Nebraska Dunks Gophers

After coming off to a start that even the cautiously optimisitc found disappointing, the Huskers had a chance to prove just how good they could be or at the very least, what they could do when they faced off against the 17th ranked Golden Gophers. If NU fans wanted answers, they got them in the form of a 20 point drubbing of Minnesota. Bobby grades out the Huskers for their last hoops contest.

Huskers vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers Report Card

Huskers win 80-60!! Box Score

Offense: A

What a performance by Andrew Drevo?!? He had ten points in the first five minutes and finished with 27 in the game. The Huskers loved the home cookin' because they shot 43% from the field (could have been better) and a decent 37% from 3-point range. The main difference between this game and the others this season was the number of turnovers. Nebraska committed only eight and had a good look at the basket almost every time down the floor. Jake Muhleisen had 10 assists and Nate Johnson added 14 points to help with the scoring. Nate's spin move and scoop layup in the first half was one of the best moves I have seen in a long time. Hopefully, the Huskers can use this and the next two home games to build confidence for future road games.

Best: Drevo – 9-18 FG, 4-8 3-point for 27 points. A terrific showing by the big man and should become a regularity.

Worst: Simms – 3-9 FG for 8 points. Did not play that poorly, but he could have finished stronger near the hoop.

Defense: A+

As well as the Husker offense executed, the Nebraska defense was even better. The Gophers did not score their first point until six minutes into the game and were held to 12 points below their season average of 72.4. Minnesota shot a horrendous 31% from the field and an even worse 22% from beyond the arc. The team defense was, to borrow a word from Frank Solich, "tremendous." John Turek and Drevo held down the inside game of Minnesota and Muhleisen, Johnson, and the rest of the guards shut down the Gopher outside game for most of the game. It was a textbook team defense showing.

Best: Turek – 5 blocks. On top of the blocks, he helped shut down Rick Rickert. The preseason Big 10 player of the year was held scoreless for the first time in his career.

Worst: Tony Wilbrand – He is not very good at defense (or anything else for that matter), but the "Alliance Animal" put on a show for two minutes. He came in and just started banging around. He probably had at least five fouls, but was only called for one. It was a good time, but pretty bad defense

Rebounding: A

.The Huskers did a nice job on the boards again in this game. They won the rebounding battle 44-41 and had 17 offensive rebounds. Drevo had a huge game in this area too. He hauled in 14 rebounds on the day with one of them being a huge follow-up dunk that caused the crowd to erupt. Many others did a fine job of rebounding.

Best: Drevo – 14 boards with 4 offensive. Just an amazing day for the Lincoln Christian graduate.

Worst: Turek – 3 rebounds. He really did not do that poorly since he was playing great defense and let Drevo get most of the rebounds.

Free Throw Shooting: B+

This would have been an easy A if the Huskers had carried over their first half shooting of 7-of-9, but a second half showing of 10-of-15 dropped the grade down a bit. It was nice to see 24 total attempts though because they were not settling for outside shots.

Best: Drevo – 5-6 FT. What didn't he do in this game?!? Nate Johnson got on track as well with a 4-of-5 performance

Worst: Corey Simms – 2-4 FT. Simms has struggled of late with his free throws, but hopefully he will improve because his slashing type of game puts him on the line often.

Overall: A

This was just a fantastic game for the team and the fans. Although it was not even close to a sellout, the Devaney Center was rocking all day. The Red Zone (student section) was raucous with chants of "Do your homework" and "On probation" for the well-publicized tutor scandal that Minnesota had a couple years ago. It was a fantastic atmosphere and could be exactly what this young team needed. They now have an example to play by and should just get better and better.

Up Next: IUPU-Ft. Wayne

The Mastadons are 2-6 on the season and pose no threat to the Huskers, especially at home. Terry Collins and Jim Kessenich are two of the main scorers for this team, but both have been inconsistent thus far this year. IPFW will not challenge Nebraska if previous road games this year are any indication. They have lost to New Mexico and Oakland by 25 and 27 points respectively. This will be a tune-up for Nebraska with Creighton looming around the corner.

Prediction: Nebraska 92 IPFW 62


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