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.


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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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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 BasketballNebraska lost to the Retrievers of UMBC (University of Maryland at Baltimore County) by a score of 66 to 64 on Tuesday night. The Huskers never led in the game and trailed big in the first half 37 to 21, but were able to trim the lead to lose by 2 in the end.

This game was very poorly officiated and the Huskers obviously played a very poor game.  Cookie Miller was out due to family/personal reasons and his presence was definitely missed.  UMBC played a zone defense for most of the game and for the third loss in a row the Huskers had a difficult time figuring out how to score against it.

The Huskers did not play well on either offense or defense and gave up multiple layups in the first half. UMBC shot very well through-out the first half and for most of the game. They were led by their diminutive point guard Jay Greene who went 3 for 3 from behind the arc. The biggest thing that he was able to do was to defeat NU’s attempts at getting full or ¾ court pressure on. He probably would have been shut down by Cookie, but as previously mentioned Cookie was out.

Offensively NU could not find a way to penetrate the zone in throughout the first half. They were not shooting well from either behind the arc or inside of it. Later in the game Sek Henry started driving the basketball to the hoop and was able to get the ball to the rim for a make or a foul every time he attempted it. Sek’s driving to the hoop came to an end when he fouled out of the game on a horrible call by the officials with around 4 minutes left.

Paul Velander was a big part of keeping NU in the game in the second half as he was 4 of 8 from 3 point range keeping his season 3 point percentage above 50%. Steve Harley had a nice game playing all 40 minutes of action and guarding their point guard in the second half. Ade Dagunduro led the Huskers in scoring with 19 points.

It is Christmas so I am going to try to stay positive, but this game really hurts. The Huskers need to win tough games like these at home against lesser competition. This is going to be one of those losses that are similar to the Barry Collier era, just mind boggling losses to teams that we should be able to beat. Doc needs to figure out a way to get some scoring punch. I don’t know if it is finding a way to get Bear Jones back in the lineup, or something else. Every bad team in the Big 12 will run a zone at us and probably be able to beat us with it. This loss makes you think about what Sallie, Diaz or Niemann could have brought to the table this year.

It is too early to start thinking about next year, but this team is probably going to have losses to teams like Colorado and Iowa State in conference. Right now we are looking like probably one of the worst teams in the conference. Let’s hope the old adage about it never being as bad or good as it seems is true and this is the low point in the season instead of a sign of things to come.

Go Big Red! - Corey

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Nebraska vs IPFW RecapThe Nebraska basketball team beat IPFW (Indiana Purdue Fort Wayne) Saturday night 75-48 in front of a crowd of 4,860.  The crowds are normally small this time of year with students being gone, but being on a 2 game losing streak probably hurt the attendance a little also.  The Huskers came out sluggish and seemed to have a little bit of a hangover from the last couple of games.  Their pressure was largely ineffective in the first half and Doc decided to give Nick Krenk a couple of minutes of play to close out the half on his night.  With Krenk in the game the Mastodons scored a couple of threes to take the lead at half time 34 to 29.

Nebraska was led in the first half by Steve Harley’s 12 points as he kept the team in the game by providing the primary scoring punch for the Huskers.  The other achilles heel for the Huskers in the first half was their poor shooting from the free throw line as they were two of eight. Nebraska came out and played better the second half.  They dropped the ¾ court pressure and instead picked up a tough man to man defense in the half court.  Nebraska also showed a trapping 1-3-1 zone look that created multiple turnovers and allowed some easy transition baskets to close out the game and make the final score much more lopsided than it actually was for most of the game.

From the Outside:

Taking a look at the Huskers scoring punch this year the big question is where is Ryan Anderson?  He was a consistent scoring threat from 3 last year as he shot 36.8% and made 50 three pointers on the season.  This year he is only shooting 29.2% on 7 or 24 shooting.  It seems that the absence of Alecs Maric has really caused teams to try and stay with the shooters more than they did last year.  Also he has had open looks this year, but has not made them at the rate that he did last year.

