Recruiting in college basketball and drawing fans to the game is similar to the age old question of which came first, the chicken or the egg? Recruit better players, start winning and more fans show up. Prove to a recruit that you have a rabid fan base and good players will start coming to your school. That is the balancing act that new men’s basketball coach Tim Miles is faced with and he’s ready for the challenge.
Miles truly believes that fans can make a difference in recruiting. In fact, he reached out to Nebraska football star Ndamukong Suh, who told Miles the fans sold him on coming to Lincoln. Miles said that same culture needs to exist in basketball. He also wants to create a rowdy student section. He said he wants student fans standing every game and he jokingly gave fans permission that if an usher asks them to sit down he said, “They (the students) can say no, Coach Miles told me I didn’t have to.”
The first piece in the recruiting puzzle Miles needs to put together is his coaching staff. He needs a staff that is familiar with the Big Ten. He needs assistant coaches who know the style of play, knows where to find those players and knows how to help get those kids to Nebraska. Miles is also going to focus on in-state kids. Whether it’s down the road in Omaha, or out in the western plains, Miles said if they are good enough to play D-I basketball, they will be playing for the Huskers.
Miles says it’s important to recruit the Big Ten footprint as well as the Big 12 north footprint.
AUDIO Tim Miles on how recruiting and fans go hand-in-hand (3:00)