LINCOLN — Nebraska basketball coach Tim Miles told The World-Herald on Thursday he is set to meet with Athletic Director Bill Moos early next week to discuss his vision for the program’s future.
“I’m going to present to Bill my five-year plan,’’ said Miles, who finished his sixth season Wednesday with a first-round NIT loss at Mississippi State.
“We’ll talk about how we got to this point, and how we can continue in an upward trend. I look forward to that meeting.’’
Miles has two years left on his contract after previous A.D. Shawn Eichorst, who was fired last September, declined each of the past two years to grant the one-year extensions that football and basketball coaches normally get.
This season, the Huskers finished 22-11, matching the school’s second-highest victory total. Their 13-5 Big Ten mark, while tying for fourth place, broke the school record for conference victories. A preseason media poll picked NU to finish 13th out of 14 teams.
Overall, Miles is 97-97 (.500) and 46-62 (.434) in conference play with one NCAA and one NIT appearance.
Nebraska basketball also had news Thursday on two other fronts:
» Junior guard James Palmer, a first-team All-Big Ten selection, will go through the evaluation process of the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee.
This doesn’t mean Palmer is leaving Nebraska. The advisory group counsels players who consider turning professional on where they might slot in the NBA draft. NU did the same with Terran Petteway and Andrew White, who both returned for another college season after their reviews.
» Assistant coach Michael Lewis’ name has come up in speculation among possible candidates at Evansville to succeed Marty Simmons, who was fired. Miles said he hadn’t talked to Lewis but would do anything he could to help an assistant get a head coaching job.
Lewis, who played point guard at Indiana for Bob Knight, grew up 65 miles from Evansville in Jasper, Indiana.
As for Miles’ job situation, he asked for the meeting with Moos, and NU basketball overseer Marc Boehm set it up. Miles declined to give specifics of his plan.
In taking over for Doc Sadler in March 2012, Miles received a seven-year contract — the longest ever in Nebraska athletics at the time. New football coach Scott Frost’s deal also is seven years.
The industry standard for football and men’s basketball coaches has been to keep contract lengths at five years in order to avoid negative recruiting. With four years or less, other schools can float a narrative that a coach is on shaky ground or that he won’t be there for the recruit’s time at the school.
The first time Miles needed a one-year extension to stay at five years, he got one after the 2014-15 season from Eichorst. But extensions were denied after going 16-18 in 2015-16 and 12-19 in 2016-17.
Moos, hired in October, will make those decisions now.
He wasn’t available for comment this week, but sources with knowledge of the situation said Moos has praised Miles’ work to NU President Hank Bounds and other university officials.
Miles, who took Nebraska to its only NCAA appearance (2014) in the past 20 years, said before the season he knew outsiders questioned his job status.
“But I think making the NCAA tournament,’’ he told The World-Herald, “is closer to a reality than it is a dream.’’
The Huskers played well enough, according to NCAA selection committee members, to enter the discussion among eight teams for an at-large bid, but ultimately were sent to the NIT.
Next season, Nebraska returns its four leading scorers, four leading rebounders and six of the top eight in its normal playing rotation, including a Big Ten player of the year candidate in Palmer.
Miles said he hasn’t heard from any players who might want to transfer, though it wouldn’t shock those near the program if junior forward Jack McVeigh returned to Australia to play professionally.
McVeigh saw his playing time drop this season to 7.5 minutes in 14 appearances after playing in 30 games as a sophomore and starting 11.
In November, NU signed 6-foot-2 point guard Xavier Johnson of Arlington, Virginia, who was voted player of the year in a Washington metro conference considered one of the nation’s strongest.
“He was like a Ferrari without brakes his first couple of years,’’ Bishop O’Donnell coach Jim Wootten told The World-Herald. “Now, he plays under control at high speed.
“I’ve been a head coach for 19 years, and I’ve been co-chairman of the McDonald’s All-America game committee. Xavier is as competitive a kid as I’ve ever seen.’’
Miles said a friend who is an NBA front office executive attended Wednesday’s NIT game to help evaluate Nebraska’s program.
“It was specifically to watch our guys,’’ Miles said. “He gave us some grades that we can share with our guys, and we will.
“I’m going to meet with all of our guys shortly. Even if they go home for spring break, I’ll call them at home so we’ll all know what’s going on.’’