The storyline of the offseason for Tim Miles continues to be the youth of the Huskers.
That theme spilled into his Thursday news conference at the Big Ten basketball Media Day, where the Nebraska coach seemed to find comfort in one thing: His young team has been in some battles.
“We have a group of sophomores who played a lot last year,” Miles said. “We played 21 Big Ten games last year. We were 8-13 and the difference was two-tenths of a point. Our opponents got 71.3 points a game we got 71.1. So we had a lot of guys involved in close games.”
Statistically, that’s a little more true than it was on the court.
Nebraska played in six games that were decided by 10 points of less in the Big Ten last year, four of which were by five points or less. But the Huskers also lost by double digits eight times in Big Ten play, and won seven games by double digits. Three wins over Rutgers by an average of 25 points, offsetting 16- and 19-point losses to Purdue, and five losses by either 10 or 11 points.
Regardless, Miles likes the experience his eight underclassmen have, especially going into their challenging schedule.
“They’re bigger and stronger, just more confident,” Miles said. “Just going into that second year you feel a little better about yourself, and I’m excited about it.”
Nebraska is projected to finish near the bottom of the Big Ten again this year. Miles said he’s OK with that.
“I know we’re picked toward the bottom, but that’s kind of where I like to be so we can pleasantly surprise all of our friends and colleagues in the room today,” Miles said.