Nebraska Basketball: View from the Cheap Seats – OSU Edition


It wasn’t all bad this week for Nebraska Basketball. Shavon Shields did become the team’s first ever first-team Academic All-American. Sure, Tim Miles locked his team out of the locker-room and they got thumped in two games. The first against Iowan and then on Thursday at Ohio State. The Buckeyes controlled the game the entire way through and won 81-57.

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How’d this one look from the Cheap Seats? Let me tell you…it wasn’t great.

– First off, congrats to senior David Rivers. The senior from Little Rock has been through a lot as a Husker, but tonight was his first career double-double. He had 10 points and 11 rebounds. It is not the final season he was hoping for, but I’m hoping this is a small silver lining as he winds down his college hoops career.

Feb 7, 2015; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions forward Brandon Taylor (10) drives to the basket against the defense of Nebraska Cornhuskers forward David Rivers (2) during the second half at the Bryce Jordan Center. Penn State defeated Nebraska 56-43. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Shavon Shields struggled again. He only contributed six points and two assists, with zero rebounds. If NU is going to succeed next season No. 31 will have to match his off the court contributions to what he is providing on the court.

– At one point, Nebraska basketball under Tim Miles was predicated on defensive effort. If you only watched the last two games you’d believe that this team had never heard of defense. Tonight, Ohio State shot 53.8% from the field and 57.8% from three, surpassing Iowa’s 50% efforts on Sunday. Sometimes teams just can’t miss, but there is no excuse for not playing sound defense. Watch back the game and see how many times NU simply failed to close out on a three point shooter.

Husker Moses Abraham found himself on the court again for a handful of minutes, but he didn’t contribute much of anything. Two points, four rebounds, two turnovers and two badly missed free throws (the first of which color commentator Dan Dakich of ESPN called possibly the worst free throw attempt he has seen all year). Abraham was given a scholarship with hopes of being able to give Pitchford a break. Sadly, it didn’t work out. It’s clear Abraham isn’t a Big 10 caliber player.

Feb 26, 2015; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes forward Sam Thompson (12) dribbles the ball while Nebraska Cornhuskers forward Terran Petteway (5) defends in the second half of the game at Value City Arena. Ohio State won 81 to 57. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

– Speaking of not working out. Leslee Smith got the start over Nick Fuller and David Rivers and contributed even less than Abraham did. Zero points and just one rebound. I’d say Nebraska will have a tough time replacing their ‘bigs’ in 2015/2016, but really, you can’t have a tough time replacing nothing.

The only surprise from me is that Tim Miles hasn’t played Jake Hammond more. Why not get the future some minutes, especially with the redshirt off the table? It certainly can’t get any worse.

Feb 26, 2015; Columbus, OH, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Tim Miles reacts on the sideline in the second half of the game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Value City Arena. Ohio State won 81 to 57. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

– Have yourself a game, Tarin Smith. The freshman continues to impress with spurts of solid play. Today was one of those efforts. He went 3/3 from three point land, 5/6 from the floor with a team-leading 13 points. Four star point guard recruit Glynn Watson enters the fray next season to help continue to push Smith? Nebraska’s success will depend on it.

– 2015 can’t end soon enough for this team. There is talent capable of performing both on the roster and coming in. They can get hot, but it isn’t going to happen this season. Mentally the team is shot, they need an F5- refresh.

In the meantime, we will still hope for better play and better results but as always, GO BIG RED!!!