Husker Basketball 2008

When Doc Sadler came to Nebraska in the fall of 2006 people expected an up-tempo pressing style of basketball.  So far that has not happened.  Alecs Maric by far the teams most talented player while creating mismatches against opposing teams was not suited to a run and gun game.  Also the depth and talent at the guard and forward positions was not where it needed to be to play fast.  Things have changed, Alecs is gone leaving a big hole, but the Huskers finally have the depth of guards to be able to play the pressing style of basketball that was promised when Doc arrived on campus.  The big question though is who is going to fill the void left down low and can Nebraska win without a prominent post presence?

This year’s lineup will feature a group of guards and forwards as there is not a true center on the team.   The probably starters will include familiar faces that have been in the program.  The only real question of who starts is at the point guard sport where Cookie Miller and Sek Henry are battling daily.  Here is my prediction for the starting lineup:

Sek Henry or Cookie Miller, Steve Harley, Ade Dagunduro, Ryan Anderson, Chris Balham

With the plan to run coach Sadler and the players have said that who starts will not matter as much because there are going to be playing 9 or 10 a night.

The other players that will probably fill out the regular rotation are:

True Freshman Eshaunte (Bear) Jones,  the Redshirt Freshman Brandon Richardson, Alonzo Edwards, and Toney McCray, Senior Paul Valendar

The biggest question mark on this team is down low.  Who is going to fill the big shoes that Alec Maric left?  It appears that the team plans to use a rotation of big men to get this done.  Chris Balham is going to be first looked at to fill this role, but as we saw last year his knees are questionable at best.  He had off season knee surgery to make his knee situation better, but his role with the team will be limited.  Doc will probably be happy with getting 15-20 minutes a game from Chris.  More likely though his minutes will be 10-15 a game with some games missed due to his knee problems.  With Balham’s physical issues redshirt freshman Alonzo Edwards must step up and play very well this season.  Coach Sadler is really pushing Edwards to get better everyday in practice.  If Edwards can live up to his potential he should be able to fill in the majority of the rest of the minutes at the 5 spot.  There are a couple of other people that are probably going to get minutes down low: Alex Chapman and possible Jorge Diaz if he can get qualified in time to start the second semester.  Diaz is working on his English proficiency test.  He needs to complete that test to be able to fully qualify at UNL.

Things to watch for:

This team should have very good guard and forward play although the front line players will not be any better than the other teams in the Big 12 conference, the second wave of players is just as talented as the starters are.  Watch to see how Ade Dagunduro has developed; has he matured to where he will not get two very silly fouls to start a basketball game?  Can Steve Harley get his shot going on something other than a screen?  The guards are not going to have the space they had to operate last year with Maric playing down low.

The key to the season:

The team should be able to score on offense with the players they are putting on the floor.  They will be able to score points when they are aggressive and play to their talents.  The big question is when they get into the half court sets how are they going to get that all important defensive rebound to closeout the possession?  If Balham can stay healthy this team is headed for over 20 wins.  If Balham can’t play this team is going to struggle especially when it comes to conference play.


My prediction is 20-10 regular season with a 9-7 conference record and on the NCAA bubble.  They will need to win at least one if not two games at the Big 12 tournament to make it into the NCAA tournament.  The team is going to have to live up to their potential to be able to achieve these goals.  The team is driven and Doc will push them very hard to be the best they can be.  It will be a very interesting season to say the least.

Go Big Red!


3 Comments | Write Comment

3 Responses to “2008 Basketball Preview”

  1. lion king Says:

    i think Cookie miller should definitely be starting sex henry cant put up with pressure like he did last yr i mean come on now he might be good player but his ball handling skills not up there and he not a true point guard like cookie miller is. cookie miller is way better than sex henry at the point guard no doubt about and Doc Sadler might have lost his mind if he sek henry…

  2. lion king Says:

    i think cookie miller should be definitely starting sek henry cant put with pressure like he did last year i mean come on he might be a good ball player but his ball handling skills not nowhere near up there he will cost to many turnovers sek henry and he not a true point guard like cookie miller is.Cookie miller is way better than sek henry at the point guard and better at just being all around player i mean if Doc Sadler let cookie miller run and dont slow him down running that slow offense nebraska will be really good cookie miller is a point guard that likes to go like steve nash if Doc Sadler let him do that and stop holding him back nebraska would be unstoppable to many people saw cookie miller do it…. and if Doc Sadler Starts sek henry then he wants to lose games this yr and he would be out of his mind…

  3. Corey Says:

    With Maric gone, I can’t see them slowing down very much. If this team has an open shot they are taught to take it.

    I know that Cookie is good at breaking teams down off the dribble, but I worry about his ability to shoot over defenders if they sag off of him.

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