Les Miles and Kansas led off Big 12 media days on Monday with what many are calling an uncomfortable and awkward press conference. Benton Smith of KUSports.com referred to Miles as “more reserved” than previous press conferences might indicate. Jesse Newell said Miles “wasn’t always smooth,” “had a few awkward pauses,” and appeared to “lose his place more than once” while shifting through a few pages of prepared notes.
Still, I’ve seen guys win press conferences at KU. I’ve heard the media heap praise on Turner Gill and David Beaty for the way they handled their pressers, so I’m not going to judge Miles on the way his first few press conferences go.
Newell also references in that article that the question came to Miles up later in the day (during a breakout session) about whether or not he’s still as sharp as he used to be. Newell notes that Miles handled the question well, and was much more comfortable in front of the smaller groups of reporters during the breakout sessions.
Miles took Khalil Herbert, Mike Lee, Bryce Torneden, and Hakeem Adeniji with him to Texas for media days. Regardless of how Miles came off, we did still learn a few things today. Most of these are not surprising, but, I’ll just kind of go through what I noticed.
In no particular order:
Miles, age 65, plans to be at Kansas for a minimum of five years, and said if things are going well, “you’d think you’d like to stay.”
Miles would not comment on the status of recruit Jayden Russell, who was one of the first commits to Miles in the 2019 class. Russell has signed his letter of intent, but has been unable to join the team due to reasons that have not been made public.
2019 signee Amauri Pesek-Hickson still plans to enroll in the spring of 2020.
Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said that the decision to suspend Pooka Williams for one game was made by the University administration, which included AD Jeff Long and not the coaching staff. Bowlsby said that KU followed the Big 12’s “serious misconduct” policy guidelines.
If the season started today, incoming Juco QB Thomas MacVittie would be your starter over Carter Stanley. Miles indicated that MacVittie will be the one taking first string snaps when fall practice begins.
Khalil Herbert called KU’s running backs “the best RB unit in the nation.” I love the confidence! Herbert was also asked about Miles’ offensive scheme and responded with something along the lines of, “Just stay tuned, it will be a surprise.”
Mike Lee says the experience in KU’s secondary sets them up to be “the best secondary in the nation” and referenced KU leading the conference in turnovers last season.
Les Miles said that the talent he currently has available in Lawrence is better than what he came into at Oklahoma State in 2001. That OSU team went 4-7 (2-6 B12) and beat #4 Oklahoma in Norman in the final game of the season. It’s the only season Les Miles has finished with a losing record.
Is there anything I missed that stood out to you?