The calm before the Big Red storm. Just a few weeks from kickoff, so we should probably sneak one last basketball post in before things start to really get crowded.
For those who may be interested in Husker Basketball, the team completed it's exhibition week in Nassau with style. The Huskers won easily in each contest, and more importantly they gained some real game experience as a cohesive unit. Last year was a debacle, and anyone who followed on here knows how hard it was to watch. Too many injuries. Too few weapons. New guys. New lineups. No bench. You get the idea...
Someone say it. "Things can only get better!"
Cliche?...true. But here are a few reasons why I think we actually will be better based on what hapened in paradise just last week.
1. No injuries - That's gotta be number one. Simple, yes. But after two ACL blowouts for Neimann, I'm sure Husker trainers were biting their nails watching him run at game speed. He would have been a nice presence last season to help Diaz down low, and losing another year to medical stuff would just be ridiculous at this point. Nothing major reported. So far, so good. Staying healthy until February would be huge.
2. Offensive Efficiency - Okay, so it's exhibition stuff. Big deal...right? Well, that hoop is the same size, and it's still just as hard to make the damn ball go in from 15 ft out. The Huskers proved they have been working on that jump shot this off-season, and they seemed to have a balanced output as a unit. Jones, Gallegos, Jeter, McCray, and Standhardinger all hiting from downtown....can you imagine that kind of balance during league play?
3. More defense - Nebraska was one of the best in the Big 12 last year in shutting teams down (not just on the football field), something that should carry into this year. Doc seemed to have the guys playing hard on the defensive side all week, which we've come to expect out of coaches in Lincoln these days. Nebraska allowed an average of 68 points during the four games, and used just one timeout in 16 quarters of play. (International rules use quarters). Gotta love the Pelini-esque nature of Sadlers defense! Since we have a few Germans, can we call his defense the Euro?
4. Newbies - The Huskers saw their roster swell to 20 members as of this week, which means a lot of new, good names in addition to the ones we got production from last year. Andre Almeida and Kamryn Brown weren't available in Nassau, but we did see action out of Caleb Walker, and former Loper Drake Beranek who was just issued a scholarship on Monday. We have some real experience returning, so to me this simply means that we will have a much deeper bench than last year. Something that killed us late in games. Side note: Former LSU starting point guard Bo Spencer announced he is transferring to NU for his senior season. This guy put up 25 points against Tennessee and Kentucky last year....back to back. He'll sit out this season, but man..what a nice grab going into Big Ten play!
5. Chemistry - Now this one can only be a guess. But mine would be that something has changed from last season. Granted it's too damn soon to be getting excited, last season started out pretty good until we hit November. Still..... it seems like maybe a negative vibe was cut from the team after 2 players transfered out? Just a gut feeling on my part.
Nebraska is currently at it's limit of 13 scholarship players. So this is it..this is what we've got for 2010-11. How will it stack up against the hapless 2009 squad? Against the Big 12?