Nebraka falls to KansasThe Nebraska Cornhuskers had a very difficult loss to the Kansas Jayhawks tonight at the Bob Devaney Sports Center 68 to 62. The game was hard fought with Nebraska leading for much of it. NU led by 5 at the half. The positives for the Huskers were their defensive pressure and the play of senior Ade Dagunduro who led the Huskers with 24 points. The Husker defense was able to force the Jayhawks into committing 21 turnovers the most they have all year.

The reason the Huskers lost the game was their field goal percentage KU shot 56% from the field while NU only shot 40%. This Nebraska team is not good enough to beat bad teams with that kind of shooting disparity, much less the defending national champions.  In the end NU had pulled the game to within one on back to back three pointers by Sek Henry with less than a minute to go. KU got the ball and drove to the basket where they called a very questionable foul on Ryan Anderson that basically put the game out of reach for the Huskers.

The big story line before the game was would NU be able to slowdown Cole Aldrich? The Huskers more than slowed him down Aldrich; they nearly stopped him as he had no points in the first half and ended the game with only 8 total points. The lead for stopping Aldrich came surprisingly by walk-on Cole Salomon who played 13 minutes for the Huskers and did a very nice job of shutting down Aldrich including blocking one of his shots.  Solomon finished with three points coming off of a free throw and a nice offensive rebound and put back to help stretch the Husker lead in the first half.

It was finally decided before the game that Brian Diaz will take his redshirt this year so that means the Huskers will have to go with what they got and that appears to include more minutes for Solomon who did a nice job defensively and helped out on the offensive end.

The Huskers are going to have to figure a way to get more easy looks on the offensive end, because without a post player this team is very offensively limited and when Paul Velander goes 1 of 5 from three and Ryan Anderson goes 0 of 5 you are not going to win many basketball games. To me that was the most surprising thing about this game. NU did not shoot that well and KU shot very well from the field and yet the Huskers really should have won the game. If Nebraska had done a little better at the free throw line and gotten a couple of calls down the stretch they win this game. NU finished the game shooting 7 of 14 from the free throw line (50%) of they make 11 of 14 (78%) they probably would have won the game. The consolation is that NU did not need a perfect game to beat KU, granted this is not a national championship level KU team. The Huskers have been very competitive in each of their Big 12 games. They now need to start winning some of these close games.

Their next two games at Texas Tech and at Colorado are must win game. The Huskers currently sit 2-4 in conference play they need these next two wins to be even in the conference going into the second half. This team needs to finish at least 7-9 in the conference season and get to the NIT. Doc has the coaching ability, the players have the desire to win, but they are just not making shots.  Hopefully that will turn around in their next game.

Go Big Red! – Corey


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Nebraska BasketballThe Nebraska Cornhuskers lost to the Oklahoma State Cowboys 76 to 74 in overtime on Saturday afternoon. The game is a very disappointing loss for Nebraska as it drops them to 2-3 in the conference season. This is one of those games that Nebraska had to win to keep any chance of making the NCAA tournament alive. Maybe it is just my rose colored glasses, but I still believed that NU had a chance to go on a nice run here and end the first half of the conference season 5-3. It is more likely after this loss that the Huskers will be 4-4 or 3-5. Their next opponent is the Kansas Jayhawks who should be able to pressure Nebraska’s guards into mistakes and force bad shots from the outside. Due to KU’s athleticism the Huskers are going to have a very difficult time getting to the hoop against Kansas.

The game started off very good for the Huskers as they were up nine to two at one point early on. That is when the Huskers went ice cold from the field. The fans kept wondering and hoping to see Jorge Diaz come in to give this team a much needed post presence and create those kick out three point opportunities, but he never came. Paul Velander led the way in futility for the Huskers as he finished the game one of eight from the field. He did get fouled on a couple of those shots that were not called, but even when he was open he did not make shots that he normally does. Following closely behind Velander was Sek Henry who was a whopping one of five from the field. In the game it seemed that Sek forgot what makes him a good player, it is being aggressive and getting to the hoop. Sek failed to even attempt to do drive even when OSU’s big man had four fouls with around five minutes to go in the game. A Husker player never attempted to drive the ball in and create contact drawing the foul. It seemed like this team made a conscious decision to not take the ball inside. OSU was playing man defense for much of the game that the Husker guards normally exploit with penetrating to get the basket or kick out.

Looking at the final stats a few things really stand out. Nebraska make their last field goal with 2:55 to go in regulation. That is ridiculous, and the primary reason we did not win this game. To win basketball games you must score more points that the other team, you can’t do that when you are only shooting 39% from the field. In OSU we saw what we should be getting from this undersized team this year, as they shot 54% from the field for the game. OSU is playing the up-tempo game that we were promised with this year’s team.

