Media day notes: Italy trip in the works; lineup insights; future tournament sites
Nebraska men’s basketball coach Tim Miles revealed Thursday that the Huskers will tour Italy next summer, probably over the first part of August.
The team last did an overseas tour in 2015, traveling to Spain. Teams are allowed one overseas trip every four years.
Next year’s trip, much like 2015′s, will serve as an important stretch for a Husker team with a large group of newcomers. NU loses seniors James Palmer, Isaac Copeland, Glynn Watson and Tanner Borchardt from this year’s team and will add what likely ends up being a four-player 2019 recruiting class to the mix.
“It’s really good timing. And we’re going to need it. We’re going to need the extra competition, the time together,” Miles said. “I think it will be really important for us.”
The Huskers have several former players playing professionally in Europe, including Terran Petteway, who played last season in Italy’s top professional division.
“Maybe for some of these guys it’s a preview of what your future could look like,” Miles said. “Also it’s a way for us to get in front of some of those clubs and get a look at our guys and see them for what they are. So I think that all helps.”
Bench insight: It’s still early enough in practice that no final decisions have been made in regard to how Nebraska might set up its rotations, but Miles on Thursday gave some insight into which players are most likely to slot in somewhere.
Two true freshmen — forward Brady Heiman from Springfield and guard Amir Harris, appear to be in the mix for time. Miles especially likes Harris’ ability to guard four positions defensively.
Sophomore Thomas Allen can play either guard spot, and Miles said, “I could see Tom there” when asked whether the Raleigh, North Carolina, native would be NU’s fifth starter.
Sophomore Nana Akenten can play as either a small forward or a stretch four, Miles said, and senior Tanner Borchardt from Gothenburg is a solid option in the post.
Palmer on all-conference team: Senior guard James Palmer was one of 10 players named to the Big Ten’s preseason all-conference team.
Palmer is the first Husker on the team since Terran Petteway in 2014 and just the second since Aleks Maric was a preseason Big 12 pick in 2007.
Purdue guard Carsen Edwards is the preseason player of the year. The conference does not release preseason rankings.
Edwards and Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ were the only unanimous selections to the team. Others on the team were Indiana’s Romeo Langford and Juwan Morgan; Maryland’s Anthony Cowan; Michigan’s Charles Matthews; Michigan State’s Nick Ward and Cassius Winston and Minnesota’s Jordan Murphy.
Future tournament sites: The Big Ten tournament is set to rotate between Chicago and Indianapolis for the next four years, but after that don’t be a surprise if new cities get involved.
Could that include Omaha? Possibly.
“There will be other opportunities for other cities to express interest” in hosting the tournament, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said.
Delany said going forward, he expects “80 percent” of future Big Ten Tournaments to be played in the Midwest, with the other 20 percent on the East Coast. The last two Big Ten tournaments were played in Washington, D.C. and New York City.
As for future league tournaments in the East, Delany said the Big Ten would no longer host its event one week earlier than normal, as it did last season.