Wednesday, January 19, 2011
One Down, More to Go...
The Nebraska men's basketball team snared a big win (in relative terms) Tuesday night over upstart Colorado, despite the lame-assed bandwagon fans in Lincoln showing up to the tune of just 8500 people. Local sources say that there were snow FLURRIES in the Star City, so there's your excuse du jour for this pathetic fan base. As much as PYB wants to fly in and shake them all by the neck, we will settle for giving a recap on the 79-67 victory:
Somewhat surprisingly, NU jumped on top with a 14-3 spurt early. Doc Sadler wisely found ways to get the ball in easy scoring positions for Brian Diaz, as the big man had struggled mightily in the first three Big 12 games. Diaz finished the game 7/8 from the field with 14 points but just two rebounds. Either way, PYB gives credit to Sadler & staff for taking measures to get him involved and boost the big man's confidence.
Despite pissing away the lead and leading by only one at halftime, NU was solid the whole game and once again played great defense, despite surrendering too many open three pointers as always. The Buffaloes were 6/14 at halftime, and finished 12/30 for the game. As much as NU is lauded for its FG% defense, PYB has to question whether this is not partly a function of leaving the opponent open so consistently from beyond the arc. Sadler will surely absorb a couple bottle blastings from teams that get hot from outside, and hopefully it's not at an inopportune time in the tough conference schedule.
PYB also has to give major credit to Toney McCray, who looks vastly improved from his first two (or three) lost seasons in Lincoln. The junior racked up 18 points and eight boards and made #4 on ESPN's wack Top Plays with his lone block of the night. McCray's tip dunk came at a great time in the first half, as the team had surrendered most of its lead and momentum and the fat-ass fans were sitting on their hands.
Lance Jeter controlled the game's flow as usual, and had 10 points, nine assists and six rebounds. Most concerning is the fact that NU is NOT effective with Jeter on the bench, a problem magnified by Kamyron Brown's dismissal last week. PYB favorite Caleb Walker helped fill up the stat sheet in categories that define winning teams with nine points, six rebounds, two assists and three steals. His most important attribute is the fact that he can finish at the rack with ease, and doesn't blow layups as has been the NU trademark for years on end. Bravo.
Even Ravenna-native Drake Beranek (or Buh-RONE-ek if you're ESPN anchor Neil Everett) hit double figures with 10 points and provides a calming, solid influence on the team's sometimes choppy pace. And all the fans at the Devaney Center (or De-VAIN-ey center if your ESPN loudmouth and credit card fraud expert Doug Gottlieb) can overcheer his plays like they do for any white player on the football field.
So let's not crow too much over a win against Colorado. But let's realize that Nebraska is indeed 2-2 after going 2-14 in conference play last year. The next game against a terrible Texas Tech team on Saturday will be huge, as every possible road win is precious. Any letdown in Lubbock, and NU can kiss all this hard work goodbye. Will Doc have them ready? PYB has to believe they have a good shot, as defense shows up every day and the team does not rely on one star.....because it doesn't have one.
The team has to realize that anything but its best effort will produce a loss. Overall, Nebraska is 14-4 against a relatively decent schedule thus far. Five more win is far from impossible, but far from a lock. Anyway, this team's effort so far is proof that all the haters that wanted Sadler gone are just sans-basketball IQ---like 99% of the population in the Cornhusker State.
For now, enjoy the ride and tune in Saturday as we see if Pat Knight can re-produce his meltdown from a couple years back. And for good measure, here's a classic from his father, the Master of the Meltdown.
Let's go for a walk, through the park, you can suck my dick, in the dark! Seems former Cornhusker Christian Standhardinger takes his post-NU motivations from 2 Live Crew...apparently guys who get blow jobs aren't LaSalle material....unless you're a priest working late with an altar boy.