Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, October 16, 2014

His first two trips to Big Ten media days, Nebraska coach Tim Miles was out of the spotlight.

Sure, he was always good for some comic relief. He even took out his cell phone once and snapped a picture of the assembled media and tweeted it. The media was in love. No doubt, Miles always left an impression as a personality. But the Nebraska team he coached didn?t create much of a stir. In fact, the Cornhuskers were picked to finish last in the Big Ten the last two years.

?Well, yeah. You guys haven't got it right yet,? chided Miles. ?You know, an old coaching friend told me one time, never trust the media unless it helps you with recruiting, so I kind of stick by that.?


This year, Miles? team has to deal with expectations, as Nebraska is expected to be an upper-division Big Ten/Top 25-caliber team that could contend for the conference crown and should ease into the NCAA tournament. Has his approach changed now that expectations have for his club?

?Well, am I meaner to them you mean?? said Miles. ?I think it's important that the guys understand that your college experience only happens once. Take every day, live in every moment, embrace it, and try and get better every day. That's kind of how we try and stay in the moment all the time.

?Expectations are what they are, but nobody should have higher expectations for us than ourselves. The one thing I'll tell you about this group is I think they remember blowing an 18 point lead to Ohio State in the Big Ten Tournament. They lost their mojo, did not practice the next week going into the NCAA Tournament, did not play well against Baylor, at least for the portion that I was there, and then — don't ask me about that. I'll get fined.?

This is a loaded Nebraska team with all five starters back from a squad that finished 19-13 overall and 11-7 in the Big Ten. This after a 1-5 start to the Big Ten season followed by an 11-3 finish to push the program to its first NCAA tourney since 1998. The unabashed leader is Terran Petteway, the Big Ten scoring champ who forms a nice combo with Shavon Shields.

?I think they remember the way the season ended rather than that big run that put them in a very good position,? said Miles. ?Because, honestly, we were 11 out of 13 or something like that, and that's a championship-style run, which is pretty cool. But that's not what we remember, and that's not what they remember. They put in the work like they're still picked dead last.?


About Tom Dienhart senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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