Nebraska Basketball: Familiar issues sink Huskers against Memphis

Nebraska basketball Head coach Fred Hoiberg of the Nebraska Cornhuskers reacts (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Nebraska basketball Head coach Fred Hoiberg of the Nebraska Cornhuskers reacts (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /

The Nebraska basketball team sang a familiar song on Friday evening. For half the game, it looked as if it was pretty evenly matched with the Memphis Tigers. Then the AAC powerhouse made some adjustments, the Huskers didn’t, and Fred Hoiberg’s squad ended up with a double-digit loss.

On the one hand, the Nebraska basketball team shouldn’t have been expected to put up as much of a fight as it did. According to KenPom, the Cornhuskers are somewhere in the 100s as far as team rating. Memphis was in the Top 30. But when a team manages to get within three points at the half, it should be expected to put up a real challenge for the final 20 minutes. That wasn’t the case, much like its game against St. John’s.

Just why the Huskers lost on Friday wasn’t a mystery. It had some real problems shooting early in the game, when it’s opponent was having problems scoring as well. That was remarkably similar to the game against the Red Storm. 11 minutes into the game, the score was 14-9 Memphis. It’s hard to win any games when you can’t score a point a minute.

The Nebraska basketball team also had a whopping 20 turnovers. Even more frustrating about that was that Derrick Walker was behind the vast majority of those turnovers.

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I talked before the Memphis game that Walker’s return might be the spark the Huskers needed to kind of reboot their season. He did give them a boost on the scoreboard and on the boards, scoring 15 and hauling down 12 rebounds. But he also had nine turnovers.

Nebraska Basketball Problems Persist

There is also the fact that Walker’s return really cut into Blaise Keita’s playing time. Two games after getting his first double-double for the Nebraska basketball team, he played just two minutes against Memphis. That’s got to change. The Huskers have two big men who are at least decent, limiting Keita’s playing time isn’t going to make the team any better.

With the loss, the Huskers are now 3-3 on the season, with all three wins and all three losses by double-digits. The path doesn’t get much easier from here.