Nebraska Basketball: Sam Griesel-less Huskers dominated from beginning to end

Sam Griesel of the Nebraska Cornhuskers speaks to media (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
Sam Griesel of the Nebraska Cornhuskers speaks to media (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

The Nebraska basketball team had a nightmare matchup on Wednesday night against the Indiana Hoosiers. That was even before one nightmare became reality when Sam Griesel was announed he was out for the night with an “illness.”

It’s safe to say few Husker fans entered the evening thinking Nebraska basketball was going to be able to recreate the magic it saw on Sunday against Creighton. But it’s also safe to say that fans might have hoped to see a Cornhuskers club that looked a little better, especially out of the game.

Instead, the Huskers started the night going 1-for-9 from the field while Indiana shot 57 percent from the floor and 2-for-2 from 3-point land over the same period. That start and then no real adjustments throughout the rest of the contest meant that Indiana was never really in any trouble and after Fred Hoiberg’s squad started off 10-2, they were never closer than within eight points for the rest of the game.

Nebraska Basketball Killed On The Boards

While the Huskers’ struggles shooting were a big part of the problem, there was one stat that laid out exactly why NU never really gave Indiana much of a fight. To Hoiberg’s credit, he’s managed to make this version of his squad much better on the glass. They’ve out-rebounded most of their opponents. Tonight was different.

At one point, NU was outboarded, 23-11 by IU. They finished with a 35-25 deficit. That’s especially frustrating considering that the Hoosiers were outrebounded 47-33 in their last game against Rutgers. Nebraska basketball beat Creighton on Sunday thanks in large part to pulling down 42 rebounds compared to the ‘Jays 35.

Go-To-Guy Was Gone

It’s no coincidence that Nebraska got blown out in what would have to be characterized as the worst game Derrick Walker had this season. Despite getting his usual 30+ minutes he scored a near-season-low 11 points and brought down a season-low tying 5 rebounds.

Interestingly, Walker also had a season-high five assists. Maybe that was an indication he was looking to pass the ball more than he was looking to take it to the hole. He did have a couple of shots blocked early in the game. Maybe that caused him to decide it wasn’t his night.

In Griesel’s absence and Walker’s low ebb, it was clear that the rest of the Nebraska basketball team struggled to figure out who was going to be “the guy.” For a while, Emmanuel Bandoumel tried to be that dude. But he struggled with ball handling and shot selection.

Eventually, it looked like it was going to be CJ Wilcher, who finished with 22 points. He had some hot streaks here and there, but in the end, the Cornhuskers probably needed a real second option that never materialized.

Bottom Line From Bad Game

The loss tonight was frustrating because of how bad Nebraska basketball looked at times but this was marked as a loss by most fans. The team has another almost-sure loss to #4 Purdue this weekend. After that game, it’s going to be interesting to see if the Huskers can bounce back and knock off Kansas State and then even some of the middle-tier Big Ten teams.