Baylor comes to Devaney Center Saturday. Game time is 5:00 pm CST. The game can be seen on ESPN Plus, but if you're some poor schmoe like me you'll probably be listening to it on the Husker Sports Network or by streaming radio over the Internet.
Your current Big 12 standings look like this:
Note Nebraska at the bottom while Baylor is just below Kansas at the top, starting at 2-0 in the Big 12 for the first time since 1998. It goes without saying that if we're going to make the middle of the pack we're going to have to win all of our home games starting with Saturday's game against Baylor.
Our next three games are at Kansas, at Mizzou, at home against Iowa State, meaning that if the Cornhuskers don't beat Baylor, we'll probably be 0-5 before we tangle with a decent Kansas State team on the road. Obviously, this is not a formula for success and not what Doc Sadler is looking for out of his basketball team. To say that Baylor is a 'must win' game is an incredible understatement.
Nebraska has never lost to Baylor at home, so it would be appropriate to keep that streak alive.
Nebraska Team Leaders
Baylor Team Leaders
Nebraska's offense struggled in it's last two games and didn't provide much of an effort against the beatable Buffaloes recently. Aleks Maric must put up much better numbers and the rest of the team needs to provide some points or we're in for another long season.
After Marics, only Ade Dagundoro is in double figures in scoring with 10 PPG. Ryan Anderson is next at 9.5, and after that you've got Steve Harley at six. In Boulder, Cookie Miller showed that he's capable of playing well, but in order for this team to be successful, he cannot be a one hit wonder.
Baylor returns all of their starters from a year ago. They have two seven footers in Sophomore Josh Lomers and Junior Mamadou Diene, who can counter Maric's size. They come in with four starters averaging in double figures in scoring.
Nebraska must be get better production from the perimeter and has to keep Baylor from getting offensive rebounds. This will require much more effort than they showed in Boulder, but if they can't provide that effort on their own floor against Baylor we shouldn't expect much from them for the rest of the season.
A win is a reason for hope. A loss and we'll stop worrying about men's basketball and look forward to baseball season.