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Pregaming – Nebraska

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Teams: Oklahoma State (16-7, 4-5) vs. Nebraska (15-8, 3-6)

For entertainment purposes
The 6:00 start from Lincoln will be shown on Fox Sports Midwest as well as ESPN3 for my internet-only friends. Nebraska isn’t ranked in the AP poll but checks in at #45 at kenpom.com while OSU sits at #81. Nebraska is favored by 5 as their 14-1 home record suggests they should be. Oklahoma State is a paltry 2-5 away from Gallagher.

Behind enemy lines
Corn Nation but they don’t write about basketball. Ever. Also, you can Google “Nebraska blog” for their other 39 websites dedicated to athletics.

Homework
Basically all the things OSU does well (get to the line, hit FT, grab offensive boards, and run) Nebraska does poorly. They never get to the line (11th in attempts) but they also never foul either. They play a clean, slow game which works against undisciplined, impatient teams like OSU has been at times.

The Huskers come in riding a 3-game losing streak that included a rout at home to KU. That might seem like a “yeah, duh” statement until you consider they only fell by 3 in Phog Allen and beat USC, who gave Texas one of its three losses. In other words, I have no idea what to think about them.

The Cowboys need to pick their spots and get ahead early. When you don’t shoot threes or free throws particularly well like Nebraska it’s going to be really difficult to play from behind.

What I’m worried about
How will the team respond without Darrell. In other words, how Pilgrim will perform on the road in another must-win for OSU. The oft-mentioned stretch of this game, at Texas, A&M at home, and at KU will define OSU’s season and post-season destination. They have to have this one because even getting one of those other three is looking rather bleak.

Two random stats that (probably) only interest me
Nebraska is #11 in Big 12 scoring offense but #1 in scoring defense. Just like football, boring and effective.

JPO is leading the conference and #9 in the country in FT point distribution percentage at 39.8% — that means 4 of every 10 points he scores come from the line.

Video to get you ready
I’m conflicted over what’s unbelievable: that someone spent (presumably) hours creating this and uploading it to YouTube, that I sat through all 2:22 of it, that David Monds hit a three at the buzzer, or that I just used this paragraph to describe all of it…

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