Nebraska basketball opens the season with sloppy win

BLOOMINGTON, IN - DECEMBER 28: Glynn Watson Jr. /

The Nebraska basketball team looked incredibly sloppy in an ugly 72-68 win over Eastern Illinois on Saturday.

Apparently, the Nebraska basketball team picked up where the Nebraska football team left off on Saturday. Opening a make-or-break season for Tim Miles, the Huskers were not only ice cold from the field but were terrible from the free throw line.

Most discouraging was how disorganized the team looked on both ends of the floor. On offense, the Cornhuskers seemed to be confusing “fast-paced offense” with “just run at the basket and chuck it as hard as you can, even if three defenders are in your face.”

More from Nebraska Basketball

On defense, Eastern Illinois, a team that failed to make their own conference tournament a year ago, just kept feeding players down in the post and scoring more often than not.  It’s more than a little concerning how much success the Panthers had when you think about what a very talented Big Ten might do to the team.

Yes, it’s the first game of the season. Yes, there are an awful lot of new faces. The concern is that despite all those new faces, it appears all the old problems are still there.

The Huskers had a lot of problems hitting the three-point ball (5-16). They also had problems hitting layups and short shots and ended up going just (22-57) from the field.

The horrendous free throw shooting was the real head-scratcher. It was the reason Eastern Illinois was in the game at all. Nebraska managed to draw many, many fouls but could not hit a free throw consistently to save their lives, (23-39).

You know what a free throw is right? It’s when everyone gets out of your way and you basically have however long you want to take the shot. Nebraska was awful at it on Saturday night.

The oddest aspect of the night was the performance of James Palmer Jr. After looking like the real deal all exhibition season, Palmer had a stinker of a game against Eastern Illinois. Shooting just (4-14) from the field, (1-5) from 3-point land and (3-7) from the free throw line.

This isn’t to say it was all bad for the Nebraska basketball team. Isaiah Roby had himself a game. Roby scored (11) points, had (13) rebounds and six blocks. Glynn Watson did just enough to carry the team to the win, scoring 21 points on 6-14 shooting. He was also one of the rare Huskers that managed to hit most of his free throw attempts, going 8-10 from the charity stripe.

Jordy Tshimanga also had a nice game on the boards, hauling down 11 rebounds. Newcomer Isaac Copeland played well also, scoring eight points, as well as hauling down five rebounds and nabbing one block, one steal and one assist.

Next: 10 Candidates to Replace Tim Miles

In the end, a win is a win is a win for the Nebraska basketball team. But it sure would have been nice to see them play better against an inferior opponent. They’ll get a second chance to do that as they square off against North Texas on Monday night.