LINCOLN — Minnesota tabbed 30-year-old up-and-comer Richard Pitino to take over for Tubby Smith as men’s basketball coach Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Nebraska men’s basketball coach Tim Miles says he was never in the running for the Gophers job.
Minneapolis media sites had floated Miles’ name around for the job without much to back it up.
Husker Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst told The World-Herald on Wednesday that Minnesota never asked for permission to talk to Miles.
Miles, when reached Wednesday on his way to the Final Four in Atlanta, held fast to his no-comment policy on any job-related matter unless there is something concrete to discuss. Sources close to Miles said he hadn’t been contacted.
Speculative articles about Miles and Minnesota cited his past coaching stops in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, plus his ties to high school coaches in Minnesota.
Miles just completed the first year of a seven-year contract with Nebraska.
Pitino, the son of Louisville coach Rick Pitino, led Florida International last season to an 18-14 record, the school’s first winning season in 13 years.
In other Nebraska news, Miles said he is waiting for the court case of Deverell Biggs to end before discussing repercussions for the junior guard out of Omaha Central.
Biggs was cited in Omaha in late December for driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident.
“The court date has been moved back a couple of times,” Miles said. “I’m waiting for the legal process to play out. Then I’ll make an announcement of what I’m doing within our program and what we’re doing with Deverell.”
As for recruiting, a dead period begins Thursday and lasts through noon April 11. The first day of the spring signing period is April 17.
Nebraska got an oral commitment this week from 6-8 Leslee Smith of Seward County (Kan.) Community College. The Huskers also have offered 6-7 Sai Tummala from Salt Lake (Utah) CC.
This report includes material from the Associated Press.
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