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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 8, 1994)
Twiday, February 8,1884
Four losses fail to dampen Husker spirit
Jamar Johnson and the rest of the Huskers have moved from first to
sixth place in the conference. But, Huaker coach Danny Nee said,
“there is no sense among the players that the season is over because
we have lost four in a row.”
By Mitch Sherman
Missouri, winners of seven straight, and
Nebraska, losers of four straight, have repre
sented opposite ends of Big Eight basketball
over the past three weeks.
The last time the Nebraska basketball team
won a game, Jan. 15 against Missouri-Kansas
City, the Missouri Tigers were 10-2 and tied
with the Huskers for the conference’s top spot.
Now, the Huskers, who are in sixth-place in
the conference, find themselves five games
behind Missouri, which owns a two-game lead
in the conference.
To top it off, the Huskers play three of their
next four games on the road.
Still, not all is overcast for the 12-6 and 2-4
Huskers, Nebraska coach Danny Nee said Mon
“There is no sense among the players that the
season is over because we have lost four in a
row,” Nee said.
After a three-game shooting slump, the shots
began to fall Sunday for the Huskers.
Nebraska shot 40 percent for the game,
including 7-of-24 (29 percent) from 3-point
range against Kansas.
Although that’s not exactly “lights out” shoot
ing, Nebraska had been shooting as if it was in
the dark in its three previous games.
Against Colorado, Missouri and Oklahoma,
the Huskers shot 16 of 78 (21 percent) from
behind the 3-point line.
Nee said the shooting woes would vanish as
long as the Huskers concentrated on the other
aspects of the game.
The wear and tear of suffering through a
four-game losing streak, Nee said, has not
affected the team to a great degree.
“I don’t think the players are playing like we
have a four-game losing streak,” he said. “I
think they are playing with the same level of
confidence they’ve played with all year.
W L W L
TO ■ 16 2
5 2 20 3
5 2 16 6
3 4 12 7
3 5 14 6
2 4 12 6
2 5 10 9
16 11 7
Oklahoma State 79, Iowa State 66
Colorado 67, Kansas State 61
Kansas 94, Nebraska 87
Missouri 104, Oklahoma 94
“But it’s painstaking. It’s very hard to keep
a normalcy about your preparation when there
is such an urgency to win. But I am not putting
that pressure on the players.”
Nee said the players had not been responding
in practice, which could be a cause of their poor
shooting during games.
“Practices have not gone the way I wanted
them to go,” he said. “We haven’t practiced
well. We have not been putting the ball in the
basket in practice •”
Nee said he was encouraged that his team
was within one point of Kansas in the final
minute of the game. But he said the Huskers had
to learn from it and play a full 40 minutes.
“I really feel that our guys did a nice job,”
Nee said. “We lost but we felt that we played
hard and we did the things that we wanted to do,
but we didn’t get it done at the end. We can’t go
out and play a 39-minute game.”
Husker to start at bottom
By Mitcn snerman
Nebraska basketball coach Danny Nee said
Monday that forward Tom Best would have to
make a long climb if he wanted to make it back
into the starting lineup.
The 6-foot-9-inch senior from South Hol
land, HI., was suspended from the team for three
days and missed Sunday’s 94-87 loss at Kansas
because of disciplinary reasons. Best returned
to practice on Monday.
“I told him that he can start with a clean slate
but at the bottom rung on the ladder,” Nee said.
“Whatever comes his way, he is going to have
to take it and work his way back up.”
Best, who has started in 11 of the Huskers’ 17
games, was asked to leave practice last Wednes
day after arguing with assistant coach Jeff
During the last stint of home games, Best,
who is averaging 4.8 points and 4.8 rebounds
per game, also drew some negative reaction
from the crowd at the Bob Devaney Sports
Senior point guard Jamar Johnson said Best,
who underwent back surgery in March of 1992,
needed to be encouraged by his teammates —
and the fans.
“My response to what the crowd has done in
response to Tom is that I could care less,”
Johnson said, “because the crowd doesn’t come
to practice every day at three o’clock, and the
crowd doesn’t deal with Tom’s personal life.
“That’s not fair for the crowd to judge him
like that. That kindofupsets me when the crowd
gets on a player because they don’t understand
his personal life. Tom needs to realize that all
that stuff isn’t important.”
Best couldn’t be reached for comment on
Johnson said he thought of Best while play
ing in Lawrence, Kan., on Sunday.
