There’s no way to mince words—given the expectations at the beginning of the season and the promise with which this team started out, Nebraska’s 2018-19 season is a massive disappointment. From a national ranking and solid tournament expectations in early January, the team went on a swoon of a magnitude that brought new meaning to the word. Further complicating matters, the Huskers were decimated by injuries to an extent that is rarely seen. When they limped into the Big Ten Tournament this week at 16-16, they had just put on a rather miraculous and exciting comeback win over the Hawkeyes to close their home season on a high note—but they were still considered a toss-up against Rutgers, and they were playing with only seven players (six on scholarship.)
However, over the first three days of the tournament, the Huskers put on a show that demonstrated the best features of Nebrasketball and their coach, Tim Miles, and reminded everyone why firing him isn’t the slam dunk decision that many might assume looking at the Huskers on paper. Nebraska’s players never quit on their coach or each other this season, and never was that more evident than in the Big Ten Tournament, as they knocked off Rutgers, and then Maryland, with several players never sitting a single minute. They nearly knocked off Wisconsin as well, improbable as it seemed, with players clearly operating at a level of exhaustion that is nearly unfathomable. They had game plans that allowed them to succeed, or nearly so, in highly adverse circumstances. Coach Miles also put on a display of his immense likeability, turning what might have been an embarrassing courtside trip into a hilarious and self-deprecating bit.
Following Nebraska’s loss against Wisconsin on Friday, Nebraska AD Bill Moos offered a concise statement about Miles’ future:
“We will await Sunday’s announcement to see if we receive an invitation to participate in the NIT. Once our season is completed, my evaluation of our men’s basketball program will draw to a close.”
So... Miles’ fate hangs in the balance. The smart money seems to think he’s gone, boosters being the unreasonable sort they usually are, but many commentators and fans aren’t ready to see him out the door yet. What do we think? Should Tim Miles be fired?
Yes, Fire Him!
DJ: Sure, if this also means Turgeon is fired for yesterday’s performance against him.
WhiteSpeedReceiver: No! I love having an accountant coaching in the B1G! It gives me hope for the future. He’s a loveable goof that’s done a good-but-not-great job, and I’d hope that he’ll get a little more time to see what can be done at Nebraska.
Andrew K: I would probably give him one more season, but with the understanding it’s tourney or unemployment next year.
Jesse Collins: I’m of the belief you keep him unless Moos has some secret deal to lure like, Greg Popovich and the top five recruits next year. It really does need to have legit expectations in it and he should understand that going in. But, I like Miles and his teams played hard. Let’s see what one last run gives him.
Beezer: No! He seems like a good enough coach that if he gets even a little bit lucky with recruiting, developing, and injury health could reasonably compete for the top of the B1G every couple years or so. His teams aren’t ever terrible or embarrassing, a small stretch of this season aside, and they’re usually fun to watch.
Babaoreally: Do not fire Tim Miles. He fell while running and then got up and said, “Safe!”
BRT: I follow the argument for firing him, but I’d personally be really disappointed if they did. I think he’s a good coach who could stand to recruit a little better, and to maybe make a few more appeasing sacrifices to the injury gods.
But I also think it’s important to note that that goofy, endearing personality has worked really well for him at Nebraska. People are still going to see this team. That was not the case with several of his predecessors. Miles has done a lot to build a following for Nebrasketball, and that’s no small accomplishment in my mind. If part of the point of college sports is getting butts in the seats... he’s done that. And I don’t know that that’s a given for a lot of coaches in basketball. You have to do a lot to make basketball stand out in Nebraska from football and volleyball, and Miles has done that.
I am less familiar with the coaching landscape in basketball, but I think there is also a question of who Nebraska would get right now who would do a better job. I would like Nebraska to not finish at the bottom of the Big Ten, and I think that’s reasonable. But if there are people out there who think there’s some magic coach who is going to come to Nebraska and turn them into Michigan State or something... well, they need to get a grip. (Note: I realize those people are out there, because I know my fanbase.)
I can’t make up my mind!
Stew: I’m not 100% sure. But the amount of transfers from actual players would be alarming if I were a UNL fan. I’ve never been a big fan of his offenses, either.
There you have it. We seem to mostly be in agreement that we don’t want to see Miles go. Unfortunately, none of us are Nebraska boosters, so it probably won’t matter.
Tell us what you think!
Should Nebraska fire Tim Miles?
This poll is closed
Yes, he’s had enough time and too few results
No, he’s still doing a decent job at a school like Nebraska
I’m not sure, but that wipeout was epic