On the other side of is Paul Velander who is shooting an amazing 51.1% from 3 (24 of 47) this year, which is up from 38.3% last year.  Sek Henry has also improved his 3 point shooting going from 27.4% last year to shooting 47.4% so far this year.  It remains to be seen how the teams shooting percentages will change once they face the stiffer competition in conference play, but clearly Sek and Paul need to see more looks in the offense.  A nice addition to the shooting this year has been Toney McCray who is shooting 40% on 6 of 15 from 3

Down Low:

It was good to see Chris Balham get the start as he has sat the last three games with his chronic knee problems.  Alonzo Edwards did not play due to an injury and not practicing most of the week.  He should play more over the next couple of games if healthy.  No sign yet of Jorge Diaz as all signs point to him not being able to make it on campus.  If he is as good as advertised he could be a 15 minute a night guy on this team right now.  NU needs an inside presence to create some space on the outside for the shooters.

Moving Forward:

NU gets a good win against a bad team, but needs to continue to improve as they move forward.  Ade and Ryan are going to need to step up big time once conference season rolls around if this team wants to win games.  It will be interesting to see how the 1-3-1 develops as time goes on, it could be a way to limit another teams ability to take advantage on the inside.  With Nebraska’s quickness we may be able to get more steals in the pressure zone without creating as many fouls as we have been with the full court man to man defense.

See you all at the game Tuesday night – Go Big Red, Corey

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Nebraska lost to another Pac 10 team on the road Saturday night, this time to Oregon State, 64-63.  Nebraska was led by seniors Ade Dagunduro and Steve Harley, who combined for 29 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 5 steals.  Freshman Toney McCray and senior Paul Velander scored 13 and 9 points respectively for the Huskers.  For the Oregon State Beavers, Omari Johnson, Calvin Haynes, and Daniel Deane combined for 46 points and 21 points in the victory. 

Nebraska again struggled to find an offensive identity and was outrebounded 40-25.  Nebraska appeared to have the win as Ade Dagunduro flushed down a pair of free throws to take a 1-point lead with 10.9 seconds remaining.  Nebraska was whistled for a foul while trying to apply pressure as Oregon State tried to bring the ball down the court.  Oregon State’s Daniel Deane hit both free throws and the Beavers regained a 1-point lead with 8 seconds remaining.  Nebraska rushed the ball down the court and Cookie Miller penetrated the Oregon State defense, but a pass to Ade Dagunduro was deflected by an Oregon State defender.  With 1.1 seconds left, Nebraska entered the ball into Dagunduro who put up a floating jumper that just missed as the buzzer sounded. 


What’s with the officiating?  What official calls that foul against Nebraska at the end of the game?  That was a loose ball, kids were trying to gain possession.  That was terrible, as were several other calls down the stretch of that game.  Get used to it, the Big 12 officials are even worse.  Besides, horrible calls or not, what the hell is Nebraska doing in a cat fight against Oregon State?  The game should have been decided before the end of the game.  Period. 

Oregon State played their best game of the season.  Their game plan centered around taking advantage of Nebraska’s lack of an inside presence.  They were able to draw many fouls on Nebraska defenders by punching the ball inside and slashing to basket when they had the opportunity.  Nebraska played their worse game of the season defensively and perhaps their 2nd worst game offensively.  The intensity on defense was missing for chunks of the game.  Many times throughout the game, Nebraska’s help defense was a step too late.  Also, there were times where Nebraska didn’t move their feat on defense and reverted back to Barry Collier’s patented “grab-and-slap” defense.  You could just see the frustration on Doc Sadler’s face tonight with some of the defensive effort.  Perhaps it was a hangover from the Arizona State game.  Whatever it was, this team can not afford to have gaps throughout the game where we don’t play well defensively.  Maybe in 2 years where we can put up 75 points a game, but certainly not this year. 