If you cannot tell, I am very disappointed in this loss. This game was another must win that we failed to win. This game is a very bad home loss to a middle of the road Big 12 team. These are the types of games that NU needs to start winning in they want to take a step forward in the Big 12. Saturday was a big step backward.

My final gripe about Doc’s decisions on Saturday was that he asks his players to take on the other team’s big man were they give up anywhere from 4-7 inches. It is understandable if you have no other choice to get the kids to do something that is really quite extraordinary, but Doc had a different choice that he could have made. He could have played Jorge Diaz and given Ryan Anderson and Ade Dagunduro a little help down low. Instead Doc has decided to give up on the season and on this group of senior’s by sitting Diaz. Ade Dagunduro, Steve Harley and Paul Velander deserve more from their coach who asks them to give their all against difficult odds!

- Corey


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Nebraska falls to Oklahoma in basketballThe Nebraska Cornhuskers basketball team traveled down to Norman, Oklahoma on Wednesday night to take on the fifth rated Oklahoma Sooners. Most people thought that the Huskers would get blown out but they actually impressed some people by leading at halftime and being in the game right down to the final minute. The Huskers ended up dropping the contest by the score of 72-61.

Ryan Anderson had a career night for the Huskers as he scored 19 points and added seven rebounds. Anderson was on fire in the first half when he scored 17 of his 19 points. Steve Harley chipped in with 11 points while Sek Henry added 10 points of his own.

The lack of a big man sure hurt the Huskers on the defensive side of the ball. All American candidate Blake Griffin dominated in the second half and finished with 27 points and 18 rebounds. Nebraska just doesn’t have a player on the roster that can control a big force like Griffin.

Nebraska is now 2-2 in the conference and 12-5 overall. Their next game will be Saturday against Oklahoma State at the Devaney Center. Another tough conference game for the Huskers but this would could be a close one as it is being played in Lincoln.


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Marlon Lucky Offensive MVPOn Saturday afternoon, Nebraska running back Marlon Lucky earned offensive MVP in the Shrine football game down in Houston, Texas. Lucky was the leading rusher with 68 yards and one touchdown. Lucky only had seven carries in the game but he made the most of his chances. After the game Lucky had this to say:

“It was a big one for me,” said Lucky, voted the game’s offensive MVP. “I didn’t have a strong year and to just come out and play my game and show what I can do, I seized the opportunity. Now it’s back to training.”

Great game for Lucky and hopefully it will help him move up the draft charts.

Long snapper T.J. O’Leary and offensive guard Matt Slauson also played in the game for the Huskers.


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nebraska beats kansas stateNebraska defeated the Kansas State Wildcats 73 to 51 Saturday night at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. NU led by 11 at half time and led by as many as 30 during the second half of the game. Once again Nebraska used a stifling defense to win a game, but this time the Husker offense decided to show up. The offense was keyed by dribble penetration and kick out passes to Paul Velander who finished with a game high twenty points on 6 of 10 shooting from 3 point range. The Wildcats did not shoot poorly from the field and ended up at 41.5% for the game. Their downfall was their sloppy play with the ball as they committed 25 total turnovers which NU turned into 34 points. Some of those turnovers were due to the tough defensive pressure that was put on by NU. Surprisingly, NU was able to give Iowa State fits with its pressure defense and also was able to force KSU into a ton of turnovers. If NU can use turnovers to get the offense going they should be able to have a good shot at having a winning record in conference play. That would be a big accomplishment for the NU program moving forward.

At halftime of the game both Danny Nee and Eric Strickland were inducted into the Nebraska Basketball Hall of Fame. They were both very gracious and seemed really excited about the direction of the program. It was nice to see Coach Nee be received back into the Devaney center. He is the winningest coach in Nebraska history and deserves all the accolades that he receives.

Doc has basically trimmed his rotation to eight players: Cookie Miller, Ade Dagunduro, Steve Harley, Ryan Anderson, Sek Henry, Chris Balham and Toney McCray. Brandon Richardson is hurt currently but when he comes back he will make the ninth player in the rotation. Currently McCray, Dagunduro and Balham are playing the minutes at the 5 spot. The big question all year: would Jorge Diaz get on campus was finally answered today. Doc said that Diaz arrived in Lincoln during the game. Now the even bigger questions will come first is he physically ready to contribute on this level, and if he is ready does he burn a year of eligibility for only 13 regular season games? I don’t know the answer to those two questions, but from Doc’s response in the post game show it sounds like he is definitely ready to put Diaz in and give him a shot. We have quite a few post players coming in next year, so playing Diaz this year could help to spread out the class and give him experience going forward.

