Nebraska Basketball: View from the Cheap Seats – Iowa edition


Husker Basketball Coach Tim Miles has been at Nebraska for nearly 3 full seasons and from where Nebraska basketball was until now, you can see the big picture improvements. The athletes, the facilities, even the coaching are all better. But as against the Iowa Hawkeyes on Sunday….You’d have believed me if I told you it was actually a bunch of players from the 1960’s who were in town for ‘Legends Weekend’ that took the court in the 74-46 shellacking.

Feb 22, 2015; Lincoln, NE, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers guard Tarin Smith (11) drives against Iowa Hawkeyes guard Mike Gesell (10) in the second half at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Iowa won 74-46. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

This is new ground for Tim Miles. Sure, there have been losses, but nothing quite like this. Especially not at home, inside the Pinnacle Bank Arena. Now his Huskers are on a 5-game losing streak  (having lost 7 of the last 8 games) and the natives are getting restless. Such is the life of a team with expectations, even if they may have been a little lofty this season.

On a game by game basis, no one should expect to get blown out on your home court by nearly 30 points. And while being picked to finish second in the league was a high goal, I don’t think they expected to finish in the bottom four of the league, either.

Feb 22, 2015; Lincoln, NE, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers guard Terran Petteway (5) and guard Shavon Shields (31) fight for a rebound against Iowa Hawkeyes forward Jarrod Uthoff (20) in the second half at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Iowa won 74-46. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

The view from the Cheap Seats wasn’t pretty this weekend, but here’s how I saw it (and I stayed until the end btw…).

– Maybe it’s a bit of an overreaction, but it appears the new starting lineup didn’t work. Nebraska never led and after Iowa’s opening run, the closest the Huskers got was 7 points down, before Iowa closed the half on a 21-2 run that ended up being the deciding factor. After that there was nothing to play for but pride for NU and sadly, it seemed like that wasn’t enough. Not to say all of the team laid down, but the effort just wasn’t there.

– Recipe for disaster? Shooting 22.6% from the floor (7.7% from three) for one half while your opponent shoots 51.4% from the floor (47.6% from three). That’s what happened to the Nebraska basketball team against Iowa. If you were fortunate enough to miss the first half, consider yourself lucky.

– Terran Petteway has always been a volume shooter for NU, but this year it’s been a lot of misses. He finished with a team high 16 points, but only made five of his 15 shot attempts. Even worse, he shot 8 three pointers, but only one went in. It was a tough day at the office for No. 5.

More from Husker Corner

– Speaking of three pointers, NU hit only two. The aforementioned Petteway three-pointer was the first, while Tarin Smith hit one. No one else was able to connect (2/18 for the whole game). For comparisons sake, Iowa went 50% from three, going 5/10.

Feb 22, 2015; Lincoln, NE, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Tim Miles yells during the game against the Iowa Hawkeyes in the second half at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Iowa won 74-46. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

– It was refreshing to see the ball movement that Iowa had. It’s not something that Big Red has done a lot of the last couple of seasons. The Hawkeyes had 17 assists with Mike Gessell, their point guard, dishing out eight of them. Benny Parker, coming off the bench, had three for Nebraska.

– Tim Miles was so angry after the game that he said he was going to lock out the team from their locker room at the Hendricks Training Facility. He wasn’t kidding. [the photo that was there has now been taken down but we left the link in there so you know we weren’t making it up]

Will it work? Time will tell, but maybe it’s the accountability the team needs at this point.

At this point it seems like the NIT is out of reach, just like the NCAA tournament. With three games remaining, it may take a sweep or at least two of them plus a win or two in the conference tournament to make the post season. Lee Barfkneckt of the Omaha World Herald reported that Tim Miles said that the CBI would be an unlikely option if NU fails to qualify for the NIT or NCAA tournament.

Huskers are back in action on Thursday against Ohio State at 6 pm on ESPN/HSN. We’re hoping they can turn it around and earn their way back into the locker room. In the meantime, GO BIG RED!!!