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February 8, 2014

Hoops Gameday: Nebraska at Northwestern

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Nebraska Cornhuskers

at Northwestern Wildcats
Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014 - 12 p.m. CT
TV: ESPNU / RADIO: IMG Husker Sports Radio Network

Northwestern Wildcats (12-11, 5-5 Big Ten)
Streak: Won 2
Last Game: Defeated Minnesota 55-54
G/F Drew Crawford (leads team with 16.3 ppg and 6.8 rpg) Sr. 6-5 215
G JerShon Cobb (averaging 11.4 ppg and has 50 assists this season) Jr. 6-5 205
G/F Sanjay Lumpkin (scoring 4.0 ppg with 5.3 rpg) RFr. 6-6 210
F Kale Abrahamson (averaging 4.0 ppg and 1.7 rpg) So. 6-7 210
C Alex Olah (scoring 8.1 ppg with 5.1 rpg and 2.0 bpg) So. 7-0 265

Nebraska CornhuskersNebraska Cornhuskers (11-10, 3-6 Big Ten)
Streak: Lost 1
Last Game: Lost to Michigan 79-50
G Tai Webster (leads team with 2.3 apg) Fr. 6-4 194
G Ray Gallegos (has a 3.22-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio) Sr. 6-2 182
G/F Terran Petteway (held to just 5 points in loss to Michigan) So. 6-6 209
F Shavon Shields (led team with 13 points against the Wolverines) So. 6-7 219
C Walter Pitchford (had 10 points and 4 rebounds vs. Michigan) So. 6-10 234

Move on from Michigan

Wednesday night's 29-point throttling at the hands of No. 10 Michigan was arguably Nebraska's worst all-around loss of the season, as the game was over essentially from the opening tip. The biggest issue with the loss wasn't the final score, but how the Huskers failed to show much of any fight the entire game and let the Wolverines roll right past them. Nebraska has obviously struggled on the road, but outside of maybe the Creighton and Ohio State road losses, no game has raised more of a red flag of just how far NU needs to go to compete in the Big Ten then its last time out.
Be physical

When you look at Northwestern's roster, the first thing you notice is how big and physical the Wildcats are from top to bottom. Their starting five doesn't have a player smaller than 6-5, 200, and not only are they big, they're extremely active around the rim and the ball on both ends of the floor. Nebraska simply cannot come out as lackadaisical as it did against Michigan, or Northwestern will out-hustle the Huskers for 40 minutes and send them home with yet another disappointing road loss. Rebound, be smart with the ball, and find a way to bring the same intensity they show at home.
Find a solution

The loss at Michigan dropped Nebraska's record away from Pinnacle Bank Arena to 1-9 this season, and unlike some previous road losses, gave little hope that it was any closer to finding a solution to its mind-boggling struggles on the road. The Huskers' postseason hopes are still hanging on by a thread, but you can throw those out the window if they can't find a way to win away from home. Looking at the schedule before the season, Penn State and Northwestern were two road games that seemed winnable. They already lost at PSU, so this might be their best remaining chance.

Nebraska head coach Tim Miles on what went wrong in the Huskers' loss at Michigan:

"We didn't do a very good job. I think we lost our composure by rushing ourselves, and there was no semblance of offensive flow for us. Whenever you're not getting to the foul line and you're not making shots, that tells you that you're just taking quick outside shots and we're not there. I should've done a better job of getting the game under control, but we've kind of been back and forth with that. That's my regret, that I didn't slow things down sooner."
Miles on a recent 2014 NBA mock draft that projected sophomore wing Terran Petteway as a first-round pick:

"That was before Michigan, right? I think it's great for Terran. I think it's great for our program that he's recognized as one of those guys that has a chance by whoever runs (NBADraft.net) that he's that type of player. At the end of the day, it's pie in the sky. I mean, Terran's got to get a lot better. I think he feels like he's got to get a lot better. He and I even talked about it just briefly yesterday. I said, 'Did you realize that?' And he said, 'I'd heard about it, yeah.' And he just kind of shook his head (and said), 'Some people are crazy.' We're not dwelling on it. I think it's fine. It's inevitable. I hope we have four guys they're going to talk both at some point in our program's existence while I'm in charge. That's what we want. We just have to keep getting better, recruit better and develop our guys further."

Nebraska 61-58

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