Huskers vs. Missouri Tigers Report Card
Huskers lose ugly 63-56. Box Score
Well this was not the lowest point output of the year, but it was the worst shooting performance on the year. At 30%, it was extremely poor, but hardly unexpected. This is the way it will be the rest of the year. It might not be this bad, but 40% is a dream right now. The team got off to a very quick start, but 22% shooting in the second half is just horrible. It seemed like the Huskers got stuck on 40 and 41 points for about four minutes each. And if that was not bad enough, everyone in the arena held their breath when Nate Johnson went to down with a shoulder injury. Thankfully he returned because without Nate this team has only one legitimate scorer, Andrew Drevo. Drevo really stepped up in this game, but it was just not enough.
Best: Drevo – 8-19 FG, 4-11 3-point for 24 points. The big man scored the first seven points in the game after what was one of the worst plays in Nebraska basketball history. With a wide open dunk after a great opening tip by John Turek, Drevo dribbled twice and took off from just past the free-throw line ready to throw it down! But what really happened was that he lost the ball halfway to the hoop and it bounded off the glass to Missouri. A hilarious play if you are not a Husker fan.
Worst: Jason Dourisseau – 1-7 FG, 0-4 3-point for 4 points. The freshman is not shy when it comes to shooting, but maybe he should try making some of the open looks he had all night. He had a nice drive to the hoop, but not much else in this game.
Only allowing 63 points would seem like a great defensive effort (which it was for part of the game), but a huge assist goes to Missouri's terrible first half performance from 3-point range. Jimmy McKinney, Ricky Clemons, and Rickey Paulding all had rough nights from long-range. Just imagine what Clarence Gilbert or Kareem Rush would have done with the opening looks Missouri had tonight! It would have been a lot uglier. Turek did a pretty nice job defensively on Arthur Johnson and Travon Bryant, but did not shut them down completely. The true star on the defensive end was Corey Simms. He was near spectacular in defending Mizzou star Rickey Paulding.
Best: Simms – 2 blocks. As mentioned above, Corey performed admirably on the defensive side as he chased Paulding all around the floor. It was reminiscent of the days of Cookie Belcher.
Worst: Wes Wilkinson – Wes has looked lost on the floor all season and this game was no exception. He was visibly out of shape in the first half and is just too slow to defend almost anyone. As of right now, this is a lost year for Wesley, but hopefully he will improve dramatically next year because of this season.
The big boys inside did a much better job against a good frontcourt than they have in the past few games. The final totals had Missouri with two more rebounds than Nebraska, 42-40, but if you take away team rebounds then Nebraska had the advantage by three, 39-36. Drevo and Turek did their part with 22 combined rebounds against a much more physical tandem in Missouri's Johnson and Bryant. Those two Tigers tallied 18 rebounds combined. It was a good, but not great, night on the glass for Nebraska
Best: Drevo – 14 rebounds with 2 offensive. Paired with his 24 points, Andrew recorded his first Big 12 double-double. Hopefully this will continue on a regular basis for the rest of this year and next for Big Drev.
Worst: Nobody – Everybody who should be rebounding well did just that, so nobody deserves to be here.
Free Throw Shooting: C-
This was an ugly night from the line for both teams. Nebraska did manage to have 26 attempts, but only made 17. That's a percentage of 66%. As bad as it was for the Huskers, the Tigers hit an unthinkable 41%. With the chants of "Choke, Choke!" and "No Means No" coming from the Red Zone, Ricky Clemons hit only 2-of-7 at the line in his third game back from a suspension. The 80% shooter was suspended two games for allegedly assaulting a woman. The Zone must have gotten to him more than a little bit.
Best: Simms – 2-2 FT. He was the only guy to make every attempt, so he gets the spot here.
Worst: Dourisseau – 2-4 FT. JD should be better than 50% and that's why he is here. John Turek was worse in the game, but 1-for-3 is somewhat expected from him.
The Huskers battled hard and held an 11-point lead over 12 minutes into the game. It was nine at halftime, but a majority of that could be directly attributed to Missouri's awful shooting. The Tigers talent showed in the second half and they put away Nebraska without too much of a fight from the Big Red. Somebody needs to step up to join Drevo and Johnson as a viable scoring threat for this team to ever breakout offensively. It really is hard to come up with anything new to say about this team because every game seems to be the same. They battle in the first half and then collapse in the second. Hopefully some improvement will be seen by the end of the season.
Up Next: Kansas
The schedule gets even harder with the Jayhawks coming to Lincoln on Saturday. Sadly, this game will be on ESPN and the whole nation will most likely see a KU romp with Nebraska shooting poorly. A repeat of last year's game would be outstanding, but it is more likely going to be a repeat of the pounding Kansas put on the Huskers earlier this year in Lawrence. This game may be closer if Wayne Simian is still out with a shoulder injury, but if he is back then lights out early in the Devaney Center. He and Nick Collison could both have huge days in the middle. On top of that, Kansas loves to press and we all know how Nebraska handles that! Let us all hope that the Huskers have a good showing for a large television audience.
Prediction: Kansas 78 Nebraska 54