Ok, so Northwest Sports Tours is not a Big 12 quality, or even a Big West quality, team, but it was a very nice win for Nebraska tonight, 113-76. Anytime you can put up 100 points on anybody you have to feel good. The Huskers shrugged off a new 3-point line rule to shoot 10-of-20 from long range. The rule moved the line back nine inches and was paired with a widening of the free throw lane two feet to help prepare Nebraska for the experimental rules that will be used in the upcoming Top of the World Classic games.
Brennon Clemmons again led the Huskers by recording a triple-double with 12 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists in only 25 minutes. If a quiet triple-double is possible then this was it. Brennon had 8 boards and 7 assists without really taking over the game it seemed. The reason for this is because Jake Muhleisen found his stroke and took all of the attention with 22 points in the game. The captain was 6-of-7 from the field, 3-of-4 from beyond the arc, and 7-of-8 from the line. He really played well tonight.
Another bright spot was Corey Simms. He showed up big time off of the bench for the second straight game with 14 points on 6-of-6 shooting. He looked much quicker than he has before and this will be a huge asset to have as a backup. The guard positions were looking a little bit thin coming into the season, but Corey has really done a great job to solidify the bench.
Andrew Drevo had a fine night with 14 points and 9 rebounds after being rewarded for his efforts with a scholarship for next year. Drevo's scholarship and the signings of two recruits, Charles Richardson and Shaun Stegall, were announced before the game. Hopefully this new guys will carry on the momentum the program has going for it, but that is a topic for another day. This current team has too much talent to be looking past the present time.
John Turek and Jason Dourisseau each bounced back from lackluster first half efforts and shined in the second half. Turek finished strong with 7 points and grabbed 8 rebounds in 19 minutes. Dourisseau was pulled in the first half immediately after not taking a change in the lane, but the freshman responded with a great attitude and put up 12 points in the second half.
The rest of the team all saw action with Wesley Wilkinson, Brian Conklin, Nate Johnson, and even Marques McCarty logging some good minutes. Wilkinson looks like the real deal as a low post presence. Conklin has improved down low as well and continues to shoot the ball very well. Johnson looked more comfortable tonight then the last exhibition, but still struggled a little bit. He made some nice jumpers and really got fired up after a nice steal and dunk in the second half. McCarty could see some more minutes this year compared to last if he can play like he did tonight. He slashed to the hoop and knocked down a couple jumpers, while looking very confident with his abilities.
The Northwest Sports Tours squad was simply not a very good team, but Ed Gray, formerly of the Cal Bears, played well for them. While moving around like an old man for most of the game, he was still able to put up some deep 3-pointers and finished with a team-best 21 points. And then there was former Husker Jaron Boone…
Boone showed a couple flashes of why he is one of the top scorers in Nebraska history, but also showed why he was part of a team walkout in the 1996 season. Jaron finished with 13 points and was cheered by the 5,684 fans in attendance when he was introduced to start the game. Those cheers became mixed with boos in the first half when Jaron drove to the basket and felt that he got fouled on his shot. Instead of hustling back on defense, Boone decided to take a seat next to the hoop and wait for his team to bring the ball back down to him. Moments later, he was given a technical foul as he continued to jaw with the official. This type of play brought back memories of Danny Nee-style basketball and it wasn't a pretty sight. I love what Danny Nee did for the Husker program, but it was obviously time for him to leave. It's great to have Barry Collier leading this team in the right direction and in the right way.
Ironically, the last time the Huskers scored 100 points in a regulation game was with Jaron Boone in 1996 against Oklahoma. Hopefully this won't be the last time triple digits are reached this season because it sure is fun to watch. This game wrapped up the exhibition season and the Huskers will travel to Alaska for the Top of the World Classic, which begins at midnight on Thursday night/Friday morning against Centenary. A schedule breakdown, Big 12 breakdown and rankings, and a game preview will be on their way next week, so be on the lookout. The real season is about to get started and the anticipation is building every day!! Go Big Red!!