Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ya Estuvo en Puerto Rico...

The Nebraska basketball team started its real schedule off in typical form, hanging tough despite a shitty offense before going through the final 7:49 without a field goal and succumbing to Vanderbilt 59-49. The Huskers held a three-point lead before their signature drought ended hopes of a victory. PYB was called off to work with 15 minutes remaining in the game, and our DVR stopped with seven minutes remaining thanks to the game being pushed back by the Davidson vs. West Virginia foulfest (67 fouls, 78 free throws). Various sources have said to consider ourselves lucky, and we have to agree.

We still promise the season preview, which will actually be stronger once we know a tad more about all the newcomers, but for now here are our observations:

--Nebraska doesn't have ONE good outside shooter with the ability to get open at the Division I level. How this can happen in a state full of white people is a mystery....every other state has good white guys...Iowa, Indiana, Minnesota, Kansas, why can't Nebraska? We can stomach cold-shooting games, but not having any good shooters is inexcusable, especially when you finally have big men who can draw double teams and your state's demographic is 99.4% white.

--Brandon Richardson is giving us serious doubts as to his future impact. Against Vandy, he was a walking turnover and bricked three wide-open threes off great passes from Andre Almeida in the post. He can't make his own shot off the dribble or finish at the rack consistently....all he has left is his defense on a team that desperately needs scoring punch.

--Speaking of Almeida, the guy has some skills. But he will struggle getting his post shots off against strong players who are more athletic. His passing from the high post is great on back-door cuts and to open shooters, but the Huskers must have players talented enough to finish at the rim and shooters accurate enough to drain threes consistently to make it pay off.

--NU continues to struggle guarding the perimeter and gives up way too many wide open looks from three-point range. This began last year and looks be the same again this season.

--Doc Sadler's squad shot a pathetic .353 from the field (18/51) and .000 from three point range (0/10). In an amazing statistic, Vandy made five threes and continues its streak as one of three teams who has made a three-pointer in every game since it was added to the college game in 1986. Truly astounding. Brandon Ubel was the only NU player in double figures in Doc's 10-man rotation. Somehow, Ray Gallegos got only three minutes despite Kamyron Brown's suspension.

--NU's lack of a true scorer who can consistently penetrate and break down a defense was apparent as usual, and that could make for another long Big 12 season. Doc's detractors will likely be calling for his head soon after this disappointing meltdown, but PYB will support him with these two points: 1. Who else would come to NU that is any better? 2. As long as Mike Anderson still has a job as NU's baseball coach, no other sport's coach deserves to have his or her job under scrutiny.

Sadler is going to have to refine the rotation and play only the guys who can make a difference. Caleb Walker looks overmatched and Toney McCray doesn't have a position. Sek Henry, anyone? I didn't think so.

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