Saturday, November 20, 2010

0-2 in PR

Let's quickly get to the points that need to be gotten to, as the Nebraska basketball team's second consecutive loss in Puerto Rico doesn't deserve much analysis. After going up 11-2 against Davidson, NU once again melted down and got thoroughly dominated and lost 70-67. PYB, for the first time in the Doc Sadler era, has begun to lose faith. Here's how:

-No perimeter shooting. NU was 2/11 from three-point range, with one of those makes being a trash shot from 25 feet at the buzzer. That makes for 2/21 for the tournament. The only person capable of making outside shots consistently is Division II transfer Drake Beranek, and he is too slow to get open against top Division I competition. The rest of Nebraska's perimeter offense consists of 15-foot pull-up jumpers from inconsistent (at best) shooters Toney McCray, Lance Jeter and Brandon Richardson.

-No perimeter defense. NU surrendered 11 three pointers, and luckily Davidson was cold as they missed 17 shots. The worst part of this is that their shooters were continually wide open, after using basic screen plays, and NU's slow-footed big men weren't quick enough to close before the shot. This is a disturbing trend that started last year and is getting worse. Where are Cookie Miller and Steve Harley when you need them? Davidson's white boys got past the NU defenders and to the rack at will, a sad sight indeed. Six-foot-one, 173-pound Brendan McKillop went 6/11 from long range and racke up 21 points. Something tells PYB that NU will see much more dangerous players in conference play.

-No scoring.'s announcers said that Sadler said all he needed now was a difference maker who could score....isn't one of those players always needed? How many years does a team go without one before getting one? The color analyst even called him Don Sadler once. Ouch.

-Bad offensive coaching. Why does the NU offense consist of 15-18 seconds of three man weave at the top of the key, followed by a player with no ball skills (Toney McCray, aka Ice Skates or Caleb Walker) awkwardly looking to pass (not attack, just get rid of a hot potato) before giving it back to Jeter who dribbles around for a few more seconds before getting a trash shot or dumping it to a big man who can only score against overmatched opponents?

NU's second-to-last meaningful possession was the capper, as the Cornhuskers had battled back to cut Davidson's lead to two points. With Brian Diaz consistently scoring inside the past few possessions, Sadler set a play for BRANDON FUCKING UBEL in the post. Ubel, the player who would have a tough time averaging 15 points a game at Nebraska Wesleyan. He got the ball. He traveled. Game over. Absolutely fucking atrocious. Rookie coaching move. NU would have been better off running a play for a three pointer...that way they could have won or lost and not subjected its fans to any more of this shit.

That said, Nebraska got one more chance after a missed Davidson free throw, to send the game into OT. NU ran a nice play, and Bear Jones bricked the three. Game really over. The Huskers' lack of outside shooting was again at the forefront, and their record was 1-2. They get a final chance Sunday to win a game in Puerto Rico, and avoid finishing last in the eight-team tournament. Does it matter at this point? Sure the season is young, but as the same problems continue to haunt the program, will it ever get better? Twenty five years as an NU basketball fan and counting.....


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