Huskers vs. Colorado Buffaloes Report Card
Huskers lose 68-60. Box Score
Things were going well for the first 33 minutes of this game and then something happened that caused Nebraska to shut it down. The Huskers only managed five points over the last seven minutes with three of those coming from a Nate Johnson bomb in the waning seconds. After some solid ball movement and hot 3-point shootout for most of the game, the offense turned stagnant and sloppy to finish the game. Bad shot selection and limited passing lead to the Buffaloes pulling away at the end. NU committed only 14 turnovers, but they came at very poor times late in the game. It is hard to believe that Nebraska shot 56% from 3-point range with nine 3's, but still only managed 60 points. It is tough to figure out and very disappointing.
Worst: Andrew Drevo, Nate Johnson, and Jake Muhleisen – 10-31 FG, 5-10 3-point for 28 points. These three guys need to step it up even further when the bench does not see much time as was the case in this game. The long range shooting was very good, but many shots inside the arc were forced, especially late.
The defense was solid for most of the game, but some lapses throughout the game came back to haunt the Huskers. It hurts when Michel Morandais and Blair Wilson are hitting tough shot after tough shot with a hand in their face. Corey Simms almost completely shut Morandais down in the second half, but Wilson picked up the slack there. The problem with the defense is actually a result of the Buffs stepping up more than anything. Guys like Glenn Eddy and Lamar Harris knocked down a few open jumpers when they would usually miss those shots. I'm sure Barry could live with those guys shooting, but would have liked a hand in their face.
Best: Corey Simms and Andrew Drevo – 2 steals and 3 blocks combined. This award is not because of the stats, but due to what they did denying the top CU scorers the ball. Morandais was shut down in the second half by Simms and David Harrison only managed seven points due to the fantastic job of Drevo denying the entry pass and boxing out.
Worst: John Turek (sort of) – 2 steals and a block. I put John here mostly because it was his man, Lamar Harris, which got lost after double-downs on Harrison or switches out high. Harris averages 6.4 points per game, but had 12 in this game without missing from the floor (6-6).
This was much like the Iowa State game in terms of rebounding. Somehow Nebraska won the rebounding battle 34-33 (excluding team rebounds) when it seemed like the Buffaloes were doing a better job on the glass. The Huskers pulled down 15 offensive rebounds, which is excellent, but could not convert the second chance opportunity often enough. Another problem was boxing out, although it was better than the Iowa State game. A few occurrences of poor boxing out led directly to easy baskets for CU.
Best: Brian Conklin – 6 rebounds with 1 offensive. I, like many Husker fans, have been very hard on Conk for his inability to do anything but shoot the deep ball. I have to commend Brian for a wonderful job in limited minutes in the rebounding aspect of this game. He boxed out much better than usual and even had a huge one handed rip a la Ben Wallace. Shocked the entire crowd I think.
Worst: The Backcourt – 10 rebounds with 2 offensives. When Drevo and Turek have to worry about boxing out a huge man like Harrison, the guards need to come down and help out on the boards. It was more difficult when the CU guards stayed out beyond the perimeter, but more effort on the boards would help this team greatly.
Free Throw Shooting: D
It was quite the disparity between the two teams at the charity stripe. While CU did well from the line (18-26, 69%), the Huskers struggled to make their limited free shots (7-12, 58%). John Turek needs to be at the line much more than he has been. It seems as though he is very intimidated by big men on good teams for some reason. Hopefully this changes soon.
Best: Nate Johnson – 3-3 FT. Continued excellence from the line for Nate.
Worst: Andrew Drevo – 0-2 FT. Hard to focus on free throws that do not mean as much since these two misses came once the game was decided. Nonetheless, Drevo needs to knock them down.
So much for those dreams of the NCAA tournament! This was a must-win game for the Huskers if they still wanted a chance to go to the Big Dance. Now it looks like the NIT will be a difficult task itself. This team still has some fine talent, but needs to put together a solid 40 minutes in every conference game. One thing to watch for the rest of the way is if Barry gets conservative with his lineups. Depth was considered a strength for most of the season, but was almost nonexistent in this game. With the exception of Conklin, bench minutes were few and far between. Jason Dourisseau and Wes Wilkinson only played three minutes each and Charles Richardson only recorded eight minutes. This loss will be tough to recover from, but a lot of season remains and the chance at postseason is still realistic, so the Huskers need to stay positive and continue to work.
Up Next: @ Texas – Saturday at 12:30 pm ESPN+
When you are team in desperate need of a victory, traveling to Austin to face Texas is a daunting task. Add to it the fact that the Longhorns just played their best game of the year in beating third-ranked Wake Forest and Nebraska could be in for a long afternoon on Saturday. Two years ago, Cary Cochran and John Robinson II led a 3-point barrage that almost resulted in a huge road upset of Texas, but the effort fell just short. The same thing could happen this year, but do not count on it. Texas has more depth than anyone in the conference and possible the country, but, until recently, had yet to figure out how to replace superguard T.J. Ford. Players to watch for Texas include Brandon Mouton, who carried the ‘Horns to victory in Lincoln last year, and P.J. Tucker, the freshman of the year candidate who has regularly recorded double-doubles to start this year. In order to win, the Huskers need to follow the same formula that worked in the Minnesota game: shoot lights out and hope the other team misses its perimeter shots. It would be nice if John Turek could step up in a big game and shoulder some of the scoring load, but do not hold your breath for that to happen in this one. Anything can happen when you play the game, but look for the Huskers to win their first conference game Wednesday against Baylor instead of this Saturday against Texas.
Prediction: Texas 73 Huskers 63