Nebraska Basketball: Defending the Home Court

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Nebraska Basketball: Defending the Home Court

Husker basketball has been the marquee program for Big 12 mediocrity for as long as I can remember.  Even under Danny Nee Nebraska suffered the fate of a team overshadowed by a competing program that had a lot of success.

Much like Oklahoma in the ninties and Texas though the stronger program has suffered in recent years.  Nebraska's football team has droped off of the national map giving new head Coach Doc Sadler an opportunity to try to resurrect a seemingly dead program.

That resurrection has seemed to have plateaued in recent years, and doesn't look much like it is going to improve anymore this season, but it can.

Why?

Because this may be the most talented young group Nebraska has put on the court in recent years.  Sek Henry and Ryan Anderson lead the way with new comers Lance Jeter and redshirt freshman Jorge Bryan Diaz.  The loss of Tony McCray hurts, but Nebraska seems to have found a clutch three point shooter in Ray Gallegos and in Eshaunte "bear" Jones.

But it seems that this team, young as it is, is struggling during specific times this season. 

Their two losses have come on the road, both hampered by defensive breakdowns and turnover-happy play.

Obviously with the weight of the Big 12 this season that sort of road game won't get Nebraska where Doc or the team want to be, but it's the home game that needs to improve to get anywhere in the Big 12. 

Against Kansas and Texas if you turn the ball over twenty times you can expect around a thirty point loss, especially with the talent disparity.  Much like the football team against Texas in the Big 12 championship, this team needs to play near flawless games to win most of them.

At home Nebraska is 4-0, on the road: 1-2.  The average margin of victory at home is 22.5 points, the average margin of a loss on the road: Ten. 

Young teams go through growing moments, and each game on the road is another chance for this young, talented, but undisciplined team to learn and improve in their road game.

Why?  If they are so good at home?

Simple.

Right now Nebraska is 5-2 this regular season and they have fourteen more home games.

If Nebraska only drops their game to Kansas, then wins the rest of their home games, that's twelve more wins, bringing the total to seventeen wins on the season.

It is imperative that Nebraska protects home court this season. 

Nebraska is projected as the tenth best team in the conference, right now they look like the 12th.

The addition of Christian Standhardinger will help with the scoring and soften the blow of losing McCray for the season.

Doc is a good coach, and his teams always seem to get better throughout the season.  That growth needs to become exponential this season if Nebraska wants to make any sort of waves in the Big 12.

The key to Big 12 waves is a team that defends their home court.  This team needs to attack in the Devaney center, they need to act like their lives are on the line in every home game, scratching, fighting, biting and clawing for every point and ever turnover.  They need to remain focused, turnover free and unselfish because that's how lesser teams win games.

Nebraska's key to the rest of the season is to protect their house, if they can get those twelve wins at home and scratch just a few out on the road we could see a twenty win season and a chance to get into the Tourney a year early.

But it all starts at home, because young teams just aren't that great on the road.

So come on Huskers, show them what you got.  It's time to actually make home court an advantage, because right now our road presence is shaky at best.

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