Nebraska came into the Top of the World Classic with thoughts of a 3-0 start and winning the tournament. They left with a 1-2 record and many questions left unanswered after a 73-65 loss to the Ball State Cardinals. The effort was back after a game off against Alaska-Fairbanks, but the Huskers could not hold onto a late second half lead against a good-shooting team.
With usual starters Andrew Drevo and Brennon Clemmons watching the entire game in Barry Collier's doghouse, Nate Johnson and the rest of the newcomers played some very solid minutes. Johnson had a team leading 23 points with 17 coming in the second half. Jason Dourisseau had 12 points with 3-of-4 shooting from 3-point range. JD really played well in this game and showed why he did not redshirt this season. Wes Wilkinson tied for the team lead in rebounds at seven with first-time starter Corey Simms. Roy Enright still has yet to prove anything by playing one whole minute, but managing to grab two fouls in that time. Finally, "The Alliance Animal" Tony Wilbrand managed six minutes of playing time and actually scored a basket. He also picked up four fouls in that time.
Drevo and Clemmons were benched for the whole game after playing very poorly and without much hustle in the previous game. Barry took some of the blame for the team's effort, but made sure it will not happen again with this move. This type of discipline may have cost Nebraska the game, who can say for sure, but it should win them some games down the road when they really count.
Up next are the Roadrunners from Texas-San Antonio on December 1 at 2 pm. UTSA is not a very good team this year and playing at home should help Nebraska heal some wounds it incurred on the Last Frontier of Alaska. Hopefully everybody will bring maximum intensity for the rest of the season because games like this one and Alaska-Fairbanks cannot happen when you are trying to regain respectability.
Prediction: Nebraska 82 UTSA 56 – Clemmons flirts with a triple double