No defense in Husker vs. Roadrunner game

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If you are a fan of outstanding defense, the Huskers vs. University of Texas at San Antonio probably drove you to the liquor cabinet. 

I am not sure defense was even mentioned much as the Huskers defeated the Roadrunners from Texas 104-94 last Wednesday night in Lincoln. My season tickets are not doing me much good right now so I was watching this track meet at Pinnacle Bank Arena (PBA) thinking a college basketball game would break out any minute. It never did. 

Now if you just like offense, then this game was your proverbial cup of tea. There were lots of points scored by both teams and the game was close all the way to the end. The Huskers won their eighth game of the young season. 

The Huskers have been on a tough run this early in the season with losses to St. Johns, Michigan State, Creighton on the road and a win over Minnesota and loss to Kansas at PBA. That is a pretty tough schedule for early in the season but as a coach you hope your team learns to compete with the good teams and then will still be able to take care of the maybe weaker opponents when you hit them in your schedule. 

I am not sure what to think after watching the game with UTSA. I know KU has a pretty decent bunch and Nebraska should have defeated them, but UTSA didn’t appear to be at KU’s level and they gave Nebraska almost all they could handle. 

Coach Miles stated in the press conference that they had worked on getting to the basket so they could get to the foul line and something must have clicked as the Huskers shot a team record 50 free-throws in the game connecting with 37 of them. UTSA shot 10 free-throws for the game. Wonder if USTA thought they got homered any? There were a lot of fouls but I don’t remember Nebraska going to the basket that much as UTSA fouled all over. 

The Huskers also won the battle of the boards 44-34 and that helps your cause a bunch. They did this without much of a threat in the middle. Jordy Tshimanga is really struggling, and I am not sure if he played at all in the second half. 

Tshimanga, according to Coach Miles, is having confidence problems, and I think that is a fair assessment. This is only his fifth or sixth year in organized basketball and he still has problems with footwork and can’t go to his weak hand on offense and mostly on defense. He would have trouble guarding a dead man. I know he can only improve if he works hard and gets game experience, but a lot of times he is a liability with very little upside. I might be too harsh in my judgement, but they played better without him last Wednesday night. 

I still think this is the best group of players Miles has had since he has been at Nebraska, but I don’t think they will finish in the top half of the Big 10. Pre-season guesses by the sports writers had them finishing next to last in the conference, ahead of only Rutgers. Hope they’ll be better than that, but I think it will be difficult.

Coach Miles fate in question

Still hear noise about Coach Miles being on the hot seat as far as his job is concerned, and that might be true. Former AD Shawn Eichorst did not extend Miles’ contract and that is not a good sign most of the time. 

Eichorst is gone now and one of the reasons given was the failure of success by the athletic teams. If that is really the cause then I would guess that Coach Miles is on the hot seat. My original thought would be that maybe the new athletic director would take an additional year to assess the program, but if this season ends up with a less than .500 win-loss record, then one season of assessment might be enough. 

Coach Miles is in his sixth year. and I belive his record is 83-91 as of last week’s game. If the Ws don’t start going up quicker than the Ls, there is a good chance someone else will face the problems of being a basketball coach at UNL.

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