Big Ten Network set for an interview.
Here are the questions and answers he got from the podium:
Q. You guys only have one senior on the team. In what ways has that shown you in the fall, and in what ways are you going to get around that lack of veteran leadership this season?
TIM MILES: We have a group of sophomores that played a lot last year. We played 21 Big Ten games last year. We were 8 and 13, and the average margin -- the difference was .2 of a point. Our opponents got 71.3 points a game, we got 71.1. So we have a lot of guys that were involved in good games. But our one senior, Tai Webster, I think will be really good. He took a big leap last year. I think he'll take another leap this year. I think we're picked toward the bottom, which is where I like to be, so we can pleasantly surprise all our friends ask colleagues in the room today. I like this team. I think they'll be fun. We're young. Like you said, eight of our guys are freshmen and sophomores, but I think they're a solid nucleus.
Q. And you have a deep sophomore class. What differences have you seen from them a year ago today versus where they are right now?
TIM MILES: Well, they shave twice a week instead of never, so that helps. And it's mandated by their girlfriends. At the same time, when I look at them, they're bigger, stronger, just more confident. As you go into it that second year, you feel a little better about yourself. I'm excited about it. I think we have a very ambitious schedule. We're at Kansas. We're at Clemson in the ACC, Big Ten challenge. Well, it should be the other way, but since we're on the road, I'll announce it that way. We have Dayton in the Wooden Legacy, and then Creighton at home, Louisiana Tech at home, South Dakota at home. My former assistant, Craig Smith, is there. So I really like Southern at home. They're going to be good in their league. I like where we're going. And our double-plays are Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, and Northwestern. So I think there's a lot of opportunity on the schedule.
Q. Coach, can you talk about the Timberwolves, obviously played at Pinnacle Bank yesterday, and just talk about maybe -- I don't know if you had a chance to talk to Tom Thibodeau, I know Rich Pitino was able to talk to him a little bit about his defensive philosophies and what it was that maybe rubbed off on your team a little bit?
TIM MILES: Well, Coach Graham from the Nuggets came over and met with our team. One of our ops guys, Teddy Owens, whose dad is Ted Owens, of course, former Kansas coach, came over and met with the guys. He's got a great path. He was an undrafted player who made the NBA for several years, but played professionally for a long time, so an unlikely path. I thought he did a good job talking about how fun it is in college, how much it's a family, and how the atmosphere is completely different when you're a professional.
I did not get a chance to see Coach Thibodeau. Coach Molinari, of course, the defensive guru on our staff, did. So I look forward to some copious notes from him when we get back, if they're legible.
And here is Tim on the BTN set