Hi everyone, welcome to the latest chat. The schedule for Nebrasketball gets a little easier the next couple games as the Huskers wrap up non-conference play and get ready for the Big Ten grinder.
Gardner Webb is up first on Sunday. The Bulldogs (5-5) have losses to SMU, Pittsburgh, Eastern Michigan and Georgia, and will actually play a home game Friday night in North Carolina before flying to Nebraska for Sunday's game. They'll then play at Kansas State the following Wednesday. Tough little stretch for them.
@JiminSpringTown: The XBox is always a good move, although fairly pricey. Gotta have some entertainment in that dorm room.
@PTHUSKER: For sure. A full week of practice before these two games doesn't hurt either. I would be we see some lineup changes Sunday as well.
@Ryan: I think if you asked people at the beginning of the year to predict NU's record after 10 games, most would have said 5-5 or 6-4. The only game they've lost that they really should have won was probably at Clemson. Huskers are better than that team, and just made too many mistakes. Even the offensive struggles have been somewhat expected. I don't think this team is too far off from where people expected them to be.
@Matt_Reynoldson: I don't have any evidence to back this up, but I wouldn't be surprised see Jordy and Anton in the starting lineup Sunday. Tshimanga's development has been a pleasant surprise, especially over the last couple weeks. Anton looked as good as he has all season down at Kansas. McVeigh was brought here to make shots, and he's obviously not doing that. The numbers since the Louisiana Tech game, when he played great, are not good: 10-45 from the field, 7-33 from 3-point range. Take out the South Dakota game when he scored 16, and the numbers are even worse. It stinks for the guy because he's a great dude and he works hard. But if his shot isn't falling, I think he has to sit.
@HuskerFan: Nothing yet, and we probably won't know anything until Friday at the earliest. Even then, the coaching staff may keep things under wraps until game time. But I wouldn't be shocked if there were some changes.
@PTHUSKER: It's crazy. He's looked like an all-world player against UCLA and Clemson, and has really struggled in some other games. Huskers definitely need him to be more consistent.
@Tucker: I don't think so. They were competitive with a UCLA team that's turning out to be really good. Kansas and Creighton aren't going anywhere. The strength of schedule will be high all season, so it will come down to Nebraska winning some games in the conference to give themselves a chance. If they can somehow get to 19 wins or so after the Big Ten tournament, they'll be in the hunt for a tournament spot.
@Trash: Haha, I noticed that as well, and I imagine your theory is probably correct. We will have to see going forward. Miles knows I'm pretty tough in the interview room so you're right. He probably was trying to dodge me ;-)
@Tuck: No, this schedule can only help Nebraska. It's not like they're going out and getting beat by 30 in these games and not giving a good effort. As long as those teams keep winning, Nebraska's strength of schedule will stay high, and then it will come down to NU winning games in conference. I really think if they can go 9-9 in conference play and steal two games in the Big Ten Tournament, they'll be right there.
@Doc: I agree, it's been tough to watch. I know after one play at Kansas where Jacobson shot a 3 instead of trying to drive the basket, Tim Miles let him know with some colorful language that that was unacceptable. McVeigh only played 7 minutes vs. Kansas and didn't play in the second half, and I wouldn't be surprised to see Anton in his place come Sunday.
@MarqelWashington: I tend to agree with you. However, Jacobson's defense may keep him in the rotation. I tend to side with Tim Miles on this: it doesn't really matter who starts the game. The Huskers have 11 scholarship players, and they're not talented enough offensively to expect just 4 or 5 people to carry the load every single night. They'll need contributions from everyone. So while the starting lineups may change, the big thing to keep an eye on will be who plays the most minutes and who is on the court when things get tough. That will tell you who Miles and the coaching staff trust.
@PTHUSKER: I'm not saying Gill should get 15 shots a game or anything, but I think he's starting to come out of the funk he was in to start the season. He looked solid at Kansas. Now, that doesn't mean he doesn't go out and lay an egg against Gardner Webb Sunday. But he is a better defender than McVeigh, and with McVeigh's struggles shooting the ball, I'm guess Miles opts for the better defender, at least to start the game.
