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    hhcdave

    12/04/2013 - Miami (FL) Report Card

      OVERALL GRADE: B+

      5CF7C.jpg

      OFFENSE: B-

      DEFENSE: A

      REBOUNDING: A-

      BALL HANDLING: A-

      COACHING: A

      PLAYER OF THE GAME: WALTER PITCHFORD

    OFFENSE: B-

    I didn't think Nebraska played as poorly as their shooting percentage (39%) would show, especially in the first ten minutes of the first half.

    In fact, early on I was impressed with how many good looks the Huskers got, from wide open three's by Walter Pitchford and Ray Gallegos, to Shavon Shields and Leslee Smith going to the rim. The Huskers just weren't knocking down the shots in the opening ten minutes and then, NU seemed to get into a lull of bad offense for the final 10:00 of the half (with too many turnovers) before stepping it up and finishing strong in the second half (38 points on 48% shooting).

    I think this was the first game where Nebraska looked unselfish, almost to a fault on a couple of occasions (most notably by Deverell Biggs). The Huskers took MAYBE two bad shots the entire night, which is very encouraging considering just two weeks ago, that number would be twelve bad shots. NU was also a VERY GOOD 77% from the free throw line (17-22).

    It really does look as if NU is becoming a more cohesive offensive unit and I thought they showed a lot of positive in this game, if you're astute enough to look beyond the numbers.

    DEFENSE: A

    I don't care if Miami is very down this year, and I don't care if they're on the end of a ten day road trip. Heck, I don't even care if they normally make a few more shots.

    That's because what Nebraska did on defense tonight was AWESOME, as the Big Red held the Hurricanes to just THIRTEEN POINTS!!! in the first half and for the game, 49 points on just 32% shooting.

    I saw Shields and Pitchford playing the best defense of the year, and I liked that Nebraska made a conscious effort in the second half to turn Miami over by taking some chances. Even though that didn't really work, it also didn't allow any baskets, either.

    For a team that was awful on defense for the majority of the Charleston Classic, this was a very nice effort.

    REBOUNDING: A-

    For a second straight game, Nebraska was even on the boards (34-34) and Smith had another outstanding effort (10 rebounds in 23 minutes). That's almost good enough to give him the nod as "Player of the Game" but I want to give it to Pitchford, who finished with thirteen points and five which (as is a common theme throughout this report card) is a nice improvement.

    BALL HANDLING: A-

    11 turnovers (very good), 12 assists (pretty good).

    Take out a couple of careless Tai Webster turnovers (as Coach Miles noted on the postgame) and all of a sudden you're under ten.

    The one negative I saw tonight was that NU looked very gun shy against the press that Miami threw out in the final 5:00 of the game. There was a horrible turnover by Biggs (and almost a second earlier, where he threw his elbows) and a couple by Webster. You can be CERTAIN that NU will be seeing A LOT of full court looks from Creighton on Sunday, so this better be practiced and then practiced again. Pitchford also looked uncomfortable and unprepared when Miami turned up the intensity and heat on him in the early stages of the second half.

    As mentioned above, NU did a MUCH BETTER JOB of distributing the ball, almost to a point where it was TOO unselfish.

    Spacing was bad against the matchup zone on certain possessions but the best news was, NU seemed to understand what they were up against and executed the game plan more times than not.

    COACHING: A

    Get the rotation trimmed to eight (really seven and a half) guys? Check.

    Get through to team on how to play together and in an unselfish manner? Check.

    Improve vastly on defense? Check.

    Get a double digit win against an ACC opponent? Check.

    Show confidence in your freshman point guard, leaving him out there against the "Hack A Tai" defense? Check.

    I loved everything Coach Miles did tonight - I have zero complaints.

    OVERALL GRADE: B+

    Sloppy? Yes.

    Highly entertaining? Not really.

    Impressive win? Yes.

    Nebraska played terrific defensively, improved offensively and took care of business at home against a team it should beat.

    They were lucky that Miami showed a little press, albeit Mickey Mouse, because we'll be seeing that a lot this Sunday and any practice against it in a game is a bonus, PLUS now the team will really understand they need to take it seriously after being shown up on a few possessions.

    Nebraska is only one win off the pace that even the most optimistic fan would want, and they have a true "gravy game" Sunday. Win, and you're on track for "best case scenario."