The game today is probably about as well as NU can play with their current roster. If they are hitting outside shots and penetrating in the lane they can play with most teams. When they are not hitting their shots you see games like the loss on Wednesday to Iowa State. The Huskers next game is at Oklahoma, which will be a very tough opponent. It will be an exciting few days, and by Wednesday we should know if Diaz is going to redshirt this year or play.

Corey


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Nebraska SportsGood evening everyone, hope everyone is staying warm during these freezing days. It was a cold night on Tuesday as the Nebraska basketball team lost on the road at Iowa State by the score of 65-53. The Huskers had hoped to go 2-0 in the Big 12 conference but cold shooting and mental breakdowns hurt their chances in Ames.

Steve Harley and Sek Henry were expecially dissappointing against the Cyclones as they only made a combined five field goals in the game. For the Huskers to be successful, Harley and Henry need to have good games and both score in double figures.

After the game, Coach Sadler didn’t come right out and say that anyone played bad. He just blamed a poor shooting night where the Huskers only shot 37% from the floor.

Overall it was just a bad game anyway you look at it. Now the Huskers are sitting at 1-1 in the conference and will welcome in the Kansas State Wildcats on Saturday. Tip-off is set for 5:05 CT from the Devaney Center. If you are in Lincoln, hopefully you can get do the “Bob” and show your support for the team. Former Coach Danny Nee and former player Erick Strickland will be inducted into the Nebraska Basketball Hall of Fame during the game as well.


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Ndamukon Suh returning for his Senior SeasonGreat news for the University of Nebraska and the fans of Nebraska football as Ndamukong Suh has officially said that he will be returning to Lincoln for his Senior season in 2009. Suh was being projected as a first round draft pick by many draft websites so getting him back for another year will really help out on the defensive line

Suh had this to say in a written statement that was released by the university:

“I have made the decision to return to school to complete my degree and play for Nebraska in 2009,” Suh said. “After discussing the issue with my family and my coaches, I know that coming back to Nebraska is the right thing for me. First, you can’t put a price on graduating from college and I will leave here with my degree. Second, I have learned so much in the past year from Coach Pelini and his staff and I look forward to another year of development at Nebraska.

“I do have aspirations of playing in the National Football League, but the best way for me to enhance my chances of having a successful pro career is to spend another season at the collegiate level. I look forward to helping Nebraska continue to take steps toward returning to the elite of college football in 2009.”

Suh was the team leader on the Blackshirt defense that really started play well as the season went on. Look for Suh to be a first team Big 12 contributor next season for the Huskers!

Glad you have you returning Mr. Suh!


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Nebraska beats Missouri 56-51Nebraska got a big win on Saturday against the Missouri Tigers 56-51. The Huskers led by 14 at the half predominately based on shutting down the two big men for the Tigers. DeMarre Carroll and Leo Lyons would not be denied the entire game and scored a combined 19 points in the second half to help the Tigers cut the big lead. In the end, Nebraska was able to hold on behind a couple of clutch free throws by Ryan Anderson, and some very stingy defense at the end.

Based on 10 fast break points, the Huskers were able to tie the Tigers with 22 points in the paint. With NU’s lack of size it was surprising to see them be able to shut down the two big men for Mizzou. The Huskers did what they have done all year to compensate for their lack of size down low; they double teamed the post when the ball gets inside. Fortunately for NU, the Tigers missed enough kick out three pointers to win the game in the end. Missouri was 5 of 21 from behind the arc a measly 23.8%.

The other reason that the Huskers were successful down low was because of the 14 minutes that Chris Balham played. The other big contributor down low for NU was Anderson who was able to pull down 10 total rebounds on the game. Especially based on the size of Mizzou, Ryan did a good job of scrapping for rebounds and making plays.

On the other end was Steve Harley who had a very poor day from the field shooting only 1 of 7. Ade Dagunduro was able to take up the slack and perform well again scoring a career high with 20 points on 6 of 11 shooting from the field. Ade seems to finally understand how to play under control and to take advantage of his skills as a basketball player.

This game only 5 minutes for Toney McCray even though he was 2 of 2 from the field. Not playing for Nebraska on Saturday were Brandon Richardson and Alonzo Edwards. It is not surprising that Alonzo did not get any minutes, but I am surprised to see Brandon not get into the game.

Next up the Huskers are at the Cyclones of Iowa State. This game is a must win if the Huskers have any shot at the NCAA tourney. Iowa State is not very good and Nebraska needs to take advantage of this opportunity to get a road win early in the conference season. If Nebraska can find a way to win on Wednesday they will start 2-0 and be in very good shape to possible reach 9 wins in conference. The game at Ames will be televised on Fox Sport Midwest.