I personally would like to see McVeigh come off the bench as an offensive specialist - a guy who can hit a shot to maybe spark a run or spread the opponents' defense. That is of course contingent on him hitting some shots, but maybe coming off the bench takes some pressure off of him and allows him to play for freely.
Excuse me, *more* freely. Not *for* freely.
@JC79: Totally agree. A lot was made of him (by me included) moving to more of a 4 spot this season rather than the 5 and expanding his offensive game. And I think he may be trying a little too hard to show that he has expanded his game. I'd like to see him attack the rim more and draw a few fouls. If nothing else, that at least collapses the defense and leaves guys open on the wings. Would help him tremendously, too, if he could make some inside shots. He's missed his share of those this year.
@JC79: Yep. I think as the year goes on, we'll see that more. He's still a true freshman who basically did nothing for 3 months in the offseason while recovering from the stress fracture in his pelvis. We see it in spurts, but you're right, would be fun to see him fully let it go.
@PTHUSKER: I think that's just college ball. From what I know, everyone here who has left for other jobs has left on good terms. It's the same with players transferring between schools. If you think you have a chance for more playing time (or a better coaching gig), you better take it before someone else does.
@Bob4NU: It's tough to get a read on Fuller because like you said, he's hardly played. Miles likes his toughness, which is great, but toughness doesn't give you the ability to magically start knocking down shots. If Miles sticks to his comments about playing his toughest guys going forward, maybe we see him more. He also had that high ankle sprain in the season that slowed him up, so maybe it's a case of him taking a while to get back from that.
@Ryan: I thought we might see more of him too, especially as the offense has continued to struggle. He can certainly get buckets. The best explanation I can give is that the coaching staff just doesn't trust him enough on the defensive end. It's clear Miles wants to build a defensive-minded team, so if you can't play defense, you won't play much. It will be interesting to see if he gets more time going forward, especially if NU struggles to score against these next two opponents.
@JC79: Yep. Just being able to do that would make him a tough guy to guard for a lot of opponents. There's just something about the 3-point line that guys fall in love with, though. Stating the obvious here, but if Jacobson can figure it out offensively, that would be huge for this team.
@Bob4NU: Scored almost 2,000 points in high school and had 15 games where he scored 30 or more, and scored 40 or more twice. He knows how to fill it up. I think some people forget he was a top-150 player in the nation coming out of high school and a consensus three-star guy. It might just be a matter of finding him minutes and getting him into a flow.
Who would have thought games against Gardner Webb and Southern would carry so much intrigue for the Huskers? I'm really curious to see the lineups Sunday and again next Tuesday. NU should win both fairly easily, but boy, it would be nice to see them put 40 minutes together rather than scuffle around for 10 or 20 or more minutes before putting these teams away.
@texhusker: Problem is, those guys don't grow on trees. Tshimanga has a chance to maybe get there someday, but it's going to take time. I think that's how Nebraska will have to do it: find some under the radar guys and develop them into the bruisers they need in the league.
@texhusker: That's the million-dollar question. Doesn't matter who you recruit if you can't develop them. I'm not one for calling out coaches, because those guys don't get to the level they're at without being incredibly knowledgeable. They've forgotten more about basketball than I'll ever know. So I'll take a wait and see approach for now. If Tshimanga continues to develop, we'll have our answer. Remember, he's the first true back-to-the basket big man Miles has had since he's been here.
@Robin: There's no question winning against a blue blood would help. I know people like to look at the two Omaha guys at Creighton and wonder how neither of them ended up at Nebraska. But literally no one was looking at Justin Patton when he was in high school. His only offer came from Creighton, he accepted a week or so later, then he blew up in the summer between his junior and senior years. Sometimes stuff like that happens. The real problem is, Nebraska is only going to produce one or two kids every year that can play at a high-major level. You'd like to see Nebraska get at least a couple of those kids, but they also have to fit in with the culture at NU. I'm with you. I'm a Nebraska native. I'd love to see more Nebraskans on the roster. But they have to fit in with what this coaching staff wants.