The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 01, 1995, Page 5, Image 5

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Wednesday, February 1,1995 Page 5
NU isn’t
dead yet,
Nee says
ByTodd Walkenhorst
Staff Reporter
It’s time for the Nebraska basket
ball team to start winning games, and
there would be no better time to start
than tonight against conference op
ponent Oklahoma State.
Nebraska will play host to the
Cowboys in a 7:30 game tonight at
the Bob Devaney Sports Center.
The Comhuskers hope to put a 1
3 conference start behind them as
they face an Oklahoma State team
that may be playing its best basket
ball of the year, Nebraska coach
Danny Nee said.
“In our film of them against Colo
rado, they look as good as any team
we’ve seen on film,” Nee said. “That
includes Kansas.”
Oklahoma State, 13-6 overall, is
coming off an 82-63 victory at Colo
rado and is currently on a three-game
winning streak. Even though the Cow
boys are coming in hot, the Huskers
are hoping to chalk up an important
home victory to get back into the
conference race.
1 think we re one game off of
where we thought we’d be, the loss to
Missouri at home,” Nee said.
The Huskers will try to improve
on their 14-5 record by putting to
gether a quality 40 minutes of play,
something they have had difficulty
doing. To do that, Nebraska needs to
get off to a quick start, Nee said.
“I hope tomorrow night we can get
off to a good start,” Nee said, “to
keep the crowd in the game.”
Sophomore center Mikki Moore
said earlier in the season that he looked
forward to matching up with Okla
homa center Bryant Reeves.
But Moore may be a little ambi
tious, Nee said.
“I see this big, powerful fourth
year senior who will be a first-round
draft choice, between 275 and 300
pounds, who’s agile, catches the ball
and he’s a proven entity in the Big
Eight. He’s an extremely good
player,” Nee said. “I have a young,
ambitious, talented sophomore that’s
going to try to prove his worth. I’ll
leave it at that.”
Nee does not think that the Husk
ers’ season is by any means over yet.
“Don’t pronounce us dead yet. It’s
still early,” he said. “We’ve got two
tough assignments. Oklahoma State
is playing as good of basketball as
they’ve played all year.”
Big man on the hill
Travis Heying/DN
Nebraska pitcher Alvie Shepherd is projected as the 21st pick in the June draft.
Shepherd, a junior, says he will wait to see how high he is drafted before deciding
whether to go pro.
Pitcher puts confidence back into his game
By Jeff Griesch
Senior Reporter
« When Al vie Shepherd takes the
hill at Buck Beltzer Field, he is the
biggest man on campus.
At 6-foot-7,215 pounds, Shep
herd stands almost eight-feet tall
when he faces opposing batters.
Added to his dominant physical
presence, the junior right-hander
has an overpowering fastball and
biting slider.
And Shepherd’s raw talent has
impressed professional baseball
Baseball America projected
Shepherd as the 21 st college player
chosen in June’s amateur draft.
Although his potential to domi
nate has impressed scouts, he has
neither dominated nor impressed
opposing hitters in his first two
seasons at Nebraska.
The preseason third-team All
American posted a cumulative 5
10 record with a 5.91 ERA as a
freshman and sophomore.
But this season, Shepherd said
he expected to turn his abundant
potential into results.
“It’s a big ego booster and con
fidence builder to hear coaches
and scouts say good things about
you, but it doesn’t do anything for
you once you walk on the field,”
Shepherd said.
“Now it all comes down to the
season itself. All these good things
won’t mean anything unless I put
up the numbers.”
As a freshman, Shepherd went
3-5 with a 6.08 ERA in 77 innings.
He struggled to control his pitches,
walking 50 batters, hitting 13 more
and throwing 12 wild pitches.
Last year his control improved
as he walked 36 hitters, hit only 4
batters and threw j ust 6 wild pitches
in 69 1/3 innings. But his record
fell to 2-5 with a 5.71 ERA.
Shepherd worked primarily as a
starter in his first two seasons, but
after having a strong summer as a
closer for the Anchorage Bucs
semi-pro teafn in Alaska, he may
assume the closing role for the
“All these good things
won’t mean anything
unless I put up the
numbers. ”
Nebraska pitcher
Shepherd said learning a differ
ent role and playing against solid
competition in Alaska should help
him improve during the upcoming
“I had a very good season with
seven or eight saves and a good
ERA against some of the best col
lege players in the country,” Shep
herd said. ‘‘I think it helps my
confidence a lot, which is some
thing I lacked the past two years.
Now I know that I can play with
the best.”
OSU coach
next game
By Derek Samson
Senior Reporter
Oklahoma State assistant coach
Sean Sutton’s memories of the Bob
Devaney Sports Center aren’t very
Sutton, who was a senior point
guard on the Cowboys’ 1991 -92 team,
remembers when second-ranked
Oklahoma State brought its 20-0
record into Lincoln Feb. 5, 1992.