Go Big Red – Corey


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Big 12 Conference BasketballAfter a tough couple of losses Nebraska closed out the nonconference season with a record of 10-3. The last three games they beat three mediocre teams, but at least were able to get their offense going. If this team finds a way to get the offense going in conference play they are going to look back and really regret the two bad losses to Oregon State and to UMBC at home. Even though the UMBC game the Huskers were without Cookie Miller they still should have found a way to win that game.

A couple of bright spots the last couple of nonconference games were the play of Chris Balham and the regained shooting touch of Ryan Anderson. While those two events may seem unrelated Anderson lived off the space that was created by Alecs Maric last year. Balham playing additional minutes has forced defenders to sag off of him a little and he has been able to get just enough space to get open and make shots. This team is going to need the scoring from Anderson as the season progresses and games get more half court oriented.

Balham played between 15-20 minutes a game over the last couple of nonconference games.  Doc says they found a new treatment that is helping him to be able to play more. The treatment puts fluid into his knee that simulates that cartilage that is supposed to be there. The other minutes not taken by Balham at the 5 spot have predominately been played by Toney McCray. While very long and athletic, McCray is not very skilled at finishing in the post and his slim build prevents him from effectively bodying up the other teams big man. However he is probably NUs best option other than Balham.

Alonzo Edwards still seems to be not ready for prime time, but he is improving his level of play.  The added minutes for Balham has helped create space and has prevented the other teams big man from leaving NU’s 5 and going to help block shots when our guards drive to the hoop. When it comes to driving to the hoop Sek Henry has really improved his finishing moves and ability to score inside. If not double teamed he is able to get his drive and finish against most of the teams in the nonconference. It will be interesting to see what happens when he starts driving against Big 12 caliber guards. Things may change a little, but Henry needs to continue to be aggressive going to the hoop. This team is probably at its worst when they are passing the ball around the top of the key, it reminds me of the Barry Collier years and those are memories we all want to die.

My hope for the conference season is 9-7, but this has been my same hope since I have started following the Huskers bball team towards the end of the Danny Nee era. I am afraid that this year the team should be happy with a 7-9 conference record and hopefully scoring a spot in the NIT.  Even though the Big 12 is down this year, NU is going to have a very difficult time winning every time they step on the court. There are going to stand virtually no chance against the best teams in the Big 12 without a post presence. The team is going to have to figure a way to make people at least cover their post player to give the offense a chance to score. I am looking forward to the season and to seeing these young men give it their all.

Go Big Red! – Corey


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Nebraska beats Clemson 26-21 in the Gator BowlWow, what a game! The Nebraska Cornhuskers came from behind to beat the Clemson Tigers 26-21 in the Gator bowl Thursday afternoon. Things sure didn’t start well for the Huskers as they were missing tackles and could not move the ball on offense, but in the second half things started rolling and the defense played lights out while shutting down the Tigers.

First off I have to really give praise to the Blackshirt defense. Ndamukong Suh and Ty Steinkuhler bothcame up huge with big plays all afternoon. Suh led the team with six solo tackles, two sacks and a blocked field goal while Steinkuhler also had two sacks to go along with his four solo tackles. As a team, the Huskers held the Tigers to 2 total yards rushing thanks to some huge sacks late in the game on Tigers quarterback Cullen Harper. The Tigers’s “Thunder and Lightning” show of C.J. Spiller and James Davis were never able to get going with Suh and Steinkuhler meeting them at the line of scrimmage all game long.

Anthony West and Blake Lawrence both came up with interceptions for the Huskers which were big plays in the game as well.

The surprise of the game to me was seeing Quentin Castille getting so many carries. Castille showed up to play that’s for sure as he had 125 yards rushing on 18 carries. Marlon Lucky only played a couple of plays as I suspect his turf toe was still bothering him. Roy Helu Jr. only played a couple plays early in the game but after getting shut down, Castille came in and never let go of the spot the rest of the game.

Joe Ganz who was playing in his last game as Cornhusker was off and on all day but did lead the team in the second half as they came from behind. Ganz led the Huskers as they scored on every possesion in the third quarter. Todd Peterson and Nate Swift both caught touchdowns from Ganz. Peterson was the leading receiver with 96 yards on four catches.

As for the special teams, Alex Henery came up big with four field goals including a 48 yarder that would have probably been good from 58-60 yards. Henery really came up big for the Huskers this season and only missed one field goal. He will be a huge weapon the next two years.

With the victory, the Huskers finished the season at 9-4. It was a very successful season in my opinion with a new coaching staff coming in and getting the players to respond how they did. The team can really build from this win and the season as they look forward to year number two with Coach Pelini and company.

I’d like to thank all of the players and coaches who made this season very successful for Husker Nation. The Huskers are getting back to where they should be and it will happen with Coach Pelini and his staff and the quality players that are on the team and the type of recruits that the staff is bringing in.

It’s great to be a Husker Fan!


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