Hi guys, it's time for another Husker basketball chat. NU is at Clemson tonight, another tough game in this stretch. Go ahead and fire away with your questions, comments, thoughts, etc.
Huskers laid an egg in their last game in California against Virginia Tech, but in talking to them yesterday, confidence still seemed to be pretty good. They were ready to get back on the horse and try again tonight.
Nebraska and Clemson mirror each other a little bit in that they both have solid starting fives. Clemson has an NBA-type player in forward Jaron Blossomgame, who is going to be a tough matchup.
And Clemson isn't deep. The Tigers only have six guys with any kind of significant minutes this year. Could be a game where Nebraska's bench finally makes an impact.
The poor shooting is weird, especially after the game he had against Louisiana Tech. And it wasn't like he constantly had a defender in his hip pocket in California. He had open looks and didn't knock them down. As far as defense, I don't think he's as big a liability as people think. Sure, he's never going to be the quickest guy on the floor, but he's used his length really well this year, especially when he gets switch on to smaller guys. Miles has more than once praised his defensive effort -- almost like he's been pleasantly surprised in that area. He'll never be Nebraska's best defender, but I think he's serviceable, and that's good enough as long as he's hitting shots. Unfortunately he hasn't hit shots the last three games. He'll have to get that straightened out.
@Troy: I think he's a classic "intangibles" guy. Not great at anything, but he'll do the dirty work, he's tougher than heck, and he doesn't make mistakes. Unfortunately for him, he plays a position right now that is probably Nebraska's deepest. If McVeigh continues to struggle, I wouldn't be shocked to see Fuller pick up a few of those minutes.
Sorry for the delay in responses, guys. I'm having some technical difficulties on my end. Working to catch up now.
@WillWilson: I'm guess he'll start until Miles feels like he's hurting NU more than helping. The problem is, who takes his spot? Fuller? Roby? That becomes the issue for Miles and his staff. Plus, it's still only six games into the year. If his shooting is still an issue in a couple weeks, then I think the NU staff maybe looks at making a change.
@HuskGuy: I would bet Roby gets a shot at guarding Blossomgame tonight. But that's still a potential NBA guy going up against a true freshman averaging 12 minutes a game. Roby's physical gifts are evident, and he's going to be a good one. The question is whether Miles trusts him in that spot.
It will be an interesting matchup tonight, for sure. Clemson is favored by 11, which seems a little high to me, but if Nebraska shoots like it did Sunday, it could get ugly. We can talk defense all we want, but at some point someone other than Tai Webster has to hit shots on a consistent basis. I love how Glynn Watson has played, but his scoring the last four games looks like this: 2, 20, 27, 2. He doesn't need to get 20 every night, but if he can get 13-15 consistently, that would be a huge help.
Something else to watch tonight will be Ed Morrow's foul situation. He got two quick ones against Virginia Tech and sat the last 10 minutes of the first half, then started slow in the second half. Huskers need him to stay in the flow more than that the first 20 minutes.
This could be a game where Nebraska's shooters get going again. Clemson is allowing an average of 8.6 made 3-pointers a game on 37 percent shooting, and the Tigers are getting out-rebounded by a little more than 1 board a game. Could see some wide open 3s and second-chance opportunities tonight.
And Littlejohn Coliseum isn't exactly the most intimidating place in the world. It holds 9,000, but the Tigers only got 5,500 for their last home game against High Point. I'll be curious to see the crowd for what is a 9 p.m. tip-off in South Carolina.
Any other questions? Comments? Anyone? Bueller?
On the rotations: That's a tough one to answer because I think matchups will dictate some of that. If it isn't decided by the time conference play starts, then I think it becomes a real concern, but I think Miles is torn right now between getting the newcomers on the floor and trying to win games. Jordy Tshimanga is a good example. Miles said on his postgame radio show the other night that before the game he was talking with one of the freshmen (he didn't say who) about what he needed to do defensively and what would happen if he didn't play his role properly. Well, he didn't play his role properly, and Miles put him on the bench the rest of the game so "he could watch and learn from a padded seat on the sideline."
@Scott: I think the coaching staff is hoping its Anton Gill. Outside of Fuller he has the most experience of the bench players, and he certainly has the skill, as a former top-50 recruit. It feels like he's close, too. He's playing with more confidence offensively. Just needs some shots to go in. After that I think they'd really like to see Roby make that jump. He can do a ton of stuff, and he's another 6-8 guy with good length they can put out there.
@Trashman: I think Clemson wins it, but it's close. I'll say 70-64, or somewhere in that neighborhood. I wouldn't be shocked to see Nebraska win, but the Huskers will have to play well.
Jacobson's struggles have been sort of an under-the-radar story so far this year. He's not right offensively and seems to be pressing. A 6-9, 240-pounder should be shooting better than 37 percent from the field. I thought his role would be a little easier with a healthy Morrow, but it hasn't happened that way yet.
He needs to get some of those bunnies in traffic to go in. I think that would help him tremendously.
@RonJ: Every coach has his own way of doing things, and without knowing who he was talking about, it's tough for me to make a judgement there. Maybe he made the same mistake repeatedly in the first half and the coaching staff got tired of watching it. But, I tend to agree that sometimes you have to let guys figure it out on the court. But I'm also not the one getting paid to make those decisions.