Nebraska still struggled offensively, but it was better than last week.  We are starting to learn how to play against a zone.  Yes, you can beat a zone with passes on the outside when you have an inside presence.  We don’t have Maric this year though, that’s not going to work when teams start extending their zones and cheating towards the outside.  You have to get penetration, you have to collapse the defense.  As you penetrate, you have to send a cutter to the basket.  Sometimes you will get an easy bucket, sometimes the defense will collapse even further.  When it does, you kick out and reverse the ball for an open look.  That’s the only way this team can beat the zone defenses it will see this year.  We don’t have the post player to seal down low to run high-low zone busters.  This is the only way we can consistently score against some of these strictly zone teams.  Virtually every team from here on out is going to run some type of outward zone on us.  Nebraska is just a hard team to play man-to-man against, we have too many quick guards and we can draw their post players out on the perimeter and get some huge mismatches.  The sooner we can learn to defeat the zone, the better off we are going to be because we are about to see a lot of it in the upcoming months. 

For all those Husker fans out there who said, “Maric just slows us down” and “Maric misses too many bunnies, we will be fine without him”, here is a large plate of crow.  We really do miss him, he meant an awful lot to this team.  I’ll put it this way, if Maric was granted another year of eligibility and was on the roster this season, we would be an NCAA Tournament team.  With Maric, we blow Oregon State out by 20+ points and go down to the wire with Arizona State.  That’s how big of difference he made.  Just the mere presence of Maric would give our guards so much more space to work with.  Just imagine this team with Maric.  I would love to see Harley, Ade, and McCray this year with Maric asserting his will on the low blocks.  I know, I know, it’s the past.  I just wanted to illustrate how much a viable post player would mean to this team and show the loss of Maric was much larger than many thought. 

Sek Henry drives me insane.  This kid is so good.  Most people don’t understand how good this kid actually is.  That’s why it kills me to see him drop 4 points in a game like this.  Did you all see his 4 points though?  He just took it upon himself to drive the lane, attack the basket, and score.  Why is this only happening twice a game?  He could be easily doing this 5-8 times a game.  Sek may have been the most talented player on the court last night, why is he not asserting himself?  Could be a reason why Doc has rode him into the ground in practice the past 2 years.  Maybe Doc has just given up and finally accepted that Sek won’t be the type of player he could be.  

Alonzo Edwards needs to get more minutes at this point.  In the next 5 games, we need to really work on developing him.  Alonzo came in and played a couple of decent minutes tonight, Doc pulled him out both times because of stupid fouls.  We also need to get Alex Chapman ready to go before conference play.  Diaz, if he gets here, probably won’t give us any more than Alonzo can give us at this point. 

Toney McCray is going to be one heck of a player for us down the road.  It will be fun to watch him develop the next 4 years.    

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Nebraska vs Alabama State RecapThe Nebraska Cornhuskers cruised to an 80 to 51 win over the Hornets of Alabama State.  Nebraska was led in scoring by Steve Harley with 16. Ryan Anderson, Sek Henry and Toney McCray also scored in double figures. NU showed some new starters as both Cookie Miller and Alonzo Edwards were in the starting lineup.

The Huskers finally got their offense going to start a game. While the Hornets are not a formidable defensive team they do have size and athleticism.  Nebraska shot an amazing 14 of 25 (56%) from 3 point range.  The Huskers used some pressure during the first three quarters of the game, but it did not seem an attempt to turn the other team over as much as it was to delay them getting into their half court offense. The Hornets 7’ 1” center only scored 4 points in the game and was not effective as he only played 16 minutes tonight.  The Hornets put on some fairly tight full court pressure over the last 5 minutes of the game that kept the game from getting too lopsided at the end.  Nebraska was satisfied to just run the clock and try and get good shots.  The lead of 50 to 25 at the half extended out to nearly 40 points before Alabama State brought the final deficit down to 29.

The play of Alonzo Edwards was fairly impressive. He was able to battle on the block against their center and played well on the offensive end of the court getting 5 points and 1 offensive rebound. He had a very nice block and showed flashed of potential. During his minutes in the first half he seemed to grasp the offensive system NU was running, but he was mainly on the low block.  If Alonzo can continue to develop he can play a critical role once conference season gets here. Tonight he played 14 minutes, if he gives NU 15 quality minutes a night it will probably mean a win or two more in league play.

