For Nebraska basketball to even sniff a postseason event of any type, it is going to have to win a few rock fights. Like six, seven or eight of them. And NU had seven extra rocks than St. John’s at halftime Thursday night time.
Then historical past kicked in. The lengthy form of historical past — how typically does NU stick it to a Big East team in enemy territory? — and the more moderen one, the place Fred Hoiberg’s groups regard the begins of second halves like an unsolved thriller.
St. John’s busted out a 14-3 run to begin the second half. It grew to 24-6. Thirteen minutes into the second half, that run bloomed to 34-11. Sixteen minutes in — 45-16.
Nebraska did not precisely stop, at the same time as St. John’s piled on the second-chance factors. NU’s matchup zone protection — designed by assistant Adam Howard — might be difficult to unlock, and the Huskers, at instances, gave St. John’s matches. NU hustles, takes costs and performs with preliminary power.
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But no protection can survive what Nebraska’s offense did in the second half. The execution? The similar ‘ol stuff we have seen from Hoiberg groups.
Doomed drives to the rim that ended in awkward pictures. Wayward runners. A crisp 14.3% taking pictures from 3-point vary during the last 20 minutes. Little ball motion. Even if the Red Storm is likely one of the finest defenses NU faces this season, the 70-50 loss underlines the numerous problem forward for the Huskers.
“We began driving into a pile,” coach Fred Hoiberg stated, utilizing one in every of his favourite criticisms for what Nebraska tends to do on offense. “We had been sped up all night time lengthy.”
Point guard Sam Griesel had extra turnovers (eight) than factors (six) or pictures (4). That’s not energetic sufficient on offense. Griesel can have to take the sport by the gills greater than he did Thursday night time as an alternative of letting Juwan Gary (4-14 from the ground, 0-5 from 3) proceed to take jumpers he has not traditionally made at Alabama or NU. It’s not the Summit League — the sport’s not going to come to Griesel when his team’s down 15. He’ll have to power the problem rather more.
More fast takes from the sport:
>>Yeah, Derrick Walker is admittedly missed. Backup heart Blaise Keita hustles, rebounds and adjustments some pictures on protection, however his offensive limitations had been on full show Thursday night time. He’s nonetheless engaged on ending across the hoop and taking part in with smooth arms. It’s laborious to run a half-court offense by means of Keita the way in which Walker, on the excessive put up, might be a clean operator. The sooner Walker’s mysterious well being points clear up, the higher. Maybe by Thanksgiving?
“Just reveals you the way vital Derrick is with our scheme,” Hoiberg stated.
>>Keisei wants a 3-point operating mate: NU guard Keisei Tominaga seems to be to date just like the 40% 3-point shooter that NU anticipated he’d be final season. Thing is, Nebraska might actually use three of them. In a homecoming recreation of kinds, New Jersey native CJ Wilcher wasn’t that man tonight, and level guard Sam Griesel, who confirmed sensible persistence in the primary two video games, waited too lengthy to hunt his personal shot a bit extra.
>>Denim Dawson continues to give exactly what’s requested of him: Dawson had 5 factors, two rebounds and an help in 14 minutes. He might stand to make extra free throws — he missed 3 of 4 — however Dawson does not hand over possessions with unhealthy pictures or bewilderment-driven turnovers.
Looking again on the final 5 seasons of Nebraska males’s basketball