A few short nights ago Nebraska looked like they may be ready to turn the corner and realize some basketball success after knocking off #17 Ohio State. But then, the last decade of Husker woes reared its ugly head as they lose a 4-point lead in the final two minutes as Penn State goes on a 11-3 run to walk away with the win 58-54.
Coach Miles is in his second year of coaching the Huskers, obviously a young team, but sitting one loss worse than they at this point last year and 11th in the Big 12. They are playing in a glamorous new arena, and have the commitment from the administration to support the basketball team.
I freely admit, I sit on the basketball sidelines. When I was a student, I was in attendance for most home games. After graduation (and moving to Omaha), I still managed to get down at least a half a dozen times a year for games. But in the last five or six years, I’m lucky to get down more than once a year. It isn’t that I’m a fair weather fan, I’m simply not much of a basketball fan in general. I do have tickets to 4 upcoming home games. I have watched more games on TV this year, and I have tickets to 4 upcoming home games. I’ve also been playing in a fantasy basketball league on FanDuel. So I am making a better effort to get back in to the game.
So what does it take to win in Lincoln? I know this season had higher expectations, and every now and then, they seem to be on the verge of turning the corner. Only to implode, and typically in the second half of games. To my self-described amateur eye, this is what I see that is missing.
First off, a lack of fundamentals. I see a lot of raw talent and steps to harness that with the fundamentals, but as soon as they face a bit of adversity, they seem to lose their confidence and fall back to the raw talent and sloppy play. A lot of guys trying to be the play-maker.
A big guy. Nebraska crashes the boards as good as anyone in the league, but they don’t have dominant in-the-paint player. Sure they could do without – as they have been – but they to improve the shot-making from the outside.
They need some speed on offense. The Huskers are a strong defensive team that plays at a slow tempo. I think this breaks their rhythm on offense. The strong, slow defensive ball game works as long as the opponents are making mistakes. But as soon as they break through and hit a string of shots, the Huskers are trying to shift tempos and play catch-up. I think they put too much pressure on themselves.
Like I said, I’m a casual fan. What do you think it will take to win in Lincoln?