It has only been a month since the 2011-2012 Nebraska Men’s basketball season ended, but loyal fans of the Cornhuskers are already looking forward to next year.
“I love the Huskers, and always have,” says 51 year-old Lincoln resident Gerald Duval. “But every team has their ups and their downs, and next year’s going to be a ‘rebuilding’ year of sorts.”
“Just like the last 14 have been,” he added.
Current student and Nebrasketball fan Jake Sorensen agrees.
“It’s tough, following a team like this,” says the junior journalism major. “Every year you expect just a little bit of progress.”
Sorensen, who was seven the last time the Huskers made the NCAA tournament, is optimistic about new head coach Tim Miles.
“He brings a spirit, enthusiasm, and a history of tourney visits,” he said, “though that somehow seems familiar.”
Undoubtedly, he is referring to former head coach Doc Sadler, who was fired after six ineffective years. He could also be referring to prior coach Barry Collier, whose Husker career came to a similar end.
The Huskers, who last appeared in the NCAA tournament in 1996, have the unfortunate distinction of having never won a tournament game, despite an otherwise storied athletic history. Miles, who recently led Colorado State to a victory in the NCAA tournament, hopes to change this.
“It’s a privilege to come here and bring the Huskers into a ‘new era’ of sorts,” Miles said. “This job is incredibly attractive, especially with the new arena and a chance to coach in the Big 10.”
“I’m thrilled to be a Husker, and I hope I can bring the program their first NCAA win, and maybe even more,” he said. “Unless a job in the ACC opens up first.”