As mentioned earlier, the Huskers were on fire from three tonight. Alabama State was giving them some open looks, but even when they were guarded they were still making threes.  It was good to see the team finally get the offense on track. The only thing that slowed it down was when the Hornets went into a zone for about 10 minutes in the second half. NU got Paul Velander in the game and broke the zone down with outside shots. They still made an effort to get the ball inside on offense, but it was difficult against a zone with Alabama State’s height advantage.

From the sounds of things, it appears that Eshaunte Jones will be having ankle surgery and taking a medical redshirt this year. It was pretty clear that his ankle was not right, and with Doc’s approach he will be more of a benefit as a healthy senior than his would be as a gimpy freshman.  It was good that he was able to get some game action and play a little to get a feel for the level of competition. He showed the ability to be able to shoot lights out and really score the basketball.  He will be fun to watch in future years.

Overall, good win and a feel good night for the Huskers as the end of the bench was able to get some playing time to close the game out.  Unfortunately though no points for Nick Krenk, Ben Nelson or Cole Salomon but at least they got a chance to get some playing time.  Next up is Arizona State which will be a very tough game.  Nebraska was fortunate to get a win against them last year in Lincoln.  If the Huskers can win the game against Arizona State they should be able to closeout an undefeated non-conference season.

Go Big Red - Corey

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Nebraska vs Creighton RecapNebraska won an ugly game Saturday against Creighton 54-52.  This game was a tale of two halves, in the first half NU struggled to make baskets even when they had shots close to the rim.  There were multiple blocks by Creighton in the first half leading to Kenny Lawson getting 4 blocks in the game for Creighton.  The other area in which NU really struggled in the first half was rebounding in the half court; Creighton used their size to get rebounds and end NU possessions.  Surprisingly, the Huskers were not sending extra men to the offensive glass and instead were focusing their attention on getting back on defense.

NU’s halftime point total of 18 was very disappointing, bordering on pathetic.  The team looked uninspired as they gave up drives to the hoop that were kicked out for open three pointers by Creighton.  The ability of Creighton to dribble drive and kick to open shooters has to be a worry for Doc.  If other teams can do that against the Huskers it will be a very long season.

The Huskers were able to stay in the game partly because Creighton really slowed the game down and did not attempt to run up and down the court with Nebraska.  It seems that Dana realized that his advantage was in the half court and attempted to have the game decided there.
In the second half the Huskers came with much more intensity on defense and stopped giving up drives to the hoop.  Creighton was still able to score some easy inside buckets on offensive rebounds, but there is not much that NU can do to stop those baskets in this or any other game.  It seems that Doc is conceding those points by playing the 5 guard lineup that he has decided to go with.

The defensive pressure was able to create some easy baskets and Paul Velander came alive from three point range and began bombing in three’s.  With the transition baskets and the makes from three NU was able to claw their way back into the game and take a 47-41 lead with 5 minutes to play.  During this run by Nebraska, Creighton was forced to use their timeouts to stay in the game and make adjustments.  They finally found something that worked, a zone that seemed to stifled Nebraska as the Huskers seemed satisfied with rotating the ball around the perimeter and then taking a contested jump shot with time expiring on the shot clock.

Creighton was able to hit some open shots and get some put backs for buckets to draw the game even in the final minutes, but Nebraska held on based on Steve Harley’s performance down the stretch.  As the game drew to the waning moments NU had a three point lead, but Dotzler came down and hit a three pointer to tie the game at 52.  But Harley, who led the Huskers with 18 points, had the answer for NU as he passed to Ade Dagunduro for the game winning basket with 2.7 seconds remaining in the game.

