February 23, 2009

Miller wasn't fazed by hostile greeting from KU fans

As many of you saw during Nebraska's loss to Kansas on Saturday, sophomore point guard Cookie Miller wasn't exactly the most popular person in Lawrence, Kan., that day.

In reaction to a post-whistle incident with KU's Mario Little in the teams' fist meeting in Lincoln, the Jayhawk faithful began booing Miller relentlessly during pre-game warm-ups and every time he touched the ball.

It was pretty obvious that both the Jayhawks and their fans were using the incident as motivation, whether the play was deserving of that kind of animosity or not.

Though Miller didn't speak with reporters after the game, I caught up with him this afternoon before practice to get his reaction to his not-so-warm welcome at Phog Allen Fieldhouse.

"I knew it was coming, but I mean, it ain't no big deal," Miller said. "I think I played OK, but I really didn't score. I had a couple assists or whatever, but I think overall I played alright."

Miller said the boos didn't really affect his play, but he finished the day with just two points on 1-of-4 shooting from the field. He did have six assists in the game, which were just one shy of equaling his season high.

Asked if he's ever had 16,000-plus fans boo him mercilessly every time he touched the ball before, Miller admitted it was a new experience.

"Nah, that's never happened, but it was alright," he said. "It was just an experience that I'll be able to tell my kids and people back home about. I mean, you must be doing something right if everybody hates you. You've got to be doing something right."

Miller said he still couldn't figure out why the infamous play garnered so much attention, and that as far as he knew both he and Little thought it was all water under the bridge.

"That play really wasn't a big play," he said. "We were just fighting for the ball. I could see it if we was throwing blows or punching each other. It really wasn't a big play, it was just made into a big deal because it was on national TV. It was a big deal them, I guess. But to me and him, it wasn't nothing. I guess it was just for the fans to try and get them involved."

Coincidently, that play will follow Miller again into Tuesday's against Texas A&M, as commentator Doug Gottlieb will be in Lincoln doing the game for ESPN2. Gottlieb referred to the play as a "punk" move on Miller's part.

While he likely won't be greeting Gottlieb with a handshake or anything on Tuesday night, he also doesn't plan on letting the announcer know his feeling's on the comments. That's for Miller's mom to take care of.
"Nah, man, I'm going to let my mom do that," Miller said.

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