Explaining The Grades:
Where do I even start?
Should I start with our grand total of FOUR free throw attempts?
Should I start with our offense out of timeouts in the last two minutes of the game?
Should I start with our 38% from the field and 26% from downtown?
Or should I start with the fact that we had Jorge Brian Diaz playing one of the best games I've ever seen him play at Nebraska, and we refused to get him the ball?
Let's start with the latter, as we discuss our Player of the Game (Diaz, 6-10 for 12 points, 5 rebounds and 1 turnover in 31 minutes).
For the entire game, I couldn't figure out why he wasn't getting the ball more. We'll talk more about this in coaching, but WHY IN GODS NAME did we refuse to ever play inside out with him? I don't think there was a single time in this game where he dished the ball off and got it right back. Ever. Not once.
Now, to the defense of our offense, we DID get a number of open jump shots and three's off of Diaz being unselfish and dishing the ball. That IS true.
However, at some point, after going 6-23 from downtown, we needed to make a conceited effort to POUND THE BALL DOWN LOW.
Same thing for Brandon Ubel, who really played solid as well (2-4 for 4 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists). He never got the rock. But I did like seeing him want it all night. He's turning into a solid player.
Diaz and Ubel were the only two who showed up tonight.
Not only did we not get the ball down low, we didn't get to the free throw line.
How about ZERO free throw attempts in the second half. I wonder when the last time that happened was. Will somebody call Elias Sports Bureau?
So let's get this straight.
We didn't get the ball down low. Check.
We didn't attack the rim. Check.
We never got the ball to the middle against the token zone they ran, especially out of timeouts. Check.
We didn't shoot free throws. Check.
We didn't crack 55 at home against one of the worst BCS teams in America. Check.
"C" is actually being pretty nice, because of how our defense folded up like a tent in the last ten minutes of the game, and more in particular, that HORID last possession.
Somehow, Nebraska decided to get confused by a ball screen and give up a WIDE OPEN layup. When it had a foul to give.
Switch the screen, maybe? Help side defense, maybe? And why in Gods name did Brandon Richardson not foul him? That's what I can't figure out. He had to have thought there was help behind him but he was only about six feet from the hoop with a player attacking the basket. FOUL HIM.
Nebraska also did a poor job of locating Chase Fischer tonight, who they knew coming in could knock them down from downtown. He hit his first three attempts from trey land and his fourth was halfway down. All were WIDE OPEN.
"C" is a bit kind, even if this team did only score 55.
Coming in, the Demon Deacons were getting out rebounded by 7 per game.
In this contest, they were out boarded by only 3 (33 to 30).
The pathetic thing is that Nebraska only had 7 offensive boards, however.
Seven?!? Against that team??? When you can't hit the broad side of a barn and are shooting almost ALL THREE POINTERS?!?
To be honest, 14 assists to 8 turnovers is good. I can't deny that.
However, since Ball Handling is also a major part of the offense, I can't give the Huskers anything but an "F" tonight.
Nebraska consistently ignored Diaz and Ubel.
They consistently let the candy ass press slow them down and settled into a slow pace, against a team with only 8 scholarship players.
They never attacked the rim, against a team with only 8 scholarship players.
Their spacing was awful against the zone. They had no idea what they were doing.
Nebraska didn't get a great look out of a timeout all night.
Once it was clear NU wasn't going to have a good night from downtown, there was no excuse for Diaz not getting the ball 2 out of 3 possessions. I don't care if they were doubling. Pass the ball, return it, do whatever. Drive into the lane and dish. That gets you free throws if it doesn't get Diaz touches. There was no excuse for it. Diaz played like a man tonight and looked like a seasoned veteran around the hoop.
How does a team give up an open layup to end the game when it had a foul to give?
How does a team come up empty time and time again with the score tied?
How does a team shoot a halfcourt shot with 2 seconds left when its down by 2?
Etc, etc, etc.
This is year six. You can't lose to Wake Forest at home. Period. There is no excuse.
And to play devils advocate, if NU hits a lot of its open shots, especially in the first half, Doc is probably getting a "C" tonight.
But this is the show me league, not the tell me league. Doc gets paid a lot of money to do his job and has the facilities to back it. No more excuses for a team full of seniors and experience.
Nebraska, welcome to the NIT.
Actually, that might be kind, because if NU can't beat Oregon at home, Wake Forest at home and likely, Creighton in Omaha, there is absolutely no way its going to beat teams like Wisconsin, Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Indiana, Purdue, etc.
And with a loss like this, EVEN IF Nebraska gets to the 6th-8th range in the Big 10, it will likely regret tonight.
No joke - this is that big of a loss. You CAN NOT lose to Wake Forest at home. Not. No. Way.
Nebraska, barring a Top 5 finish in the Big 10, just kissed its NCAA hopes goodbye.
I said this at the end of last year and I got blasted by some.
When I sat courtside at the OSU game in the Big 12 Tournament, I saw the worst team in the Big 12, talent wise.
Now, we add Spencer and Talley. Yet we lose Jeter. So we add one player this year. Rivers is not going to contribute much more than Beranek this year.
Folks, the talent isn't there. And it showed tonight.
And in the end, that's a big, big problem. And in particular, with the man paid a LOT of money to recruit.
To take it further, when you can't recruit in your own state, with these facilities and a contract extension, you are in BIG, BIG trouble.
Very sad night for Husker Hoops. I would say this is the low point of the Doc Sadler era.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Jorge Brian Diaz
Caleb Walker – 2
Jorge Brian Diaz - 2
Bo Spencer - 1
Brandon Richardson – 1