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December 10, 2011

Gameday: Nebraska vs. TCU

Nebraska Cornhuskers

vs. Texas Christian Horned Frogs
Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011 - 7:00 p.m. CT
TV: MTN (Mountain West Sports Network) / RADIO: IMG Husker Sports Radio Network

TCU (7-2)
Streak: Won 4
Last Game: Defeated Texas Tech 75-69
G Hank Thorns (leads team with 13.0 points and 4.7 assists per game) Sr. 5-9 165
G Nate Butler (averaging just 3.2 ppg and 3.1 rebounds per game) Jr. 6-6 200
G J.R. Cadot (scoring 12.4 ppg on 61% shooting with a team-high 8.1 rpg) Sr. 6-5 205
F Amric Fields (averaging 10.3 ppg this season) So. 6-9 210
F Adrick McKinney (second on team with 5.3 rpg) Sr. 6-8 250

Nebraska CornhuskersNebraska Cornhuskers (5-3)
Streak: Won 1
Last Game: Defeated Florida Gulf Coast 51-50
G Bo Spencer (averaging a team-high 16.0 ppg with 4.4 rpg and 4.0 apg) Sr. 6-2 196
G Brandon Richardson (shooting a career-best 41.2% from 3-point range) Sr. 6-0 190
G Caleb Walker (ranks sixth in the Big Ten in 3-point shooting at 45.5%) Sr. 6-4 205
G Brandon Ubel (has averaged 8.2 ppg on 52% shooting in last five games) Jr. 6-10 235
F Jorge Brian Diaz (had 13 points, 12 boards in last year's win over TCU) Jr. 6-11 244

Get the ball inside

There may not have been a more glaring issue for Nebraska in Wednesday night's one-point win over Florida Gulf Coast than the Huskers' inability to get the ball inside offensively. Prior to a dunk by Diaz in the final minute before halftime, Nebraska hadn't scored a single point in the paint in the first half, and it ended up with just 14 in the game. A big reason why NU struggled to get the ball in the post was because of FGCU's zone defense, which head coach Doc Sadler called the best they'd seen all year. The Huskers have to find a way to get more production out of their big men if they're going to have any sort of offensive success tonight.
More defensive presence

Nebraska could do itself a huge favor tonight and the rest of the season for that matter by playing more like the stingy defensive teams Sadler has had in recent years. The Huskers have continuously given their opponents multiple second-chance scoring opportunities by not securing defensive rebounds and giving up far too many uncontested shots on the perimeter. There's no question that Nebraska needs to step up its defensive intensity across the board to help not make things so easy on their opponents. It could also help spark some more scoring opportunities in transition, which could give a boost to its struggling offense.
Have some fun

One of the first things Sadler said after Wednesday's win was that he thought his players were pressing too hard to be perfect and not having any fun on the court as a result. Nebraska has to find a way to loosen up and just go out and play rather than worry so much about executing every little thing to perfection. We've seen the Huskers get into a rhythm and click together a few times early on this season, but those times have been few and far between. If they can just play with that kind of energy and freedom more often, NU would look like a totally different team.

Senior guard Bo Spencer on the Huskers putting too much pressure on themselves:

"I think we've put a ton of pressure on ourselves. Coming out being such a mature team and everybody such setting high goals and standards. We've just got to be able to get to it. We're going to get around the corner. Last night was definitely a good win for us."
Senior guard Brandon Richardson on the team taking awhile to gel:

"I think as a team we're still learning, just as far as gelling together. I don't think that's clicked just yet, but it takes time. It starts in practice, and each day is a chance for us to get better and learn. That's what we have to do."

Nebraska 65-61

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