March 27, 2012

Miles reassures Shields, Parker after home visits

When new Nebraska basketball coach Tim Miles officially took the job, he said he needed to personally review each of the Huskers' five commits for the 2012 class to make sure they fit what he wanted his team and program to be about.

So, three days after being introduced at NU, Miles hit the skies in the school's private jet and made personal in-home visits with Husker commits Shavon Shields and Benny Parker on Tuesday night.

Miles stopped by Olathe, Kan., first to visit Shields, a three-star shooting guard who signed with Nebraska back in September. After that, he hopped back in his jet and flew out to Kansas City, Kan., to meet with Parker and his family.

While Parker, a three-star point guard, admitted he was nervous of what would happen at Nebraska after former coach Doc Sadler was fired earlier this month, he said he was instantly reassured with his future in Lincoln after meeting with Miles.

"When Coach Miles walked through the door, he seemed real excited and real energetic, and he said he was real happy about getting the chance to coach me," Parker said. "Then he told me at Colorado State he said he would've recruited me hard, but he just thought that (CSU) wouldn't be in my final decision, so he gave up in trying to recruit me. But he told me that he's happy he got me now."

Parker said that his previous history with Miles definitely helped make it an easy transition, as Miles told him he was already very familiar with his game and what he brought to the point guard position.

"I definitely feel relieved and good," Parker said. "He knows my background and I know some things about him. I was worried that if Nebraska was bringing in a new coach who didn't know nothing about me, I'd pretty much be in a bad situation. But knowing that Coach Miles is coaching there makes it all good."

Miles told Parker and Shields that both players would remain part of Nebraska's 2012 recruiting class, but apparently he couldn't say the same for the Huskers' three other junior college commits in the class.

Parker said Miles told him he and his staff were going to continue to recruit for 2012 because they weren't sure if one or even more would be academically eligible to enroll at Nebraska.

In particular, it sounds like Miles isn't very optimistic about juco power forward Fahro Alihodzic, who moved back to the Canary Islands after being one of 10 players to be suspended from his Southeastern (Iowa) Community College team for "violating college and athletic department rules."

"(Miles) said one of those juco recruits (Alihodzic) was out in Spain and might not make grades, so he said he's got to do some more recruiting in the 2012 class," Parker said. "But he pretty much said that me and Shavon were locked down and good to stay. He didn't know about the juco kids because their grades weren't where they wanted them at."

Overall, Parker said he felt totally comfortable with Miles as his future coach, and said Miles assured him that he would fit right in with the style of play Nebraska was going to run next season.

"I feel really comfortable with him," Parker said. "Like I said, he knows me, knows about me and knows what I can do. He just seems real cool. He laid everything on the table, and he's honest with everything. He said I'm the guy he wants.

"He said he depends a lot on his guards. He doesn't like to run a slow-paced game. He likes to go real up-tempo, and that fits my style. He needs a guard who can play defense as well, and that fits me too."

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