“I wanted to get on national TV after the
Kansas game,” he said, “and tell Tom that we
miss him and we want him back. We want him
to get things straightened out with the coaching
Missouri showing Big Eight how to get the job done
The Big Eight season has reached
the halfway mark, and who would
have guessed that Missouri would be
in the driver’s seat?
The Tigers, who were a preseason
No. 3 pick, are tearing up tne confer
ence. Not even preseason picks Okla
homa State and Kansas look like they
have the talent to knock off Missouri.
During the past three weeks, the
Tigers have shown that they are the
cream of the the Big Eight crop this
That title no longer belongs to the
Cowboys and “Big Flathead, whom
M issouri beat in Still water, Okla. And
it doesn’t belong to the “rock-chuck
whom the Tigers stomped in Colum
bia, Mo., for the first time in the
careers of Missouri’s eight seniors.
The Tigers have what no other
team in the conference has—the right
combination of talent and experience.
And the Tigers are making it look
They made Kansas look like a group
of lost birds that should have flown
farther south for the winter.
And Jevon Crudup made Bryant
Reeves look more like “All-Big Gulp”
than All-Big Eight.
Missouri toyed with the Sooners
until the last two minutes, and then
the Tigers overwhelmed Oklahoma
down the stretch for a 104-94 win.
And who can forget the blowout of
the Huskers on Big Monday a couple
of weeks ago?
But the Huskers’ woes started one
game before the loss to the Tigers. At
the time, most observers called the
loss to Colorado on Jan. 19 a fluke.
They said the Huskers were just
looking past the team they had beaten
by 39 points 11 days earlier.
The Huskers have dropped four
straight games in the conference and
find themselves with the same num
ber of conference wins — two — as
And all this began after the Husk
ers looked so promising during their
11-game winning streak. Nebraska
was playing with chemistry and firing
on all five cylinders.
But the letdown against the Buffa
loes made the Huskers’ great chemis
try look more like a mad scientist’s
experiment gone wrong.
Ami even though the Huskers
looked like they might be starting to
break out of their midseason slump
when they played Kansas, Nebraska’s
12-6 record makes you wonder where
the Huskers might be spending their
time during March Maaness.
Nebraska has been shooting blanks
from the field, and even Danny Nee
admits there is no quick fix for poor
But the Huskers will have to heat
up in a hurry, because their schedule
is merciless the rest of the way.
Nebraska has to travel to Kansas
State and hope it plays well enough to
escape from Manhattan, Kan., with
out another one of Anthony Beane’s
last-second daggers through the Husk
Then Nebraska has a must-win
game at home against Iowa State be
fore traveling to Oklahoma and Okla
The Huskers will return home for a
three-game stand against the
Jayhawks, the Wildcats and the Cow
boys before finishing the regular sea
son with those invincible-looking Ti
gers in Columbia.
Let’s play the coach’s counting
game and give Nebraska the benefit of
the doubt on the close ones.
Nebraska could escape with a win
against the Wildcats (victory No. 13)
and a win over the Cyclones (14), but
winning in Lloyd Noble in Norman,
Okla. .just won ’ t happen for the Husk
ers this season. Nor will they win in
Let’s give the Huskers a home win
over Kansas (15) just because the
Jayhawks can’t win in Bob’s House
arid another win over Kansas State
(16). Let’s even grant Nebraska a win
over “Big Ugly* and the Cowboys
But there’s no way the Huskers will
beat those eight seniors at Missouri in
their final home game.
That would put the Huskers at 17
9 heading into the Big Eight Tourna
ment. A 7-7 league mark will put
Nebraska up against Oklahoma or
Oklahoma State to open the tourna
The Big Eight, which appears to be
weaker than it has been in recent
years, will be lucky to get five teams
into the Big Dance.
Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma
State are no-brainers to get into the
NCAA Tournament. And unless the
Sooners collapse, Oklahoma looks like
a solid bet for the fourth spot.
That leaves the Huskers and Wild
cats fighting for the fifih spot, and
with the Wildcats owning 14 wins,
Nebraska will need two wins over
Kansas State to stay in contention for
a bid to the NCAAs.
If the Huskers fall to the Wildcats
Wednesday night, Nebraska will need
a lot of luck to prevent an Orange
Bowl rematch against Charlie Ward
and Florida State in the NIT.
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