Huskers vs. Missouri Tigers Report Card
A hot start in the last game, but typical result: 70-61. Box Score
In a season that featured an anemic offense almost every game, it was expected coming into this game that the Huskers would struggle again shooting the ball. Little did Husker fans know that this would be the worst shooting performance all year. After the hottest five minutes Nebraska has had in the entire Big 12 season, the next 35 minutes brought about the coldest shooting of the whole campaign. Threes were raining down early and put NU up a 22-4 lead in five minutes. Things looked great, but then everything slowed way down again and the offense stood around waiting for forced shots to fall. Nebraska finished with a season-low 27.4% FG percentage, with 21.2% in the second half. It was a terrible showing in the second half and an ugly way to finish off the year.
Best: Andrew Drevo – 5-17 FG with 2-9 3-point for 21 points. Andrew lands here by default because of his 21 points. Everyone shot 33% or below, so it was hard to choose the best of the worst.
Worst: Nate Johnson – 4-15 FG with 3-8 3-point for 12 points. It was an ugly shooting percentage for Nate, but a bright spot would be the 3-point shooting. It was not great, but better than usual.
The defense was solid early on and helped sparked the huge spurt at the start. But just as the offense changed, so did the defense. Missouri began to hit some outside shots and that loosened up the middle for Arthur Johnson and his 18 points. Missouri was too quick for the Huskers as has been the case if almost every other conference game for Nebraska. Quickness needs to drastically improve next year or a repeat performance could be on the docket. Incoming freshman Charles Richardson could help a lot in that department.
Best: Brennon Clemmons – 5 Steals. Clemmons has been very good in terms of steals in the last couple weeks. He'll be missed next season for his leadership and occasional big game. It's too bad he missed so much time due to injury this year.
Worst: Team defense – It is never good when a team has to use a gimmicky defense like the pack-it-in the Huskers used in this game. Matchups were a big problem and showed up inside with Arthur Johnson against John Turek and Drevo and Ricky Paulding against all the Husker guards.
Just like everything else, rebounding was good early, but fell off as the game progressed. The final tally had Mizzou winning the battle on the boards 46-38, which was probably to be expected. Arthur Johnson and Travon Bryant are very good low-post players and they managed 12 and 7 rebounds respectively. The difference though was probably the effort of Paulding for the Tigers. He hauled down 11 boards from the guard position. For Nebraska, the guys that should rebound did a decent job, but needed to do more especially with that many missed shots being fired.
Best: Drevo – 10 rebounds with 3 offensives. Another double-double for the member of the All-Big 12 Newcomer Team. He needs to improve his defense, but this year's team MVP has a lot going for him for next year.
Worst: Jason Dourisseau – 0 rebounds. He was the only player who played more than ten minutes not to have a board. Not a huge deal, but it would have been nice to see him grab a couple.
Free Throw Shooting: B
Nebraska did a great job of getting to the line with 27 attempts, but like most other games the percentage was in the mid 60s at 63%. Hopefully, next year will feature a much better free throw shooting team, but as long as John Turek gets to the line with regularity it probably will not happen. Corey Simms did a very nice job in this game at the line.
Best: Simms – 5-6 FT. He got to the line well and made a fine percentage. Drevo also did well, but did not have as high of a percentage as Corey. Andrew was 9-14 from the line.
Worst: Turek – 2-4 FT. Another mediocre performance from John. If he can figure out a way to make 65% or more next year, then it will be considered a huge success and a big asset to the team.
It may have been ugly offensively, but the Huskers did manage to keep the final margin under ten, which should be considered a positive for this team. They came out on fire, but could not continue that pace. It has been a rough, rough season, but Nebraska never stopped battling and trying to improve. That is a testament to Barry Collier's motivational skills. A team that battles is fun to watch until it losses the majority of its games. Barry's plan sounded good when he arrived, but it has yet to materialize in a postseason appearance. He has a bunch of great guys on the team, but the talent level is not where it needs to be for a team competing in the toughest conference in the nation. Hopefully, times will change, but expectations are low at this point in Huskerville. The long, arduous season is finally over. Time to focus on baseball Husker fans. Next year cannot be any worse.
Up Next: Nobody (Thank Goodness!)
Prediction: Next Year Will Be Better (going out a limb here!)