The Huskers have yet to get it going on the offensive end of the court. After flourishing last year from beyond the arc, the Huskers are struggling mightily thru five games this year with a 29% season mark. Against the Bulls, the Huskers only managed to shoot 38% from the field and this will not cut it against the much tougher Big 12 teams. John Turek had a terrible time trying to finish on multiple lay-up attempts and the rest of the team was not much better. Andrew Drevo, Jake Muhleisen, and Nate Johnson all reached double digits in scoring, but had to take a lot of shots to get to that point. Hopefully, playing at home for the next three games will help the Huskers find their shooting touch.
Best: Andrew Drevo – 6-15 FG, 3-8 3-point, 15 points
Worst: John Turek – 2-8 FG, 1-2 FT, 5 points
The Bulls were held under their season averages from the field and the 3-point line, but it still was not enough to pull out the win. Reggie Kohn, the Bulls version of Cary Cochran, burned the Huskers with some extremely long 3-point bombs. He made four 3's, but none were bigger than the 35-foot perfect shot with 1:00 left in the game. You cannot fault the Husker defense on that shot. Normally 35-feet is a nice place for your opponent to shoot from, but not for Reggie. Turek had a couple nice blocks in addition to the rebounding effort that will be mentioned next.
Best: Turek – 2 blocks and 11 defensive boards
Worst: Drevo – Announcers commented on his lack of defensive movement and reaction time. Drevo needs to pick it up on the defensive end for this team to succeed.
This was one of the best rebounding performances from the Huskers in the past few years. They out-rebounded South Florida 47-38 with 16 of those rebounds on the offensive glass. Nebraska did a great job of boxing out the entire night and held the Bulls to only one chance most of the time. John Turek was a monster with 16 rebounds, 5 of which were offensive, and Corey Simms set a personal mark with 10 boards. Drevo and Muhleisen also set career highs with 7 each. USF had come into this game with +10.5 per game rebounding edge, but Nebraska really crashed the boards and were extremely sound the entire game.
Best: Turek – 16 rebounds: enough said. Honorable mention: Simms – He is really rebounding well this year.
Worst: Nobody rebounded poorly.
Free Throws: C+
Nebraska shot 6-of-10 from the line, which is just not good enough for a team that needs to convert on almost every scoring opportunity they have. I personally thought Nate Johnson would be a better shooter from the line, but that has not happened yet. Improved free-throw needs to happen because this team does not get to the line that much.
Best: Wes Wilkinson - The freshman hit both of his shots.
Worst: Nate Johnson – 1-of-2 in this game, which puts him at 55% on the year. Shaq is shooting better than that right now.
A hard effort and great rebounding game for the Huskers, but they just have the hardest time getting over the hump on the road. The bomb from Kuhn put the nail in the Nebraska coffin and put the Huskers record at 2-3. Better days have to be ahead for this team.
Next Up: Minnesota – Sunday, December 8th at 2 pm
The Golden Gophers are ranked 17th in the polls and will be more than a handful for Nebraska. Rick Rickert is the Big 10 preseason player of the year and is the obvious leader of their team. It looks like Minnesota should come into Lincoln and will win an easy one, but I have a hunch that Nebraska will come out on fire. The crowd will be into this game and the Huskers will love the home-cookin'. I expect a much better shooting game from Nate Johnson and Jake Muhleisen and the Huskers will pull the upset.
Prediction: Nebraska 71 Minnesota 69