Published Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 1:44 pm / Updated at 1:59 pm
NU's Miles salutes Jays' Big East move

LINCOLN — Creighton’s move to the new Big East Conference drew a salute Wednesday from Nebraska basketball coach Tim Miles.

“If Creighton thinks it’s great, then I think it’s great,’’ Miles said. “Some of the teams they will be competing against are at a higher level. Marquette looks good. Villanova has had very good basketball, and others.

“So if they think it’s good, it is. They know what they’re doing over there.’’

Miles quickly responded “no’’ when asked if Creighton’s conference switch changes any recruiting dynamics between CU and Nebraska.

“Creighton has been successful whether they were in the Missouri Valley or now in the Big East,’’ he said. “Their program stands on its own two feet when it comes to recruiting.

“They are a tough team to recruit against, regardless of their league.’’

Miles is immersed in his own recruiting, having offered three scholarships for the spring period, which runs April 17 through May 15. The prospects:

>> Matthew Atewe, 6-foot-9, 230 pounds, Notre Dame Prep Academy: Nebraska made a home visit to Atewe in Toronto earlier this week. Atewe has tweeted that he plans to commit this Saturday, and has narrowed his list to NU, Charlotte, Auburn and Nevada.

>> Leslee Smith, 6-8, 250, Seward County (Kan.) Community College: Smith, from the British Virgin Islands, was scheduled for a Husker campus visit Wednesday. He played as a freshman at SMU, starting six games. He left when SMU hired Larry Brown. Smith averaged 8.3 points and 6.6 rebounds at Seward CC

>> Sai Tummala, 6-7, 215, from Salt Lake (Utah) CC: Tummala is a Philadelphia native who attended prep school in Phoenix then was a preferred walk-on as a freshman at Michigan. This season, he averaged 14.5 points and shot 40.4 percent on 3-pointers. Other offers are BYU, Santa Clara, Penn, Drake and Miami of Ohio.

Nebraska has three offers out and two scholarships available for 2013-14.

That leads to speculation on whether current players might transfer. Miles declined to comment, saying there is no timeline on any potential roster movement and that he hasn’t met with returning players yet.

As for assistant coaches and administrative staff, Miles said: “I don’t expect any staff additions, subtractions or substitutions at this point.’’

A player-development spot on the Nebraska staff hasn’t been filled since Ronald “Chin’’ Coleman left before the season to take a full-time assistant’s job at Bradley. Miles said he is waiting for the NCAA to rule on recruiting changes before deciding how to proceed with staff allocation.

NOTES: Miles dismissed any speculation linking his name to the coaching opening at Minnesota. He said his policy is never to comment on any current or future job status “in any regard.’’ . . . No progress has been made on finding an opening-game opponent in November at Pinnacle Bank Arena, Miles said.

Contact the writer:


Contact the writer: Lee Barfknecht    |   402-444-1024    |  

Lee Barfknecht has won nine national writing awards from four separate organizations, and is a 12-time winner of the Nebraska sportswriter of the year award. He covers Big Ten football and basketball, Nebraska basketball and other college financial issues for The World-Herald.



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