What we saw on Saturday is what we are going to get with this team.  Doc is going to go with Harley, Henry, Dagunduro, Anderson, Richardson, Miller, Velander and McCray with token minutes going to Balham.  It looks like this is the plan going forward for NU unless something crazy happens with Jorge Diaz the recruit from Puerto Rico who we are still waiting on the results of his English proficiency test.  With their quickness I don’t see defense being the problem with this team.  At one point on Saturday Miller was one on one down in the block and got a steal.  The quick hands from our guards are able to create turnovers down low when teams try to get the ball inside.  Were we will have troubles is scoring on the offensive end.  This will be especially true if we are not hitting the outside shots.  If we go cold from outside we could get beat by some very average to below average teams in conference.

Go Big Red - Corey

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Nebrask vs St. Louis RecapThe Nebraska basketball team beat Saint Louis today by a score of 71 to 54.  NU was lead by junior Sek Henry who scored 19 points on combination of 3 point shooting and drives to the hoop including 2 of 3 from 3 and 5 of 5 from 2; in addition he was 3 of 3 from the free throw line.  Also pacing the Huskers were Seniors Steve Harley with 12 and Ade Dagunduro with 14 respectively.

The game started fairly slowly with Saint Louis playing a style similar to what we saw under Barry Collier.  They worked the shot clock on offense and played tight man to man on defense.  The Huskers were able to take advantage of the tight defensive pressure put on by Saint Louis and create multiple mismatches and drives to the hoop.  The Huskers did not shoot as many 3 point shots as they have been only attempting 14 while making 5.  NU was very good from the free throw line tonight other than Paul Velander missing the front end of a one and one in the first half.  He made up for that missed free throw by drawing two charges in the first half and a third in the second half. For the game NU was 14 of 16 from the charity stripe, by far the best it has been all season.

Rebounding wise NU did OK, but Conklin was definitely giving them problems on the defensive boards he ended the game with six total rebounds, five of them came on the offensive end.  Conklin also gave the Huskers trouble when they were able to work the ball inside to him as he was the high scorer for Saint Louis with 18.  Saint Louis is not a great scoring team and they showed it tonight.  57 is probably an average number of points for them to score, but what I was impressed with is Nebraska’s ability to get points off of penetration.  NU broke out of the habit that it has had so far this season of taking the three instead of attempting to work the ball inside.  Tonight the three was not hitting to start the game off and it seemed like Doc really wanted to get some points in the paint.

Thoughts going forward:

Tonight Doc did not play Alonzo Edwards or Bear Jones and Chris Balham only played 8 minutes.  We saw a nine man rotation tonight that may be similar to what Doc goes with once conference season rolls around.  Toney McCray was ice cold today from the field, but continued to play solid defense which was good to see from a young player.  His ability to alter shots is going to help the Huskers when they do not have a true post in the game.  Sek Henry, Ade Dagunduro and Toney McCray all have the ability to block shots with their length.  The way that NU plays a swarming defense once the ball gets in the post these players are able to help and make inside shots much tougher.  NU has yet to face an Alecs Maric type big man this year that will body up against defenders and be able to take on the double team and still score.  Alecs would probably score 40 against this team right now.

So far the Huskers have been able to minimize the damage done by other teams post players by forcing teams into uncomfortable situations.  They use the press to do a couple of things: first it helps the team create turnovers to get transition baskets, but even if there is no turnover caused it forces the other team to use a considerable amount of time to get the ball into their half court offense.  This prevents other teams from being able to just post up their big man and let him bang against our smaller players.  Also Doc has his players double teaming in the post all the time when the ball gets there and even some of the time before it does.  While in one on one coverage down low they have been mainly fronting the post and trying to deny with their hands.  With the pressure they have been applying to opposing guards it has made it difficult for teams to work the ball inside.

The majority of points that Conklin got tonight were on offensive rebounds and put backs.  These are going to be very difficult to stop, but the Husker team is tenacious at rebounding giving everything they have.  The next game against Creighton is going to be very interesting.  They should be able to get the calls at home if they continue to be aggressive and keep driving to the hoop.  I think NU wins in a close hard fought game.

Go Big Red! - Corey

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