Tipoff: 12:03 pm CST
Location: Bryce Jordan Center - University Park, PA
Live Stats and Internet Radio: Huskers.com
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
We're in some tough times again for the Nebraska men's basketball team. Doesn't seem like it's been quite long enough since that 2-14 conference season to be going through this again, but alas..here we are. Fan apathy is back in full swing, the Big Ten is as brutal as it's been in years, and everyone is again shaking their head at Doc Sadler's chances of remaining head coach of the Cornhuskers.
I wouldn't be so down in the dumps about these things, if they weren't all so glaringly truthful. Doc Sadler is very likely to get the axe after this season, as Osborne will show respect for what he's done here, letting him finish the season, before politely sending him on his way to a better suited mid-major job somewhere. Truth be told, I've always held the opinion that Doc Sadler is the best assistant coach in the BCS conferences. He's in the wrong job, for now.
Fans in Nebraska will come and go with the basketball team. That will never change. As long as football is the classic 1969 Chevy Camaro, in perfect shape sitting in the garage, the basketball team will always be the oft-neglected 1989 Ford Escort parked on the curb. Until there is equal interest, equal care, and a spot in the garage for the Ford, there will never be comparable results or dare I say- success. It's not that it can't happen, but it appears that most fans are perfectly content to maintain the norm, make backhanded jokes about the mere existence of the second-highest grossing sport on campus, and generally sit back and wait until their buddies come over to see the Camaro in the garage.
Let's be clear, I'm as disappointed as the next guy. I'm not without expectations, and I agree that "feel-good" wins do not exist in the Big Ten. I truly believed that with the addition of Bo Spencer and Dylan Talley, we would be in a great position to compete for a Tournament spot, and land half way up the ladder in the conference. There were plenty of reasons to think so, as we returned a ton of starters and experience from a team that just about made it last season. But something is not right in Lincoln, and it's been more evident this season that in any of Doc's previous five campaigns. I have problems with the players, sure...but they do what they are coached, and this group has broken down fundamentally so often, that you wonder what is going on inside the new plush, iPod-studded training complex. You know, the one that get's mentioned on every nationally broadcast 15 point beat down suffered by the Big Red?
I've heard a lot of different opinions on Doc Sadler. National media loves him, and praises his "discipline" and tough brand of defensive minded basketball. We hear fans talk of how likable he is, and that it's too bad he's going through all of this. He's a charming southern chap with a love for the game, and a desire to coach young men to be better players, and better citizens and students off the court.
I wish I didn't agree with all of this so much. I wish there was something I hated about him, other than the way he wears his ties. I wish there was some reason that I could make it easier to finally admit what I have been trying to avoid: That I now believe it's time for Doc to move on, and find that job out there that is a much better fit for him.
There is a game, a winnable one, this afternoon. Battle for the basement. I'll watch, and be happy if we win...because that's all we can do. Right?
Go Big Red!