Nebraska Basketball: Standouts and throwouts in Huskers vs Iowa Hawkeyes

Nebraska Cornhuskers guard Sam Griesel (5) attempts a three point shot against the Iowa Hawkeyes i(Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports)
Nebraska Cornhuskers guard Sam Griesel (5) attempts a three point shot against the Iowa Hawkeyes i(Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Nebraska basketball team began the second half of its season against the Iowa Hawkeyes on Thursday night, and few could have seen the dominant performance that Hoiberg’s Heroes showed off. The biggest question that had to come from the Huskers win was “is this the kind of performance Cornhuskers fans can expect the rest of the season?”

If the answer is yes, then Nebraska basketball fans could legitimately be talking about some sort of postseason play.

The problem, as it has always been when it comes to Husker Hoops is that it’s very hard to expect consistent play, no matter who is the head coach.

Things that stood out for Nebraska Basketball vs Iowa

  • Defense was the name of the game for the Huskers, and that’s certainly been the key to Nebraska’s big wins and even its close losses. While not all of Iowa’s struggles on Thursday can be blamed entirely on Nebraska basketball’s defense, Juwan Gary said after the game that defense was something the Huskers keyed on all week of practice leading up to the game against Iowa. The Hawkeyes shot 26 percent from the field and 25 percent from beyond the arc.
  • The Huskers’ defense held Iowa to some seriously low shooting percentages, but the physical play extended to the boards. One thing that has been an achilles heel of Hoiberg’s teams until this season was their inability to rebound. On Thursday, NU outrebounded Iowa 54-40. That kind of advantage would have been unheard of even last season.
  • Sam Griesel continues to be a weapon that few other teams, even in the talent rich Big Ten have. He’s a guard who can play the point, but is also big and has a shooter’s touch. The 6-foot-7 guard had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. It was the second time this season he’s had double-digit rebounds. These kinds of games have come at big times. His season-high 12 rebound game was against Creighton.

What Nebraska Basketball should throw out after Iowa

  • While the defense was strong all night, Fred Hoiberg’s teams still tend to be very up and down on offense. After surging to a 29-8 lead on Thursday night, the Huskers went very, very flat and allowed Iowa to go on an 18-6 run towards the end of the first half. A three-point bomb from Juwan Gary near the end of the first period stopped the momentum then. However, in the second half, the Huskers built another big lead but then shut down on offense and scored eight points in the game’s final 12 minutes. Not every Nebraska basketball opponent is going to shoot as poorly as Iowa did.
  • Keisei Tominaga has always been a bit streaky but Thursday’s game was the second in his last three where he struggled to hit much of anything. He was just 1-of-5 against Iowa and against Kansas State he was 1-of-8. Yes he had a decent game against Queens, but he needs to shoot better against better opponents.
  • If there is a part of his game that can be infuriating for Derrick Walker, it’s when he starts to turn the ball over … a lot. He had four against Iowa. That’s too many for a big man that Nebraska basketball is looking to run its offense through.