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Flakes: Women’s Basketball Will Be Fine, Baseball Gets Some Mojo

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Do we need to worry about Jess Shepard’s departure from Husker women’s basketball? Plus, the next great Husker walk-on story might be in baseball.

Gallery: Shepard, Huskers Notch First David McGee

The new broke a couple days ago that Jessica Shepard, the highest rated recruit to ever join the Husker basketball program, is transferring. While it may seem like a big blow to lose a player who has made the All Big Ten team each of her first two years (and it is), I think the team will be fine.

The program is coming off a 7 win season, the worst in program history. Part of this was youth, a new coaching staff, and the most difficult non-conference schedule in program history. There were moments however, when you got a glimpse of the Amy Williams vision. Those moments sometimes lasted an entire quarter. It was crisp ball movement, tenacious defense, and diagnosing the other team’s intentions as quickly as they could put the ball into play.

Some of what was missing in this team has nothing to do with schedule or coaching changes. Conditioning, lack of effort at times, and appalling free throw shooting. Those are things directly tied to a player’s own habits. I’m not calling out Shepard here, the entire team showed that at times. Toward the end of the season, we started to see some clutch free throw shooting, extra effort and the confidence that comes with knowing you can make the play, even when your legs feel like lead. The Williams culture appeared to be taking hold.

Shepard is a smart player and obviously feels like her talents are a mismatch with what Amy Williams is crafting. There is plenty of talent on this team and quality reinforcements arriving this summer. This could very well be a situation where this is the best choice for all involved. She will certainly be missed on the stats sheet, but Nebraska will move forward.

I do not expect the women’s team to turn around and vie for the conference crown next year, but I do expect to see a team that competes.

Corn Flakes

Last night, the Huskers blasted former Big 12 rival Kansas State in an 11-1 win. Freshman Mojo Hagge has been one of the best stories for Erstad’s team this year. Hagge walked-on to the team. He is an Omaha native who intended to go to school at NU whether he made the baseball team or not.

His "real" name is Morris John, hence "Mojo". He stands 5’7" and is an engineering major. From walk-on to leadoff hitter....sounds like a great Nebraska walk-on story to me.

The Husker baseball team opens conference play this weekend vs Indiana. Look for a preview from Keith tomorrow.

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Then There's This

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