“I would have never dreamt in five years, this is where we’d be, losing to Gardner-Webb, and that’s not to discredit Gardner-Webb…We’re not where we should be.”
~ Tim Miles, December 18th, 2016
That post game quote from Nebraska Head Coach Tim Miles pretty much says it all, doesn't it?
By the coach's own admission, it's time to officially raise the red flag on the state of the Nebraska basketball program.
To support this claim, I present the following three pieces of evidence for your consideration:
- December 18, 2016: Gardner-Webb 70, Nebraska 62
- December 20, 2015: Samford 69, Nebraska 58
- December 10, 2014: Incarnate Word 74, Nebraska 73
Three terrible losses. All at home, all in the month of December. And although I'm not familiar with Nebraska's finances, I'd wager three games in which opponents not only collected a win, but also a paycheck in Lincoln.
Teams that get at-large berths to the NCAA tournament don't lose games like these at home. Heck, teams that get at-large berths to the NIT don't lose many of them.
In no way am I suggesting that Nebraska needs to play in the NCAA tournament every year to be considered successful. But shouldn't at least making the postseason be the goal? If it's not, then what's the point?
Making the NCAA tournament in 2014 was like catching lightning in a bottle for the Huskers, but once they made it, it gave fans a taste of the big time. And once fans have that taste in their mouths, its darn near impossible to get it out.
Just ask the football team about that, when it comes to the taste of winning national titles.
There have been plenty of positives under Tim Miles' watch at Nebraska. From a strict rating standpoint, recruiting has never been better.
Fan interest in the program has also peaked the past few years. Even despite mediocre campaigns the past two seasons, fans have continued to fill Pinnacle Bank Arena to the gills nearly every night.
Now, Sunday was probably the worst home crowd in several years, but the opponent (not exactly a sexy name) and the weather undoubtedly played into the weak showing.
I'm not ready to suggest that Tim Miles job should be in jeopardy, mainly because of all the positives listed above. But the red flag should be flying the basketball offices, and his seat could be getting warm if the Big Ten season doesn't unfold better than Sunday played out.
We can talk in circles for days about Nebraska being a football school, not having any basketball tradition, and so on and so fourth. But at the end of the day, ask yourself this one, simple question. Should a Big Ten school EVER lose to school from the Big South on their home court?
If you ask Tim Miles, well, here you go:
“That was just unacceptable. It’s unacceptable in my book, it should be for our fans, for anybody. It should be unacceptable for our players.”