Fight, it's the one thing that sticks out to me on this years Nebraska men's basketball team.
No matter what happened to the team this year, they always fought. It didn't matter who they were playing, they fought through.
Many of the teams they played this year had players that were bigger, stronger, and more athletic. They still fought through. Opposing fans, venue, or team's history seemed to have little effect on these guys. Nebraska's record didn't usually show it, but they were competitive in a lot of those losses.
This was a team that played toe to toe against Cincinnati.
They took Miami, who ended the regular season in the top ten, into overtime.
They even beat #11 Michigan State in East Lansing.
And who couldn't remember coming oh so close to beating Maryland in February.
Yes, there were some really bad games in there against the likes of Samford, Purdue, and Indiana but for most of the season Nebraska fought through. Some of the final scores didn't show it but Nebraska was in a lot of those losses.
Everyone knew what the Huskers lacked when the came to play. The team even knew and played around it.
These guys knew they didn't have a big man in the middle to open up the paint. A guy who could go toe to toe against Iowa's Jarrod Uthoff and Maryland's Diamond Stone. Michael Jacobson and Jack McVeigh did what they could down below but didn't don't have the size and strength to play against many of these top teams.
The team also seemed to have a hard time finding the right point guard to push us down the court. Benny Parker handled the ball well but has never been one to help lead and score. We will miss him on defense next year. Just you wait and see. Tai Webster could be there to help out but has been struggling to get his head around the game for a good chunk of the season.
But those guys never gave up. They battled against what some of the top teams in the country gave them and at times they won.
I've been fairly hard with the leadership on the court this year. I feel that when the team got into problems, they had a hard time getting themselves out. A lot of time when they would find their rhythm it was almost too late. Something that will hopefully be worked on before next year.
But when it came down to it, they never gave up.
I can't remember a game when the team threw up their arms and walked away. It didn't happen. These guys knew what they had and utilized it to their advantage.
Hopefully, this will can carry over to next season. We will be without Benny and Shavon but will be bringing in guys like Malcolm Laws and Anton Gill who will hopefully contribute early.
This article could have gone on and on about how great Shavon Shields career was at Nebraska. It also could have glowed over the addition of of Andrew White III was to the team. There also could have been the talk of the grey cloud that is growing over the Tim Miles years at Nebraska. Those topics are for another time.
Today, we celebrate a season that could have been a lot worse. These guys knew that if they couldn't beat an opponent with skill and speed then they would have to resort to pure will and fight on for the win.