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Saturday Gamethread: Braves v. Huskers / Bowl Talk

Tipoff: 7:00pm CST Location: Devaney Center - Lincoln, NE

Television: Statewide on NET-1 (Ch. 12) (subscription required)

Live Stats and Internet Radio:

Radio: IMG Husker Sports Network | KLIN 1400 in Lincoln - KFAB 1110 in Omaha - KRVN 880 in Lexington

Play by play - Kent Pavelka Color - Matt Davison

After a solid game behind a great performance by Bo Spencer, the Huskers have two cupcakes at home before the Christmas holiday, and subsequent start to Big Ten play on Dec. 27th. Spencer had a game high 22 points against the Frogs, highlighted by a 65 ft heave at the end of the first half. I love heaves, unless they are alcohol induced.

Spencer had many family members present at the game in Ft. Worth, and possibly spurred him to a hot handed shooting night. Perhaps we should fly his extended family into Lincoln for the rest of the season? Call it an exchange program of sorts. Or research....yeah, that's it...research.

Which brings me to the only real topic I wanted to bring up before this walk-through of a game. Bo Spencer, and more specifically - his detractors.

I've started to see some grumblings on the net, about Spencer and his style of play. Most seem to revolve around an overall perception of being selfish. Too many shots / not enough made shots / turnovers / etc..

My opinion on this relatively non-issue is this: Let him do whatever the hell he wants. At least for now.

Bo is a guy who needs the ball. He knows he has talent, and like most gamers...he feels like he needs to have the rock at crunch time. Or anytime. So why deny him that? Does anyone think that Albert Pujols wouldn't do the same things given the opportunity? Baseball isn't set up to allow players to take over, despite what Kelly from Bad News Bears will suggest. But if it was?...shit, Pujols would have been the biggest ball hog out there. And rightfully so. Football is the same way. Basketball is different, in that you will usually touch the ball on each possession, and have the chance to monopolize the game.

If he cranks out turd after turd?...then you can start considering benching him. Which will take us right back to where we were last season.

People need to remember that Nebraska has been needing a true scorer for a while now, and Spencer is the best chance we have at one that can change games. The others have had plenty of chances, and they've proved to be best at supporting roles, which is just as important. I've heard comparisons to Tyronn Lue lately as well, which makes me chuckle. You mean the Tyronn Lue that was involved in winning an NIT Tournament, and taking Nebraska to the Dance?

That guy?

I'll take that guy any day of the week. Tyronn Lue was drafted into the NBA, and us fans can now look back and feel good about what his teams did for Nebraska Basketball. We need to sit back and let Bo do whatever he feels he needs to do, in order for us to win. Of course he can still play within a team structure, but leaders need to shine, and they can't do that if they're worrying about people feeling left out. I played, and trust me...the thrill of winning games will be fine with those guys who aren't getting the ball as much as they'd like. In fact - worrying about your own clock time while inhibiting your best player is the true meaning of selfish play.

Not everyone can be Princeton.

Game Notes:

- Nebraska has comeback from a double-digit deficit in six of nine games this season.

- The Huskers beat the Braves last season by a score of 78-57.

- Nebraska is currently ranked #1 in the big Ten in free throw shooting at .755, and in 8th spot in field goal percentage at 45.1%

- Bo Spencer is averaging 16.7 points per game (6th in the conference), and is also averaging 4 assists per game (7th in the league). This equates to between 25-29 of the 61 points that the Huskers score per game. That's 40%.

- Alcorn State will be without it's top scorer this evening, as Marquiz Baker (15.9 ppg) is still healing a broken foot.

- After games against Alcorn State and Central Michigan, the Huskers will play 8 of their next 9 games against Top 25 teams. All in the Big Ten.

- Andre Almeida has taken a medical redshirt, and will not return due to his foot injury.

Once again, I'm stuck working during a game. I've yet to figure out a way around listening to it here at work, so I'd appreciate any help on the score updates. Also, I think there is at least one meaningless football game on tonight?