Nebraska basketball: Shaky offense bottoms out in loss

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

The Nebraska basketball team played a “prove it” game against St. John’s and proved they have a long way to go if they want out of the B1G cellar.

After having some up and down games to start the season, the Nebraska basketball team knew a win against St. John’s would go a long way to proving they’re better than people are giving them credit for. It isn’t clear what to think after the Huskers were blown out on Thursday night, 79-56.

Most prognosticators expected the Huskers to lose, as St. John’s was a seven-point favorite at tip. Even those who thought the Johnnies would be too much for the Cornhuskers likely expected a better game.

it looked like it might be a fairly even tilt in the very early going. Nebraska opened with 3-0 and 5-2 leads. The Red Storm chipped away at that lead, despite neither team shooting very well.

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Eventually, the Red Storm righted their ship, while the Huskers continued to clank one shot after another off the backboard and rim. As the first half progressed, St. John’s started leaving the Huskers in the dust and eventually ran them out of the gym.

The final numbers are about as ugly as any game in the Tim Miles era. Nebraska shot just 28.1 percent from the field and 23 percent from beyond the three point arc. The Red Storm weren’t much better from 3-point land (29 percent) but they didn’t need to be as they shot 43 percent from the field.

St. John’s also had 10 blocks, outrebounded the Huskers 50-39 (despite NU having more size) and forced 16 turnovers to their nine. Speaking of that size advantage the Cornhuskers couldn’t take advantage of, the Red Storm had 16 offensive rebounds and outscored Nebraska in the paint 42-16.

The offense has been a problem for Nebraska so far this season, especially beyond the arc. NU shot just 39 percent and 31 percent on 3-pointers against Eastern Illinois during a four point win. They shot a season high 40 percent from the field against North Texas but only 5 for 17 from beyond the 3-point line.

Problems from deep has been an issue for the last 2-3 years and it’s a safe bet Miles had hoped to see improvement there this season. Nebraska will play three eminently winnable games vs Central Florida, North Dakota and Boston College.  After that, the Huskers go on a four game stretch against #2 Michigan State, #14 Minnesota, Creighton and #4 Kansas.

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If the Nebraska basketball team is going to start improving from long range, they are going to need to do it quickly. Otherwise this becomes another lost season for the Nebraska basketball team.