    Lose, and you're still only two games off the pace with a chance to still defeat Cincinnati to get right back on it.

    This team is showing obvious signs of growing and improvement, and while tonight's game isn't one I ever care to watch again, it was a good effort and something to take many positives from.

    PLAYER OF THE GAME: WALTER PITCHFORD

    2013-2014 PLAYER OF THE GAME TOTALS:

    TERRAN PETTEWAY - 3

    TAI WEBSTER - 2

    LESLEE SMITH - 1

    SHAVON SHIELDS - 1

    WALTER PITCHFORD - 1




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    Leslee Smith made so many heads-up plays, I'd give him POTG.  But I definitely agree with your optimistic take from this game.  This was a major step forward on a number of fronts, both defensively and in terms of ball-sharing offensively. 

     

    This team is coalescing.  We are seeing more trust with each of them.  When Dean Smith said a week or so ago that we were at a crossroads, I agreed with him then and still do.  The takeaway from this game is that the team has evidently addressed the issues of selfish play and guys trying to get their stats.  Clearly that was not an issue tonight.  In other words, when they reached that fork in the road, they took the right turn.

     

    Lots of reasons for optimism.  Now let's go get the next one.

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    Miles explained on the post-game, nothing Rivers did wrong.  He's not in trouble, not hurt.  Just that he's the third big and we didn't get into foul trouble.  Miles wanted to shorten the bench and, well, that means Rivers sits tonight.

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    Good coaching adjustments by the staff for sure.  People are starting to understand their roles.  And shortening the lineup sometimes can help with that.  Feel bad for a kid like Rivers, but you know what.  It is part of the deal.  Very impressed by the want to get it done attitude on defense, by pretty much everyone.  Obviously it helps when they miss a lot.  So we need to be careful to overreact. 

     

    Side note, I hope like hell that Dave is correct on CU trying to full court pressure a lot.  It won't work and we should get easy hoops.  I don't agree that they will try to make it that kind of game though.  Hope he is right. 

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    One thing I forgot to add but should have:

     

    Key moment of the game? Gallegos hitting back to back three's and taking a tight, three point game and helping to take it to nine at the half. Most important stretch of the night.

     

    Defintely...it was a bummer he didn't get another shot attempt before the half ran out....he was feeling it.

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    One thing I forgot to add but should have:

     

    Key moment of the game? Gallegos hitting back to back three's and taking a tight, three point game and helping to take it to nine at the half. Most important stretch of the night.

     You have never been more correct on anything.  That was a huge sequence of events. 

     

    Edit.  He has been equally correct a ton. 

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    Totally agree on Pitchford as POG. I thought he showed more aggressiveness in the paint on both ends of the court. Grabbed a couple nice boards and brought some intensity tonight. Just what we need to see from him!

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    Yes Pitch deserved POG - got us off to a nice start for us & then hit the big 3 after Miami made its 11-0 run - he also showed up pretty nicely on the defensive end

     

    I also really liked what Tai did after it got to 11-11 - nice drive for a layup and then got in the lane again and found Shields for the 3 to push it back to a 5 pt game - he was almost too unselfish last night too

     

    Loved NU's defensive game plan - and NU had a lot of open looks on offense early in the game that just didn't go down, as dave mentioned - whichever assistant coach did the scout was dead on

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    There is going to be a lot of games that we make those driving lay-ups that were missed tonight.  I am not sure my count is close to correct, but I believe we missed ten "lay-ups" - yes, they were contested, but one could tell by the frustrated looks, the men thought they should have made them. 

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    There is going to be a lot of games that we make those driving lay-ups that were missed tonight.  I am not sure my count is close to correct, but I believe we missed ten "lay-ups" - yes, they were contested, but one could tell by the frustrated looks, the men thought they should have made them. 

     

    A few of those would have been higher percentage if they would have been dunk attempts instead

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    There is going to be a lot of games that we make those driving lay-ups that were missed tonight.  I am not sure my count is close to correct, but I believe we missed ten "lay-ups" - yes, they were contested, but one could tell by the frustrated looks, the men thought they should have made them. 

     

    A few of those would have been higher percentage if they would have been dunk attempts instead

     

    Absolutely!

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