Husker Hardwood: Kansas

Can we blow a whistle? Is there a white flag out there somewhere that we can waive? Can anyone stop the bludgeoning of this basketball team? Nebraska needs a pause, something to happen that gives us a small break. Kansas State brought their own "hurt locker" to Lincoln on Tuesday night, and after showing a glimpse of hope against the Sooners...things are looking ugly from here on out.

This is the point in the season where visiting a blog like this starts to get comical. No, not to imply that it's a joke to follow Husker basketball....the true fans will continue to stay abreast of what happening to the mens team. But  comical as in, there isn't much of a point in writing some serious stat-driven analysis of the upcoming games. All that's left is humor. I mean, let's be honest now, it can't get much worse for this mens team. And the funny part? (Funny in a sadistic way) The road only gets tougher from here. Time for sarcasm and witty analogies.

I'd be surprised if there was anything left that resembles a basketball team by the time March 1st rolls around. Trips to Kansas, Texas, and Kansas State..along with a home game versus Baylor should drive this team to a 1-10 conference record by Feb. 20th. I'm now predicting a 3 win conference schedule, with our only real chances coming at home versus Texas Tech, and in Ames versus the "Cy-Clowns" (Sorry, but with Hawkeye fans abound in my circle...I can't help but borrow the moniker.)

I'm a big fan of analogy and comparison. I had a grandfather who spoke almost entirely in analogy. You couldn't just ask a question and get a response. Everything in life would be compared to a football game, cleaning your house, or some other random event. It always amused me to see how something like "searching for a new career" - is just like "finding a good fishing hole."  In keeping with that inherited talent, while also trying to add entertainment value to this section, I will be posting in such a manner until the Husker men start providing some of entertainment on their own. (More after the jump..)

When I think back to the start of this season, it's promise, and the predictions of conference play....it's hard to believe what has transpired so far. Approaching the Kansas Jayhawks this Saturday seems almost unfair, after the beatings we have taken thus far.

Think of this Nebraska basketball team as a kid being sent out to retrieve some eggs from the local grocery store. Sent out in a neighborood (The Big 12) that has grown dark, dangerous, and full of strange evils lurking around every corner....the kid: full of youthful optimism, starts down the street with money in his pocket and ready to complete the mission he's been given. After grabbing the eggs (12-3 in pre-league play), kid-Husker decides to dilly-dally a bit too long, and before he knows it the sky has grown dark, the air cold, and it's time to start the journey home.

Paying for his short-sided vision, and limited experience on the streets, kid-Husker hits the sidewalks and scoots through the alleys trying to avoid creepsters and lurkers wearing purple, orange, yellow, black and blue. Whether sticking to the sidewalks, or taking shortcuts, our kid can't avoid being roughed up for long. Goons and freaks ranging from academy morons in maroon - to ski bums in black and gold, start to bully the young Husker. With yolks flying, the youngster bravely goes toe to to with his enemies, but takes his licks with each. Between blasts to his grill, he makes a mental note to start hitting the weights when he returns. Beaten by a clown from Ames, and scratched badly by a couple of stray cats, kid-Husker gets in a few solid swings on a coke addict named Boomer.

Clearly, our hero has heart, with quite a bit of spunk...and he is nearing his destination -  taking a detour on Lawrence Street. But after turning this particular corner, the man in the Jayhawk shirt awaits. "You ain't supposed to wear red in these here parts", he says...rolling up his sleeves. Husker-kid has seen this bully before near his own backyard...but this time the bigger, badder, and meaner Jayhawker is on his own front porch. The battered Husker can hardly believe what he is facing, and tries to muster enough strength to not only survive...but to protect the few remaining eggs he has left. He thinks....."When did this neighborhood get so rough? How come my Husker-sister can make it to the store and back unscathed?"

Over the blue-clad bully's shoulder, young Husker can also see a drunk fool in a burnt-orange 10-gallon hat waiting his turn, along with a pudgy trailer-hick in a Tiger ball cap picking his nose. Next time he travels this road, he vows to be ready, but for now..it doesn't look good. Covered in shards of eggshell and dried blood....he just hopes to make it home alive and intact.

So...humor aside, that's where we stand today.

Kansas is again the top-ranked team, and boasts a 50-15 all time record versus the Big Red. Averaging a 13 point win when playing Nebraska, the Jayhawks continued that trend by handling the Huskers by 12 points back in mid January. Cole Aldrich is improving, and Sherron Collins is getting lots of ink being touted as the most clutch player in the country right now ( I don't buy it). I vote on the SB Nation Power 16 basketball rankings, and I do not have KU in the top 3 right now. I think they have been spotty at times, and do not have the same talented core the national title teams had. Nebraska led at halftime in the first matchup, but the Jayhawk backcourt  took over in the game while the Husker guards tired and collapsed. Sek Henry was quoted this week as saying that he could shut Collins down, and that Collins' only real points from the first game came when he (Henry) was taking a breather. Strong words there, but I like his confidence!  I hope he can repeat the effort in Lawrence. On a positive note, Senior Ryan Anderson needs only 2 points to reach the 1,000 point milestone...only the 25th Husker all-time to achieve that goal.

The Huskers will need a perfect game to de-throne Collins and Co. I can't see it happening. Kansas rolls in a snoozer.   Nebraska 55 Kansas 70

Tipoff: 5:02pm CST

Venue: Allen Fieldhouse - Lawerence, KS

Television: ESPNU

Radio: IMG Husker Sports Network (Kent Pavelka and Matt Davison)

Internet Stats/Radio: www.Huskers.com

Game updates and thread: www.CornNation.com

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