Erick Strickland on "The Schick and Nick Show" on 1620 The Zone.
April 18, 2012
Schick: You interviewed yesterday?
Strickland: Yes, it was yesterday.
Schick: How did that go and what position was that for?
Strickland: Coach Miles hasnít decided on any positioning on anybody at this point. It was asking questions in regard to recruiting and with regards to administrative duties. There isnít anything that was put on it in this particular juncture in the process.
Nick: How hard do you think it would be for a guy that played college basketball to transition right into recruiting? Do you think that would be something that is difficult if youíve never done it?
Strickland: Thatís why he does an assessment on your contacts, who you know and who you donít, you now what do you think your strong points would be. I do have contacts and skill and relationships. When youíre in basketball, you have to remember I worked for the Dallas Mavericks, I know coaches. So itís not like I donít know people.
Thatís something you need to think about and something you need to consider. I didnít want that to be a worry for him. I gave him multiple options on different things that I do. I handled administrative duties for the Mavericks. There are some opportunities to do other things and still be affective in recruiting part of the thing but just not personally active in it.
Schick: During the interview process what did you try to emphasize were your strengths and things you can bring to the table at Nebraska.
Strickland: I wanted him to understand Iím on his team Iím totally backing him. We had a very good discussion even before this process prior to just kind of a feel out meeting. Just getting to know each other because he doesnít know me and itís a very tight knit group when your talking about coaching a lot of them like to stick with guys they know personally. At the end of the day he assesses that I do maintain value and at some point he wants me to be involved and be apart because he does believe that I do have some value that I can offer to the team, players and the university. Its not a long list, he gave me a good insight as to his plan and that came by feeling comfortable with me and where I stand with the program. He showed me his game plan, how he plans to do it and I think he has a good idea of what he wants to do and how heís going to go and attack it.
Nick: Erick, last time we talked to you, you basically laid out that you had a plan given the opportunity. How close does your plan match up with Tim Milesí plan?
Strickland: When I said some of my thoughts he asked me some questions, what would I do and how would I go about it and in that preliminary discussion that we did have he assessed that there were some similarities and there were some common things that we did share and thoughts and thatís when he opened up and shared some things with me to show how our ideas were pretty similar. He seems to have a good evaluation on players on what he thinks and how they would fit in the scheme of things and what he would like to go after and how he would like to attack it. He thought that some of my ideas with some players where we would be most affective now in the process he thought that some of those things were pretty good. It was really good. Iím impressed with his thought process and Iím impressed with his passion. I think he has a heart for the game. The more I get to know him the more I understand how his Xís and Oís work. For the most part I think he has a good idea of what he wants to do.
Schick: I think a lot of people were skeptical of the hire of Tim Miles because he wasnít a big name. Did you go into it with a skeptical mind about Tim Miles and what did he show you that he was the perfect guy for this job?
Strickland: Well, I think the place we are in right now at the UNL is going to require somebody with the building mindset who has the mindset of planning position on how to build into a successful organization. I think thatís what he been a good study of. I think thatís what hi M.O. is and thatís what heís been as I have researched and checked him out a bit thatís what he seems to be good at and thatís building. When you look at coach Osborne thatís one of the things I think Coach Miles was able to show him that Iím a builder and that Iím going to build it. I think you hear in the press conferences that its going to take some time because he doesnít have what he needs right now. He is going to have to build it. Thatís why you donít see him being hasty and signing players just to sing them. He is looking for something and I think thatís what you will see this summer is assess the talent and whatís out there and still available. Find somebody thatís dropped the ball and somebody that was overlooked and then draw some of them out to Nebraska. Iím pretty confident that he can get it done. I know Ron Coleman through Antoine Walker when I played for the Celtics. They are close friends from the Chicago area and heís got great Midwest ties, Big 10 ties, Minnesota, up in that northern region also in Iowa. Heís doing a good job right now and he will probably look at some of his old guys as well. I just gave him my strength on how I can help in Nebraska and Texas. Texas and Nebraska are great places for me that I have good contacts immediately plus all the NBA teams in which I played as well. That how I laid it out for him.
