Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Deep Dive

As Nebraska prepares for what appears to be one of its last two shots at a Big 12 road win tonight, PYB examines the team's real chances with a deeper dive into some of the team statistics. We say highly unlikely, although Baylor's low-scoring ways do offer NU a better chance than normal.

Still, the Huskers have shown a complete lack of ability to stop the other team's star scorer, and the Bears have a great one in LaceDarius Dunn. The guard averages 20.5 points a game, and lesser guards have lit Doc Sadler's supposedly vaunted defense up all season.

In fact, the Huskers are giving up more than eight three-pointers per game (38.9%) while making 4.5 (a pathetic 28.3 shooting percentage) in their eight Big 12 games. In our humble opinion, this makes the team's top-five ranking in field goal percentage a fraud. They have given up 65 total threes in Big 12 play, which translates to 32 two-point field goals as far as points are concerned. Add these 32 buckets to their current 186 of 414 field goals against, and the percentage would be 52.7 percent. That would be last in the nation.

Sure, one could add this on to any team's FG percentage defense, but the reason NU's FGA figure is so low is because they relinquish a bevy of uncontested three-pointers every game. The Huskers are just 50th in the country in this category, while ranking 294th in three pointers made per game. That's a disadvantage that's very hard to overcome, especially on the road where a couple shitty calls (a given with B12 referees) can turn a four-point deficit into 10 in a heartbeat.

What makes it even harder is that NU is severely outmatched up front with the likes of Andre Almeida, JB Diaz and Brandon Ubel not making much of an impact yet again. Even more, Baylor's 6' 11" Perry Jones has averaged 18.7 points a game in conference, and will likely have a field day against the Cornhuskers. Throw in 6' 11" J'Mison Morgan (yes, I spelled that correctly) and 6' 10" Anthony Jones and the athletic disparity will be laughable again.

So, is there a chance? Yes. Baylor has been very unimpressive this season. However, they're coming off a nice road win at Texas A&M Saturday and will be ready to grab another important win as they find their rhythm. Is a win likely? No. The oddsmakers agree, as the Bears are a six-point favorite.

We aren't hating on Doc and his boys. We root as hard for NU as anyone. But these are the facts. And NU must get better. Until then, we're still pipe dreaming. Go Big Red.

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