Preview: Nebraska Cornhuskers

Can Tim Miles' squad build upon the progress they made last season?

Updated: October 22, 2013, 9:36 AM ET
By Bradford Doolittle | ESPN Insider

Tim MilesEthan Miller/Getty ImagesTim Miles has the makings of a decent program in Lincoln, but still has a ways to go.

Nebraska Cornhuskers

2012-13: 15-18 (5-13)
In-conference offense: 0.92 points per possession (11th)
In-conference defense: 1.07 points per possession (10th)

To say that Nebraska is a football school is a gross understatement. The university is situated in a football state, as most anyone who has spent more than five minutes there can tell you. The men's basketball program, on other hand, has long been a cipher in the region's sports consciousness, not to mention on the national landscape.

Nebraska has earned just six NCAA tournament berths in 75 years, and none since 1998. And the school has yet to win even a single game in the Big Dance. The icon of its hoops "golden era" -- a streak of four straight tourney bids in the early 1990s -- was Eric Piatkowski. Less than 200 miles to the southeast, at a very similar university in a very similar setting, lies Kansas, a program with 14 Final Four trips and an active streak of 24 tournament appearances -- and a lousy football team. It's amazing what emphasis can do to a school's identity.

Cornhusker hoops isn't likely to catch up to the Jayhawks any time soon, but the Nebraska basketball program might be waking from its 117-year-old slumber. Highly regarded coach Tim Miles is starting his second season in Lincoln, the school's third since moving to the Big Ten. And the Huskers will be spending their first season in Pinnacle Bank Arena, the centerpiece of an economic development initiative in downtown Lincoln. Unlike any of his predecessors, Miles can now show recruits facilities that are as sparkly as those of his competitors.


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