Huskers vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders Report Card

Nate Johnson scored a game-high 17 points to lead Nebraska to a 72-44 rout of No. 25 Texas Tech in front of 10,066 at the Devaney Center Tuesday evening. Check out Bobby's latest report card on the game.

BOX SCORE

Offense: B This was not the most efficient offensive performance of the season, but it was very good mostly because of the rebounding effort that will be discussed later. The 15 turnovers, 35% shooting from deep, and a couple poor individual efforts were greatly overshadowed by the greatness of Nate Johnson, Brian Conklin, Andrew Drevo, and some others from the rest of the cast. Nate has been playing as close to Allen Iverson, the man some compared him to before last year, than ever before and made acrobatic moves all game. He has been fantastic over the past weeks and will be missed very much next year. Conk put in three more deep balls when Tech lost track of him. Not a spectacular night, but very solid.

Best: Nate Johnson7-9 FG, 0-1 3-point for 17 points. As stated above, he was spectacular!

Worst: John Turek1-5 FG for 4 points. Not much production against a below-average Texas Tech frontcourt.

Defense: A+++ Texas Tech was held to 44 points, the record low under Bobby Knight, and shot 18.5% in the second half with only five made field goals. Likely Big 12 Player of the Year, Andre Emmett, was held to only nine points, twelve below his average, thanks to the superb tag-team effort by Jake Muhleisen and Corey Simms. Great team defense that yielded nothing to an uninspired Red Raider squad. Awesome effort!

Best: EverybodyJake and Corey shut down Emmett and everyone else took care of the mildly talented Tech supporting cast.

Worst: Nobody – The defense was too good to have anybody singled out here.

Rebounding: A++++++++++++ This is probably the best rebounding effort against a good team in many, many years. The final tally was 50-24 in favor of the Big Red with 15 of those coming on the offensive end. NU won the battle of second chance points 21-1. This was such a rout that even Tony Wilbrand grabbed two boards in only two minutes. (On a side note, it was nice to have a game where Tony was not needed to shore up the middle. I love "The Animal", but he offers nothing on the offensive end when he plays, so two minutes was enough time in my book.) One problem the Huskers have had all year is giving up too many offensive rebounds, but Tech only had six. The star of the night on the glass was the same guy that dominated the scoring: Nate Johnson. He was outstanding in this area, too, with nine boards. Did I mention how dominant the Huskers were?

Best: Nate Johnson9 rebounds with 3 offensive. NJ was aggressive in every aspect and it paid off in tying his career high rebounding mark to go with the 17 points. Iverson does not rebound that well!

Worst: Nobody again. How can somebody land here with that grade?!?!

Free Throw Shooting: B+ At 66%, it was not the best effort by any means, but the Huskers got to the line 24 times, which is excellent and thus the B+ grade. Drevo, Johnson, Turek, Simms, and even Wes Wilkinson all managed to shoot at least three freebies each. The most surprising has to be Wes, who had another fine game, because he went 3-for-4 after entering the game just 1-for-4 for the season. Simms also surprised with his perfect 3-for-3 night since his season percentage is just 65%.

Best: Wilkinson3-4 FT. See above.

Worst: Turek2-4 FT. While he got to the line four times, his poor shooting night was not limited to the floor alone.

Overall: A+ This was the largest margin of victory over a ranked team in Nebraska basketball history, so it was obviously a huge win. Texas Tech may have helped out by failing to bring 100% effort, but that takes nothing away from what the Huskers, especially Nate Johnson, were able to do. This win secured Barry Collier's first winning season in Lincoln and a trip to the NIT at the very least. Slim NCAA tournament hopes still exist, but it will take more consistency than this team has shown thus far. NU's RPI went from 91 to 79 with the victory, but that number is still too high to imagine Nebraska making the Big Dance. One thing that can be assured is that this year's team is so vastly improved over last year's that you cannot help but enjoy it. Last year's team was being beaten in conference by 28, not winning, so be thankful for this game and this year. Great, great game!!

Up Next: Saturday vs. Iowa State, 3:05 pm A rematch with the Cyclones closes out the home schedule as Husker fans get their final opportunity to see the Seniors play at Devaney, barring an NIT home game. Nate Johnson and Andrew Drevo have had two productive years each and shouldered the scoring load most of their time in Lincoln. They will be sorely missed. Adam Bohac is a walk-on that saw limited minutes in his career, but was a fan favorite every time he stepped on the floor. Marques McCarty was plagued by injuries his entire career and never really developed. He did not play this year, but was on the bench every game supporting his teammates and lending any insight he may have from his four years of experience. And last, but certainly not least, is the final remnant from the Danny Nee era: Brian Conklin. Conk redshirted during Danny's final year, but has been hitting 3-pointers ever since. He always struggled to put on weight and hold his own down low, but almost never had a hard time bombing away with his sweet stroke from beyond the arc. I spent years wondering why he was recruited and worrying about his defense, but Conk has changed my tune this season and now I take great pride in yelling, "CONK", after every made three! As for the game, ISU ripped Nebraska pretty handily in Ames earlier this year, but the Cyclones are not nearly as good away from home. The Huskers are riding high, but must remember what went wrong back in that January game. The seniors will be pumped up and should lead the team to a fairly easy victory.

Note: This game is at 3 pm on Saturday, not 7 pm as announced before the season, due to a change for TV.

Prediction: Huskers 68 Cyclones 59

You can reach Bobby Ludemann with questions or comments at bludemann@yahoo.com


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