I didn't get the chance to watch the game, as I was driving from Curtis across I-80 towards Lincoln, but I did get to hear Kent Pavelka and Andy Markowski make the radio call. I kept waiting for the inevitable collapse, but it never came.
I expected the sounds of collapse to include the clanking of late-game free throws accompanied by a Pavelka groan. It didn't happen. I knew that Nebraska was shooting the lights out (an incredible 76.5 percent in the second half), and waited for the ice to come late in the game as we were playing so many new players. That didn't happen either.
For the first time since 1998, a Husker team finished with a win against Creighton. It's amazing because it happened with a first-year coach, and a Husker squad depleted by injury and transfers. Last week, Nebraska got beat in an exhibition game by a Division II team, after which, Sadler felt it necessary to apologize to fans. There was no way that the Huskers should have won this game, but the sounds were there, Pavelka's and Markowski's excited voices as it became clear that Nebraska fall apart in the final minutes as they had so many times before.
During each timeout, Sadler asked the players if they were having fun. Sounds like such a simple concept, doesn't it? This was confirmed by a post-game radio interview with Ryan Anderson, a freshman from Seattle, Washington who scored 19 points. Sek Henry, another freshman From Los Angeles, scored 7 including some late game-saving free throws. It leaves you thinking - if Sadler can get this type of play out of true freshman, what can he do with them over the next few years?
It's one game, but a great win. Nebraska will struggle with games throughout this season because of depth issues and when Aleks Maric gets into foul trouble. It's nice to note that already Doc Sadler has accomplished something that Barry Collier couldn't - beat in-state rival Creighton.Last year was Barry Collier's sixth year as head coach. The Huskers went to Omaha, scored only 11 first-half points, played against a heavily injured Bluejay team and got destroyed by twenty-six points, 70-44.
Not this year. For a year, the Nebraska Cornhuskers are the best basketball team in the state of Nebraska. It's a good start. Suddenly I'm interested.
p.s. I would love to hear comments from anyone who got to watch this game. The fact that it was on NETV2 restricted that number. You have to wonder if Steve Pederson is trying to drive ticket sales by restricting TV coverage.