Nebraska Basketball makes a massive statement against Creighton

Nebraska basketball takes on the Creighton Bluejays (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)
Nebraska basketball takes on the Creighton Bluejays (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images) /

Nebraska basketball just made a statement that the rest of the Big 10 might want to listen to. Coming off two straight wins where the Huskers looked like a much better team than they did … maybe in the entirety of the Fred Hoiberg era … they came into Omaha and handed Creighton a 63-53 loss.

This wasn’t a bad Creighton team either. This wasn’t a Bluejays squad that is in the middle of a rebuild like they were supposed to be when the Nebraska basketball came in and got run out of the gym in the first half last year. This ‘Jays team came into the game ranked seventh in the country and has been everyone’s popular pick for a Final Four run come March.

This Cornhuskers’ team came in and knew what they wanted to do in order to give the Bluejays a game it feels they weren’t expecting. Perhaps the fact that CU has been taking on teams that will be making runs in the NCAA tournament, but Creighton looked stunned for a large part of this contest.

On the flip side, you could see the Nebraska basketball team believing in themselves in a way they really haven’t during the Fred Hoiberg era. That’s thanks in large part to Sam Griesel and Derrick Walker.

The 6-foot-7 point guard, who happens to be a Nebraska boy making good had some shaky moments every now and then, but when it was needed most, he took over and paired nicely with Walker. Griesel finished the game with 18 points, 12 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals.

Walker meanwhile scored 22 points and had 7 rebounds while dishing out a couple of assists of his own.

Speaking of the senior forward, it’s hard to overstate Walker’s effect since returning from a “medical issue” that forced him to sit out Nebraska basketball’s first five contests.

Since Walker has been back, the Huskers are 3-1 and he’s averaged 16.8 points and 9.3 rebounds.

While I have long been a Fred Hoiberg critic, it’s possible there’s something to all that talk in the offseason about how things are different now. Has he really managed to shift what he was preaching and has this team playing basketball that can hang with the big boys?

Nebraska basketball is about to find out as it has two more Top 25 teams to face off against Indiana on Wednesday and then Purdue next Saturday. Today the Huskers have made a statement that things are different in Lincoln and those contests are no longer automatic losses. There’s even a chance they could be wins for this version of Nebraska basketball.