Tim Miles: 4
Doc Sadler: 0
That’s how many native Nebraskans the two coaches signed to scholarship the past five years. But how will moving up to the Big Ten change Miles’ strategy on recruiting Nebraska kids? It’s one of the biggest questions I have entering NU’s new era.
Miles can’t win in the Big Ten with a starting lineup of Nebraska kids. But his strategy should absolutely prioritize in-state prospects more than Sadler did. Not only do those kids give you intangible qualities like pride and work ethic (see: Tom Osborne’s walk-on program), they can perform.
Look at the last five years. Take Antoine Young, Josh Jones, Elliot Eliason, Wes Eikmeier, Jesse Carr, Greg and Dwight Smith. I can’t make the NCAA tournament if those are my top seven. But I CAN make the NCAA tournament if those guys are 3 through 9 in my rotation.
Then add two Top-150 prospects (from Chicago or Detroit or wherever) who can compete for all-conference honors. That’s a blueprint for success.
Where it gets interesting, of course, is that Greg McDermott will want some of those same in-state prospects. We should see some good recruiting battles, starting in the hallways of Omaha Central.
>> Doug McDermott, AP All-American. That’s the big one. That’s the gold standard. Check out this list of AP All-Americans dating back to 1948. I could spend an hour looking at it. It’s college basketball history. And now McDermott is part of it.
As I wrote in today’s World-Herald, the best way to put in perspective McDermott’s accomplishment is looking at who WASN’T a first-teamer: John Havlicek. Lenny Wilkens. Jo Jo White. Bernard King. Clyde Drexler. Glen Rice. Hank Gathers. Corliss Williamson. Jacque Vaughn.
Here’s another way to measure McDermott: Look at the first-teamers from outside the power-six conferences: Jimmer Fredette. Stephon Curry. Chris-Douglas Roberts. Adam Morrison. Andrew Bogut. Jameer Nelson. Dwyane Wade. David West.
That’s the entire list the past 10 years. Only CDR was not a first-round NBA draft pick; he was a second-rounder. Can McDermott be a pro? That’s a discussion for another day. On this day, soak in what he’s already done.
>> The Kansas City Star accompanies the Chiefs’ brass to Iowa’s Pro Day. Check out this quote from Scott Pioli about Kirk Ferentz:
“So many other teams run spread offenses, and you don’t see a lot of guys playing the same type of game that’s being played in the National Football League. That’s not the case here.”
I guess that’s a friendly way of saying Ferentz is behind the times.
>> Clay Travis offers a mock draft of national media personalities. Cool idea, but I don’t agree with many of his selections. I would have Dan Patrick No. 1 instead of Scott Van Pelt. Kirk Herbstreit (8th), Chris Fowler (10th), Charles Barkley (12th) and Cris Collinsworth (24th) should be higher. Jay Bilas (27th) should be much, much higher.
Who’s overrated? Nick Faldo (15th), Marcellus Wiley (21st), Tony Kornheiser (23rd), Mike Florio (25th), Gary Danielson (31st) and, most of all, Tony Reali (22nd). How in the world is Reali even on the list?
>> Another great read from a terrific sportswriter. Jeff Passan on former No. 1 pick Matt Bush.
>> Russ Smith, Louisville’s wild card, may be the key to beating Kentucky.
>> How Harrison Barnes’ branding plan may have backfired.