Nebraska Basketball: Familiar foibles strike Huskers against Colorado

Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Fred Hoiberg looks on from the bench (Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports)
Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Fred Hoiberg looks on from the bench (Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Nebraska basketball team lost to Colorado in their final tuneup before next week’s season opener, and the reason for the loss felt very familiar. In fact, Sunday’s contest was one of those “good thing this was an exhibition” type games, considering how the Cornhuskers started things out.

One of the things that has plagued Nebrasketball head coach Fred Hoiberg during his tenure in Lincoln has been long scoreless streaks. That was something that once raised its ugly head in his team’s other tuneup last Sunday against Chadron State. Eventually, the Huskers were able to overcome those offensive struggles to win 87-60. This time around, things didn’t go as well.

The Nebraska basketball team opened the game against the Buffaloes down 10-0 and eventually 28-11 before they finally seemed to wake up and realize they were supposed to be playing a basketball game.

To their credit, the Huskers actually played a better game from there on out and actually outscored Colorado 51-44 the rest of the way. There’s been plenty of games in the Hoiberg era that have seen those kinds of runs. The Cornhuskers come out of the gate shaky and find their footing far too late.

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The culprit for the sluggish start was all too familiar as well. Three-point shooting continues to be something that Hoiberg wants his teams to be good at. The problem is that so far, they never really are.

Same Old, Same Old For Nebraska Basketball

On Sunday night, NU hit just 6-of-25 (24 percent) from beyond the arc. There was also the continued oddity of Hoibergs’ teams being especially bad at free throws. While they had just 10 free throw attempts, they drained just three of them. Colorado wasn’t much better from long range, but they were able to convert 8-of-12 free throws.

There is one caveat when it comes to the post-mortem of the Huskers’ final exhibition game before the 2022-23 season tips off. Forward Derrick Walker, who is expected to be leaned on heavily by this squad, didn’t play for medical reasons. Hoiberg didn’t expand on what those medical reasons were, but it doesn’t appear it will be a long-lasting issue.

There’s also the fact that the Nebraska basketball team finished their exhibition season last year with a 15-point win over Colorado and then went on to have a dismal regular season. Perhaps doing things differently will work out this year.