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April 13, 2012

Q&A: Miles' recruiting philosophies taking shape

New Nebraska basketball head coach Tim Miles's coaching staff is finally starting to take shape, and with the NCAA's early signing period officially in full swing, HuskerOnline.com decided to sit down with Miles to get a better idea of his staff's recruiting philosophies.

Here's is what Miles had to say during a Q&A session Friday morning…

HOL: You've hired two of your three full-time assistants in Ron Coleman and Ben Johnson. To start, can you give us an idea of Ron's biggest strengths as a recruiter and where his target recruiting regions are? Obviously he has those strong ties to Chicago.

TM: "I think Ron's greatest quality is he was a very good former player, (so) he can relate to players well. He's got great enthusiasm and energy. He was a long-time high school coach in Chicago, (and) a long-time AAU coach in Chicago. He's relatively new to the college game. There's certainly a learning curve for everybody. Ron's included with that. But I'd say his greatest strength is Illinois, especially Chicago. We signed Jermaine Morgan this year at Colorado State, and that was all because of Ron, there's no doubt about it."

HOL: How about Johnson? I assume his strongest connections are in the Minneapolis and Iowa regions?

TM: "I wouldn't limit Ben to just the upper-Midwest. He's coached in Ohio. He's coached down in Texas. Ben has got the skill and ability to go just about anywhere and recruit."

HOL: When you finally do get your full staff in place, what are some of the regions you specifically want to recruit the hardest?

TM: "Let's just look at the history of Nebraska. When Danny Nee was going to NCAA tournaments, he had players from the region and players from out East for sure. So that tells you that you're going to have to have the wherewithal to go outside of your region. At the same time, you need to be able to go outside of the region, but the kid's got to have a compelling reason to be there and stay. You don't want guys that as soon as they aren't playing as a freshman, are out the door. I'm willing to go anywhere to recruit. We've gone to the Southeast, Texas when I was at Colorado State. We'll go wherever each situation lies. Part of that is how we craft our staff. We're still going to have one or two more spots coming in."

HOL: Saturday will be the first time you've ever had anything like Nebraska's football spring game to use as a recruiting tool. Are you pretty excited about having that kind of platform at your disposal?

TM: "I think it's a tremendous opportunity for our program to show how proud the Big Red Nation is. I think that's just a glimpse of what can happen for basketball. All I've heard is that you're going to dread parking."

HOL: One of Doc Sadler's biggest problems in building this program was that he got caught up in a vicious cycle of roster turnover every year where he essentially had to hit the reset button on his roster due to graduation or players leaving. Do you take that into consideration when you say you're in no rush to fill out your roster at this point?

TM: "Yeah, there's no doubt. You have to have an even balance of classes. So how you do that, you know, you have to be as skillful as possible and you have to retain guys. If you don't have retention, you don't have an even balance of classes. But it's hard to do. Even looking at my Colorado State team, it's going to have a six-man senior class next year. Sometimes that happens, but at the same time, it could be a top-25 team. So it's a pretty good problem to have, I'd say."

HOL: Knowing what you have coming back next season in terms of the current roster, how open would you be to redshirting some of the new players you bring in order to establish a solid foundation going into the 2013-14 season?

TM: "I think every option is going to stay on the table in terms of how we craft our team, which means we could recruit from anywhere and anybody. When they get here, we can do anything with them - play them, redshirt them. I just think it's way too early to make any decisions that way, and we don't have to make those decisions until Nov. 1, and we're not going to."



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