Schick: You mentioned coach Osborne, how instrumental was he in getting your foot in the door and getting this interview with Tim Miles and what kind of factor could he play in you getting a job?
Strickland: I have great love for Coach Osborne and that goes back to him recruiting me for football. A real genuine man and one thing that I did do is I sent him a letter. The letter was basically a game plan letter on how I saw things and viewed things that would be good for the university. He liked it and was impressed by it and I think when I sat down with him and had a discussion as to my heart and where I would like to be to help the program from what I saw and where it was going. He shared that with Tim and Tim told me that it had a great affect because he has great respect for coach Osbourne and to why he would talk to me. I think it was very influential in helping me to get an opportunity to get in and talk with them. Iím looking forward to the opportunity of being able to work with him next year if it be the lords will to do so.
Schick: Erick, in a perfect world what is your role working for Tim Miles?
Strickland: I would say initially being that he is trying to build something and itís going to take something immediate even though I do have contacts and relationships. Itís going to take me to be able to evaluate and be able to go out and talk to guys and sit down with some guys and takes a look at some guys closely. Heís going to need some immediate guys that are pretty ready to go. On the recruiting side as far as being on the bench, you know that might not be immediately the best place. One thing that I shared with him that I thought I had some value and strength was in player development. Being an analyst guy, being someone who is a student of the game who studied and watched a lot of film and who is able to communicate and also mentor and sit down with guys and do evaluations, show them how they can be more efficient as a scorer. Show them where here they could have done something different and talk to them and discuss and be able to gain a good rapport with them and understanding on how to help their game to be better. I think on the player development side to be able to talk and initiate the contacts that I do have across the country and funnel them to the recruiting guys so I think in the perfect world that probably would be the best suited place for me to be more effective immediately.
Schick: When do you expect to get a final verdict on this?
Strickland: He is going to call some people that are on my reference list and Heís going to reach out to them. Heís on a recruiting binge right now, heís got a hot week or two before he goes into a dead period of just evaluations where he cant really talk any more to recruits so the weekend is going to be pretty hectic for him. I anticipate he will probably have a good idea on finalizing his coaching staff sometime by the end of next week.
Schick: They just had some phenomenal basketball players in town from the Chicago area, AAU, and Okafor, one of the best players in the country nationally in the next couple yearís class I know they just got Biggs in the commitment list. How good of a weekend was that even if none of those Chicago guys commit, just getting them on campus being that next step for Nebraska basketball?
Strickland: Yeah, the key is to get them here. When your looking on the outside of the scheme of things your talking to these players and your saying Nebraska. Thereís nothing that resonates with them that says why would I go here. To get them into town to see the love, the fans, the care for the people and you hear some of the article on how they were impressed and surprised at how loving and caring the people of Nebraska are. Thatís what I saw when I moved here and thatís why I decided to stay and thatís why I knew I was going to go here. You have to be here to see it. You have to be here to see the facilities. You have to see that in comparison to what youíve already witnessed and seen thatís out there in those other recruitments. So those things and to sit down with the staff, I mean Coach Miles is very easy to talk to. Heís a funny guy; he can gain a lot of rapport from them. I thought that was very important. I think in the long run itís going to gain more confidence to be able to get the kids here. I thought that was of great importance. I thought that the Deverell Biggs signing was phenomenal in that it allowed that streamline to come back again and start a trickle. Hopefully it will open the floodgates for the talent. Deverell is going to be an advocate; heís going to talk. Thatís one thing that I was able to do and thatís why a lot of players and a lot of instate guys decided ďLets go down to Nebraska and do something big, Lets go down to Nebraska and lets go make it happen.Ē Thatís what we were doing and thatís what heíll do. Itíll help to bring more guys into the state and keep those home because thatís really the heart beat of Nebraska is keeping the instate guys home. Itís going to be good.