Hi everyone. Hope you all had a good holiday season. The Husker basketball team sure did. 2-0 with a pair of road wins over teams that most folks would have considered conference favorites. Now two in a row at home, starting with Iowa tomorrow.
Tim Miles is meeting with the media later this afternoon, so we'll be able to ask him more about what exactly has changed for NU
@Malachi: Sounds like he'll be here tomorrow for the game. Have to think the Huskers have at least a decent shot at getting him, especially, as you said, with his former teammate being here. A good performance tomorrow would go a long way towards helping that cause, too.
@Austin: That's the million-dollar question. You have to think the crowd tomorrow is going to be pretty jacked up, as will the players to be at home. If I had to guess, I think they come out loose. While these two wins are huge, they are still just two wins. I think we see the Huskers continue to ride that momentum.
@Ceedub: I think we'll see a combination of guys guarding him. Evan Taylor and Tai Webster would appear to be the best bets to start out on him, but I think it will take multiple guys to slow him down. He's too good of a scorer to expect one person to stay with him the entire game.
@Ceedub: I think one of the things to help that is to really attack the rim and work to draw fouls and get to the free throw line. The easy answer, of course, is to say "just make shots" but we've seen that can be a challenge for this team. I don't know if there's one good answer, but if you can at least get to the line when shots aren't going in, you can keep the scoreboard moving.
@Ceedub: I think it's higher than it was a couple weeks ago. I said before the season that I thought they could get to 17 wins, which would mean going 11-7 in conference play. The Huskers are well on their way to that. If they can find a way to get to 18 or 19 wins, they'll be right there in the discussion for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
@Ceedub: They really seem to be coming together. The injury to Anton Gill really stinks, and I feel bad for the guy. But it forced Tim Miles to shorten his rotation. That really seems to have jump-started them. And they have an excellent leader in Tai Webster to help get them through the rough stretches.
@Bruce: Believe it or not, I had them at 8-6, which is where they stand right now. Now I obviously haven't picked all 14 games correctly, but here we are.
@Rick: Looks to be more of a stretch 4, just from looking at his stats. He shot 125 three pointers last season (but only made 27 percent), so he at least has the ability to occasionally knock one down. Really good free throw shooter too -- over 80 percent for his career -- though he hasn't shot a ton of them.
@Rick: I think you nailed it. He's been really steady and kind of flown under the radar all year, but he does a ton of things to help this team that don't show up in the stat sheet.
@Bruce: I think it's somewhere in there. The highest-rated team to not make the tournament was No. 21 Missouri State 10 or 11 years ago. The highest-rated Big Six team not to make it was No. 40 Cincinatti. But we've also seen a few teams in the 60s get at-large bids, so I'd say it's in that 45-55 range.
@Bruce: I think that's the plan. I'm not totally up to date on his status, but I think you're correct in that assumption.
@Dennis: I tend to agree with you, although if you look at the second half against Maryland, it's not like they set the world on fire offensively. They're doing a much better job of getting in the paint and not settling for jumpers, which really helps, but I think the defense has been much improved as well.
@Rick: I think Jack has been great about the whole situation. It's impossible to tell what he's thinking, obviously, but you're right. Watching him in person at Indiana, he was totally engaged from pre-game all the way through the end. I think he's a wonderful teammate and a good guy. You hope he can break out of his slump and find a way to contribute here as the season goes on.
@DannyNee: First of all, I applaud your screen name. Second, I think he's coming along pretty well. It always seems like it takes big men longer to develop than guards, and he's light years ahead of where he was at the start of the season. He's turning into a guy who can protect the rim on defense and grab rebounds, which I think was a reasonable expectation for him coming into the season. I think he can be a really key piece for this team in the coming years if he sticks with it. He might never lead them in scoring, but he can certainly help them against bigger lineups.
@Rick: It kind of feels like an Isaiah Roby situation to me, where they got in on him early and now he's blowing up during his senior year. He seems to have a complete offensive game - last I checked, he was shooting over 50 percent from three-point range, and he's had his share of highlight-reel dunks. He'll play next year, especially if he can hit outside shots.
@MoeIba: Danny Nee AND Moe Iba in the chat! What a day. I think I would have agreed with you a few weeks ago, but it seems like the Huskers have found enough of an identity on offense that getting to 65 points every night shouldn't be too much of a challenge. They'll still have their off nights, for sure. But at least now there appears to be some confidence and conviction on that end of the court.
@Ceedub: Has to be Tai. He's leading them in scoring an assists, is second in steals and third in rebounding while playing 33 minutes a night. Plus he's the best leader on the team. The young players follow his lead. He's a tough son of a gun, and the team is kind of taking on his image, I think.
@casualobserver: You're right. He's just so dang tough. Has no fear of any situation or any opponent. He'll carry this team as far as he can, and I think he'll go down as an all-time fan favorite by the time this season is over. He's come a long way from his freshman season, and should be applauded for sticking with it and working to improve.
@Ceedub: Roby is going to be scary good. We already see flashes of it: the dunk at Indiana being his most recent highlight. He's just so dang smart. He has all the skills in the world, but his basketball IQ is what will set him apart, I think.
@MoeIba: Appreciate that. This team might not quite be on the level of some of those mid-90s teams, but I think they're pretty darn close. Especially if they keep developing. If they stay healthy, it will be fun to see what this team is doing at the end of the season.
@Mitch: I think it's going to be a great crowd, and with the confidence this team has right now, you hope they can buy into that energy and translate it to the court. You're spot on about the Creighton game - they seemed tight. But I think this squad has evolved since then. That's one of the things to watch tomorrow. If Nebraska gets off to a hot start, I could see the Huskers getting out to a big lead the first 20 minutes just because the energy in the building will be so good.
@Dennis: I think that's part of it. It sounds like he had some trouble picking up on what Nebraska likes to do on defense, and that held him back. I also think Nebraska reached a point of desperation after the Gardner-Webb game, needed a spark on offense, and Horne totally and completely seized his opportunity. He's too good on offense to keep the the court right now.
@Bruce: Oh Fran. Especially if Nebraska gets out to something like a 17-5 lead early or something like that. We might have a cranky coach on the opposing bench for most of the game.
@Mitch: I think it just comes down to the fact that he can't put the ball in the basket. Miles has said that McVeigh works as hard as anyone in practice. He's in the gym every morning getting shots up. But he gets in a game, and he just doesn't have it. And he's not a good enough one-on-one defender to leave out there when his shots aren't falling. He needs to see a couple go in, and I think he'll get a few more minutes, but for now the rotation Nebraska is using seems to be the way to go.
@Dennis: I think it puts them in the discussion. A lot of it will depend on how the selection committee views the Big Ten at the end of the season. Bottom line, if the Huskers beat Gardner-Webb and Clemson, I think 11-7 in the league gets them in no question. But it might be a little harder now.
@casualobserver: You're right. He played a great game at Maryland, and made a ton of hustle plays against Indiana. He has the strength to battle down low, and he's starting to figure out how to use it.