No. 1 Duke had lost that night, but
Nebraska’s 85-69 win quickly dashed
the Cowboys’ hopes for the No. 1
Sutton, the son of Cowboy coach
Eddie Sutton, returns to Lincoln to
“We ran into a buzz saw up there,”
Sean Sutton said. “The fans in that
arena were louder than any that I’ve
heard in any other place on a given
“With about two minutes left, they
started chanting 'overrated,1 and
didn’t stop until the game ended.
That stung our guys a little bit. With
the fans in that arena, Lincoln is a
very tough place to play.”
But three years later, Oklahoma
State is a much different team.
The Cowboys are 3-1 in the con
ference after losing their Big Eight
opener at Kansas State.
“We’ve played a lot better and a
lot more consistent,” Sutton said. “We
feel good about the way we’ve been
playing since the Kansas State game.
I think against K-State, we fully ex
pected to go up there and play well.
We didn’t do that-.”
Sutton said he wasn’t looking for
ward to facing a Nebraska team com
ing off two straight road losses.
“There is never a good time to
play in Lincoln,” he said. “Having
played there and now coached there,
I know how difficult of a place it is to
win in. But it’s so hard to win any
where in the Big Eight.
“1 think, with the exception of
Colorado, every team in the Big Eight
has a huge home court advantage.
But Nebraska has to be one of die
toughest places to play.”
And the Huskers themselves are
tough as well, Sutton said.
“The real test is for us to slow
Nebraska down. They’re among the
best transition teams in the country,
in my opinion. When they get hot
shooting, they’re a very dangerous
Though hope for Huskers looks grim, all is not lost
All is not well in Comhusker
basketball country.
At 1-3 in the Big Eight, Ne
braska must go two for two in the
next five days against schools from
the Sooner State if they want to get
back to the promised land we know
as the NCAA tournament.
That’s right. Two for two. They
must beat Oklahoma State tonight,
i and they have to return the favor to
Oklahoma on Sunday. If not, hello
Easy enough?
Maybe not for this team, whose
absence of an inside game will
certainly cause problems against
the Cowboys. The Huskers are
struggling. Plain and simple.
A closer look at the Huskers’
problems can be better examined
from a different perspective.
For a moment, if you will, take a
step away from the Big Eight
conference. Travel south and east
to the land of Seminoles and Tar
Heels, Blue Devils and Terrapins.
Imagine, Nebraska, as difficult
as it may be, playing basketball in
the Atlantic Coast Conference.
This evening, the 10-9 Huskers
(1-6 in the ACC) play host to No.
14 Wake Forest. At 11-3, Wake
Forest has drawn little or no
attention for what they have
accomplished playing in the
conference of basketball giants.
■ Next week, a trip to Chapel Hill,
N.C., awaits Nebraska. North
Carolina, ranked No. 3 in the
nation, is led by super sophomores
Rasheed Wallace and Jerry
Stackhouse, who happens to be the
first player under Dean Smith to
average 20 points per game since
the days of Michael Jordan.
After a three-day break, the
Huskers get to go up against
Maryland. Another loss. The
Terrapins, who are ranked No. 5 in
the latest Associated Press poll, are
5-1 in this conference from hell and
are 15-3 overall.
Mitch Sherman
Oh, by the way, one of the
Terrapins’ losses came against
Carolina; another came at the
hands of No. 1 Massachusetts.
Next on the agenda: Georgia
Tech. Bobby Cremins’ perennial
powerhouse seems to be a bit
overmatched this year in the ACC.
Never mind the fact that the
Rambling Wreck, ranked No. 21,
showcases three players who would
dominate in most conferences.
Travis Best, Drew Barry and James
Forrest just don’t cut it in the ACC.
Finally, a breather. An easy
team. The Colorado of the ACC,
the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the
ACC, the San Diego Padres of the
ACC — Duke. A team that has
been to five of the last seven Final
Most teams dream of going five
of the last seven NCAA tourna
ments, but with Coach Mike
Krzyzewski on the shelf, the Devils
are hurting. Kind of. Duke lost by
two points at Maryland on Saturday
to fall to 0-7 in the ACC, Thursday,
Duke plays host to North Carolina.
Tar Heel coach Dean Smith
summed up the conference in a few
words by assessing Duke’s di
“This Duke team has found
themselves completely,” Smith said
of the 10-9 Devils. “They are a
very dangerous team that could win
the national title.”
Hold it right there, coach. He
said they could win the national
title. They are 0-7 in the confer
ence. However, Coach Smith,
perhaps the wisest coach of all, is
And that’s so scary that it’s time
for us to leave the ACC and jump
back to the reality of the Big Eight.
Fact: only one Big Eight team
— No. 3 Kansas, who has handed
both No. 1 Massachusetts and No. „
4 Connecticut their only losses —
would stand any kind of a chance
in the ACC.
Don’t kid yourself, it’s no
coincidence that the Jayhawks are
coached by Roy Williams, a Dean
Smith clone and disciple.
So when you are sitting there at
the Bob Devaney Sports Center this
week, looking at the scoreboard
and thinking about how Nebraska’s
NCAA tournament dreams are
starting to look grim, hope still
Even though all is not well in
Comhusker country, remember one
It could be a lot worse.
Shermaa is a sophomore aews-editortal
major aada Dally Nebraskaaseaior reporter.