Nebraska head basketball coach Tim Miles met with the media on Friday before the team travels to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, for Sunday night’s neutral site game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the Sanford Pentagon. During the press conference, Miles revealed that freshman guard Amir Harris is continuing his struggle with illness.
“Amir Harris is still out right now. We think it might be mono,” Miles said. “We want to be careful with that, and take our time with his return.”
Coming off the bench, Harris has played in nine games for Nebraska, averaging 11.6 minutes per game. Harris may not fill up the stat sheet for the Big Red, but his contributions on defense will be sorely missed by the Huskers.
Miles also said that “at least three guys” have missed practice, but did not specify which players when pressed for comment. “Not everybody will go on the bus,” Miles said. “Let’s put it that way.”
Freshman forward Brady Heiman said that the team made sure to take plenty of precautions in order to prevent anyone else from getting sick. “I know they had someone come in and clean the whole locker room to disinfect everything,” Heiman said, adding that he was in fine health.
Oklahoma State is currently in the midst of a three game losing streak, and are 4-5 overall on the season under second year head coach, Mike Boynton. The Cowboys can shoot the ball well from the three point line, as they are 10th in the nation in three point percentage, and lead the Big 12 in three point shots made, with nine three pointers a game.
“That team shoots the cover off the ball. They shoot the three so well,” Miles said. “They make a lot of them. A lot of different guys make them. They’ll have four guys on the floor at all times making threes.”
Oklahoma State’s play style is similar to a team Nebraska has already faced and defeated this season, Illinois, as Boynton spent time as an assistant under current Illini head coach Brad Underwood. The Huskers beat Illinois 75-60 in Pinnacle Bank Arena back on December 2nd.
After plans fell through to try and schedule a Big 12 team for a home and home series, Miles and the Nebraska basketball team settled on a neutral site location in South Dakota, with the assistance of contacts Miles had at Sanford Health, the company which the arena is named for. The arena, which seats a little over 3,200 fans, will provide a unique dynamic to the game and for head coach Tim Miles, who is originally from South Dakota. Miles was born in Doland, 150 miles away from Sioux Falls, where his parents, Tip and Alyce, currently reside.
The trip will act as a family reunion of sorts for the head coach. Miles said his mother and father, aged 92 and 87, will be at the game. Miles has also had plenty of old friends and family members contact him as the game nears.
“It’s got more interesting as I get closer to the date and people reach out and stuff like that,” Miles said. “But I’m trying to keep the same routine as much as possible.” However, this weekend Miles will at least be breaking one routine, but for good reason. “I think I’m going to stay Sunday night and have lunch with my parents.” A win would just be the cherry on top for a trip that will undoubtedly be memorable for Miles.
Coverage of the game will begin at 5 o’clock this Sunday on 1400, KLIN.
(Photo by Kenny Larabee)