I gave up when Nebraska went down by 30 to Michigan 69-39 last night. I turned the game off, and I started trying to process what’s happened to Nebrasketball over the past few games.
Since a nice, one-point 58-57 win against Ohio State, Nebraska has been destroyed 88-72 at Michigan State, 73-57 by Illinois AT HOME, 88-73 at Minnesota, and 93-57 by Michigan, again, AT HOME and on Senior Night. Last night’s game was another debacle and the worst loss in Pinnacle Bank Arena history (although, granted, its history isn’t that long). Hell, the team played like they knew that it was already over, “it” being the Tim Miles era at Nebraska.
Nebrasketball seemed so close to a breakthrough, or at least a feel good story this season. They started conference play at 3-0 this season. They won at Indiana and broke the Hoosiers’ 26-game home winning streak. Then they won another road game at Maryland, and beat Iowa in double overtime at home. They were the #1 team in the Big Ten at that point. It was fun while it lasted. So many one-point losses, repeated times you thought the team had turned the corner only to see them completely collapse down the stretch.
It’s clear that the men’s basketball team has the most talented roster in quite some time. They can be incredibly fun to watch, but that fun and talent hasn’t translated into wins. Worse yet, it’s translated into blowouts, especially at the end of the season when a young team is supposed to be coming together and making a run at something like a post-season bid, or a conference championship, or the hope of a conference championship, the concept of which right now seems so horribly far away it’s laughable.
If Shawn Eichorst wants to replace Tim Miles, I don’t think anyone is going to argue with him.
Friday the day after the Minnesota game turned into a debacle, I wrote:
I hope like hell that Miles sticks around another year and gets redemption like Pitino has.
Now I’m guessing that I’m like most of you in that I really don’t care.
Here’s a key - if Eichorst files Miles he’d better do it and have a replacement in place fast before the talent that Miles assembled decides that they’d be better off somewhere else. If Eichorst determines (or maybe he already has) that Miles is key to retaining the talent for another year, then maybe Miles gets another year. Either way, retaining the talent and building upon what Miles has done is more important than Miles himself.
Either way it sucks that the worst home loss in the history of the program was Tai Webster’s last home game. And it sucks that Webster only scored eight points, ending his 30-game streaking of scoring in double figures.
There is an overabundance of suck right now.
This Nebraska team and Tim Miles will get another chance to make it right when they take on Penn State Wednesday afternoon in the Big Ten tournament in Washington, D.C.
Maybe they’ll go on a run. Or maybe the season will end Wednesday, along with Miles tenure.
Time will tell.