Tim Miles Brings His Positive Attitude to Nebraska BasketballPosted by Kevin Trahan (@k_trahan) on November 4th, 2013
Kevin Trahan (@k_trahan) submitted this article after attending the Big Ten Media Day in Chicago on October 31.
After Nebraska fell behind to Illinois 35-23 at halftime last season, Huskers coach Tim Miles didn’t like what he saw. So, he tweeted about it: “We played with zero pride.” The tweet didn’t help play on the court — Nebraska went on to lose the game, 71-51 — but the halftime tweet has become a staple for Miles, dating back to his days at Colorado State. The Twitter legend began in Fort Collins, too, at the urging of marketing director Ben Chulick. “He came to me and he said, ‘Listen, we want you to Facebook or Twitter or whatever it is,’ and I’m like, wait, what’s Twitter, what’s Facebook? I had no idea,” Miles said. “So when he said what it was, I’m like, we’re not doing Facebook. I graduated with 13 kids in my high school class. I already know where they all are, I don’t need to reconnect. So what’s Twitter again? 140 characters. I’m like, I can do it. I can do 140 characters.” As it turns out, he can do it quite well. Technically, it’s not Miles tweeting out his thoughts from the locker room. “I just say it to [the sports information director], ‘We better flippin’ rebound,’ and then he edits it appropriately and we go from there.” But technicalities aside, the halftime tweet and Miles’ overall Twitter presence — he has nearly 50,000 followers — are among the best in college basketball, even if the Huskers can’t yet match that on the court.
Nebraska is known for its athletics. The football team is built on great tradition and the women’s volleyball and women’s basketball programs are both consistently good. Heck, even the bowling team is a winner. “We won the bowling deal,” Miles said. “I watched that on ESPN. I was going nuts. It was good. We were good at bowling.” The one thing Nebraska can’t seem to win at? Men’s basketball. The Huskers have not been to the NCAA Tournament since 1998, and in Miles’ second year in Lincoln, he made sure to point out at Big Ten Media Days that his team was supposed to finish near the cellar.“I see we’re picked 12th out of 12 again,” Miles opened with. “And it’s not just by you guys. I see it’s by everybody.” That’s not sarcasm; the fact is, Nebraska probably won’t be very good at basketball this year. But luckily, Miles doesn’t care for facts. “I understand why we are — facts in life are really interesting,” he said. “I’ve always tried to ignore them.”
Building Nebraska into a legitimate basketball program will take time, and while the Huskers may well be on their way — they’re opening up a brand new basketball arena this year — this doesn’t look like the year. So in the meantime, while Miles waits for the on-court product to catch up, he’ll use his personality — a “disorder,” he jokes — and his Twitter game to keep winning off the court. That isn’t some cliché: Miles was ranked the best “tweeter” of every coach in the Big Ten by the Sporting News earlier this year. His tweets cover all the bases. Some are halftime tweets, some are generic marketing, some are random NBA analysis and some are just goofy. Last year, Miles got into a Twitter conversation with @FauxPelini, the popular parody account of Nebraska football coach Bo Pelini. “He was sneaking into my fridge in my backyard. He was stealing my beer… no I’m just joking,” Miles said. Last year at Big Ten Media Day, Miles tweeted a picture from the podium. This year, he scheduled a tweet to post while he was talking, but that one didn’t get the same response. “It’s an art form for me, but this one didn’t work,” he said. “Sometimes, if I don’t feel like I’m very funny or very entertaining I don’t do it, and if I feel like I’m on a roll we’ll do a whole bunch of them. It depends.”
It might be awhile until the Huskers get on a roll on the court, but in the meantime, Miles’ Twitter game is rolling right along.