Huskers vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys Report Card
Huskers battle, but lose again 77-70. Box Score
The way things started in this game made it seem like another poor performance was on its way. The Huskers only had seven points 10 minutes into the game. They were shooting around 20% and everything offensively sadly looked like every other Big 12 game this year. Then something happened to turn the game around slightly. Nebraska ended up with 70 points and shot an above-average 38%! The reasons for the point increase can be found in a couple of places. The first one is the number of free throws attempted, which will be discussed later. Secondly, Brennon Clemmons quietly had 21 points. Thirdly, the Huskers committed a season low 12 turnovers. And lastly, Brian Conklin erupted with three, yes three!, 3-pointers in what was his best game all season. This offensive showing did not win the game, but showed that this team can indeed score some points and it came against an extremely defensive-minded OSU team.
Best: Clemmons – 6-8 FG, 1-2 3-point for 21 points. It did not seem like Brennon did much all game, but he slowly put together a solid night. He had two outstanding driving scoop shots in the last two minutes. Also, there has to be some love for Conk in this section because he finally stepped up and put down three big shots from deep.
Worst: Nate Johnson – 5-16 FG, 1-2 3-point for 17 points. He had 17 points, but being under 33% shooting is not very efficient. He did have one unbelievable spin move in the second half to score a layup.
The only reason Oklahoma State did so poorly in the first ten minutes was because they thought they were Nebraska and shot about 17%. The first ten minutes in this game was some of the ugliest basketball played all year at the Devaney Center. OSU finally settled down and managed to get almost any shot they wanted en route to a 77-point outburst, 52 of which came in the second half. The Huskers would have had an even better chance if they had played better defense. Being without Corey Simms, who was suspended one game for violating team rules, did not help at all.
Best: Oklahoma State themselves. The Cowboys made the Husker defense look really good at times.
Worst: Victor Williams' defenders. Nate Johnson and Brennon both struggled to contain the OSU guard and he managed to carry his team to victory with 25 points.
The Cowboys jumped right over Nebraska all night and easily won the rebounding war, 48-35. Oklahoma State was much more athletic and it showed on more than one occasion. John Turek, Conklin, and Clemmons all had very good nights on the glass.
Best: Turek – 13 rebounds with 7 offensive. John did a very nice job of hauling in some offensive boards, but he was unable to put them back in the hoop more than once. Conklin was one off of his season high with his seven rebounds.
Worst: Andrew Drevo – 2 rebounds. Andrew fouled out after only playing 18 minutes, so this total probably would have been higher. That said, he needs to find some consistency on the glass to finish the season strong.
Free Throw Shooting: D
This grade would probably be a B or B+ if John Turek had not gone to the line once. If you remove John's painful 2-for-11 effort from the final tally of 19-for-33, then you might feel better about the team performance in this area. Alas, John just cannot find the touch at the line. He shoots with more arc and backspin than any other player in the Big 12 most likely, but that has not resulted in a better percentage. The total number of attempts, 33, is a positive sign and shows that the team was very aggressive all night.
Best: Brennon Clemmons – 8-10 FT. This is how you finish with 21 quiet points. You make eight free throws instead of four jump shots. Nate Johnson also did very well as he went 6-for-7 at the line.
Worst: Turek – 2-11 FT. His struggles are already documented.
At this point in the season, a seven point loss to a ranked team is a very good moral victory. It was an ugly first ten minutes, but then normalcy returned in the second half and was fairly well-played. It would have helped to have Corey in this game, but he probably would not have changed the outcome very much. It was great to see some effort put forth even though this season is lost and Conklin stepping up is long overdue.
Up Next: Texas
Who made this schedule?!?! Another excellent, ranked team is up next for the Huskers and might be an ugly outcome if Nebraska shoots like they are known to do. Husker fans need to turn out anyway because it is not often that you can see talents like T.J. Ford play in Lincoln and he will not be around when Texas comes back in two years. Ford is not the only guy that can play for the Longhorns though. Brandon Mouton, Royal Ivey, and Sydmill Harris can all shoot the ball well and James Thomas is the college version of Ben Wallace. Even if, or probably when, the Huskers lose it will have been fun to see a potential Final Four team in the Devaney Center.
Prediction: Texas 78 Nebraska 61