Thursday, February 3, 2011

Hard 17

Make that 17 out of 21. The Nebraska basketball team was bottle blasted in a game that wasn't as close as the 69-53 final score indicates. It was pure domination from the outset, as the Huskers were outclassed by KSU's long and athletic big men (something NU dearly lacks) and by Jacob Pullen. And for the 17th time in 21 games, the Mildcats smashed the Cornhuskers in Manhattan.

NU had 11 turnovers in the first nine minutes. In most games, even when overmatched, PYB will keep watching because of the team's effort. Not this time--we were scanning for late night bets by halftime, pissed that we hadn't loaded a few hundred on Frank Martin's squad. Luckily, new PYB correspondent Seth Svoboda once again did the heavy lifting and provided us a recap. Let's hope for better Saturday against KU, as PYB will provide a late recap once more....we'll be out getting blasted at the Phoenix Open that day and will have to analyze via DVR:

Not Worth the Trip, by Seth Svoboda

I had the crazy idea that I should see this game in person. I had my room booked, the search for tickets had begun and I was ready to experience Aggieville in person. The roads were questionable and my buddy that was supposed to go with me was nice and cozy on his couch and couldn't be talked into making the trip...thank God.

If you were unfortunate enough to have coverage of this game in your area make sure that you write your congressman complaining about a lack of decent programming on TV. I knew this game would be tough for the Huskers, but for them to come out and play so poorly and get outhustled like that was really embarrassing. They went to Manhattan two days early to beat the weather, but the storm that played out on the court was far worse than the icicle boogers I've had the last week.

What it takes to win on the road in the Big 12: rebounding, defense, and taking the crowd out of it early. The Huskers were outrebounded (29-20), gave up 12 points more than they average giving up (69), the crowd had plenty to cheer about early and by the time they were out of it the Huskers were out of it too.

Turnovers and rebounding were the real issues that the Huskers couldn't overcome. They had a season high 22 TOs and allowed nine offensive rebounds. That is 31 times that Kansas State had an opportunity to score where the Huskers failed to get a shot to match. What did this look like specifically? Eight more field goal attempts and 9 more free throws for 17 total shots more for the Wildcats who shot 21-25 from the charity stripe against us compared to their woeful season average of 62% for the season, that doesn't hurt either.

I know that Brian Diaz went through a lot this week with the travel and emotional issues that arose from attending his aunt's funeral back in Puerto Rico, but he never really showed up for this game. He picked up his second foul about 3 minutes in to the game when he made a turnover and compounded the issue with a stupid foul 60ft from the basket.

Congratulations, Toney Mccray, what a total horseshit display of basketball. He managed more fouls (4) and turnovers (7) combined than points (6) and rebounds (3). I don't think he put a body on anybody unless they were shooting, he got pushed around underneath and it showed that his lower body strength is not where it needs to be to play around the rim in the Big 12.

Lance Jeter put up his usual decent numbers but made a couple of stupid turnovers out at the top of the key in our half court offense that killed a couple of momentum swings we had in our favor when we were trying to get back into this one. (editor's note: he was also dominated by Jacob Pullen most the game.)

Bottom line is that Nebraska played a better team and played them on the road. The Huskers played pretty well, and NU played poorly. There is no way to win on the road against a talented opponent when you have a poor offense to begin with and turn it over 22 times. Sadler's squad better clean it up before KU, or this will look like a close game.

Some parting words here, I read an article by Jason King who writes for Yahoo! Sports where he said, "Other than Texas and Kansas, is anyone any good in this league? Half of the schools already have losing conference records."

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that every game has a winner and a loser. The notion that the conference isn't any good because somebody loses every game in conference doesn't make any sense.

Take a look at any conference in NCAA basketball and they will follow the same bell curve of a few teams at the top with a bunch of wins, a few teams at the bottom with only a few wins and most of the conference hovering around .500 in conference play. In the Big 12, with the exception Iowa State, anybody can beat anybody. That's a sign of strength, look at SEC football.

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