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Hoops Tip-Off Weekend; Doc Signs 4

It's a wonderful time of the year.  College football is in its home stretch, and college basketball is tipping off its season.  You may hear all the sports talking heads talk about how the regular season doesn't matter in college basketball, but that's a load of crap.  When you're a longshot to make the big dance -- like the Huskers -- every game matters.

The Husker women start things tonight with a home game against Weber State at 7:05 PM.  It's going to be hard for the ladies to earn their 3rd straight NCAA berth this year, with two-time all-Big XII forward Kelsey Griffin sidelined indefinitely for a deep ankle bone bruise.  For now, Coach Yori is looking to establish a new team identity until Griffin's status is cleared up.  A few weks ago, Coach Yori said that there was about a 40 percent chance that Griffin will redshirt this year due to the nagging injury.

The men start things off Sunday afternoon hosting the San Jose State Spartans at the Devaney Center at 2 PM.  The Huskers should be able to handle the Spartans (athough they do return all 5 starters and are picked 3rd in the WAC), but after a series of blows in the off-season, the hits have kept on coming.  Eshaunte "Bear" Jones, the 6-4 guard that was a late addition after the Roburt Sallie fiasco, hasn't properly recovered from a broken foot which will require surgery.  Bear is trying to play through the pain -- he scored 16 points in the Huskers' lone exhibition -- but if it becomes too much, he may wind up taking a hardship year.

And now, some notes:

  • 7-foot Puerto Rican center Jorge Diaz is still planning to join the Huskers in December, pending the results of his TOEFL.  Whether Diaz will play 2nd semester or redshirt will likely depend on his first practices with the team
  • Doc signed 4 players during the early signing period.  Three were previously announced F/C Vander Joaquim, PF Brandon Ubel, and F/G Reyes Gallegos.  The other, a surprise, was 6-8 wing Christian Standhardinger from Germany.  Standhardinger was a club teammate of Husker Center Chris Niemann, and may potentially face the same eligibility issues that is keeping Niemann sidelined this season.
  • Apparently, Bo Pelini isn't the only Husker coach getting a word from Tom Osborne on his anger issues.  Doc has been warned to watch his language by the AD, too.
  • Nebraska has one non-conference opponent lined up for the next two seasons already as part of the Big XII-Pac 10 Challenge: USC.  The Huskers visit the Trojans next fall, before hosting them in 2010.
  • The Husker's Wednesday night game against TCU will be televised on CBS College Sports, which is not carried on Omaha or Lincoln's cable providers, but is on Dish Network and Direct TV.  CBS College Sports also has an online, subscription webcast, but it is not clear if NU-TCU will be on.