Fred Hoiberg and company found a new and unsettling way to lose a basketbal game on Wednesday night. Playing one of the easiest road games the Nebraska Cornhuskers will face for the rest of the season, they blew one 12-point lead in each half, to drop a must-win game against Rugers, 87-82.
The loss was bad enough. Not hitting a single field goal in the final 6:24 of the first half, and then doing even worse in the second half, where they went the final 9:39 without a field goal was bad enough. But Fred Hoiberg’s comments after the game might have been worst of all.
One reason the Huskers dropped their second straight and three of their last four was because with three seconds left to go in the game, Nebraska had a timeout on the court to draw up one final play.
That play ended up being an attempted alley oop from out of bounds to the net. The pass bounced off the backboard and the game eventually went to overtime.
"I think Keisei was coming back on a crackback and we try to throw a 1 percent play on a lob over the top to Brice," Hoiberg said in his post game press conference. "You've got to let those things go. You've got to see the next option. It's unfortunate."
Fred Hoiberg words don’t encourage
It’s bad enough that the Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach was seemingly saying the players didn’t run what he told them too. It’s another that he’s questioning the toughness of his team.
One big reason that Rutgers won was because they had a whopping 25 offensive rebounds. Hoiberg addressed that as well.
"The bottom line is we've got to find a way to get some toughness. It's unfortunately becoming a bad theme that we're getting outrebounded on most nights.”
In January, in the Huskers’ 18th game of the regular season and 7th of the Big Ten slate, when the Nebraska basketball team’s head coach is talking about “finding toughness,” it’s a very bad sign.
In a season where the Huskers have been seemingly poised to make the NCAA Tournament, anything less is going to be a problem. And with another bad loss for a team that by all rights should be 16-2 this season, it’s a major problem for Fred Hoiberg and company.