Ed: Over the next few weeks, BSD will be previewing all 11 Big Ten opponents prior to hoops season. Today we start with Nebraska.
|Last Year||12-18 (4-14)|
|Coach||Tim Miles, 1st year|
|Who's Gone||Bo Spencer, Brandon Richardson, Jorge Brian Diaz, Toney McCray
|Who's Back||Brandon Ubel, Dylan Talley|
|Who's New||Shavon Shields, Benny Parker, Deverell Biggs, Sergej Vucetic|
It was a rough inaugural Big Ten season for the Cornhuskers last year. They had hopes of making a splash with their senior-laden squad, but limped their way to a last place tie with PSU. Doc Sadler was consequently fired, and AD Tom Osborne needed to find a candidate capable of taking advantage of Nebraska's sparkling new facilities. After a brief search, Osborne lured the popular Tim Miles away from Colorado State, who just came off their first NCAA bid in 9 years.
Miles has won at all four of his previous head coaching gigs throughout the midwest, including turning around CSU from a 7-25 season in 2007 to the NCAAs last year. He has a similar persona as Chambers, and he works just as hard on the recruiting trail. His recent claim to fame has been his popular twitter feed, as he's known to tweet during actual games.
While Miles could turn out as a quality hire in due time for the Huskers, they are destined for the basement this season, much like the Nittany Lions the year before.
As the numbers indicate, Nebraska lacks any proven experience outside of seniors Brandon Ubel and Dylan Talley. Ubel is the only returning starter and while he was incredibly efficient last year (118.5 ORtg), he only used 14% of the possessions when he was on the floor. Talley will be counted on to score and has some ability (8.8 PPG off the bench in '11-'12), but he's going to be focus of every defense until someone steps up.
Nebraska has eleven players on scholarship, but two of their new transfers are ineligible (Terran Petteway from Texas Tech and Walter Pitchford from Florida). Also, one of Miles' recruits, JuCo G Deverell Biggs, is intent on redshirting this season. That would actually leave the Huskers with just eight scholarship players for the season, including senior center Andre Almeida who has struggled with injuries (medical redshirt in 2011-2012). Needless to say, they're going to be stretched very thin all year long.
In one of the strongest eras of Big Ten basketball, this team clearly doesn't have much of a chance. They are arguably thinner and more inexperienced than the team PSU fielded last season. Tim Miles has already secured 8 players in just over six months in Lincoln, but he's going to have to wait a year before they can suit up for the Big Red. Anything greater than three conference wins for this squad would be an incredible campaign.
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