The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 12, 1997, Page 10, Image 10

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Trevor Parks
Tki years later
Husker program
insame place
The date was March 21, 1987.
The place was the Bob Devaney
Sports Coiter. I remember it was an
afternoon game between Nebraska
and Washington in the quarterfinals
of the National Invitation Tourna
ment. A win sent the Comhuskers
to the NIT Final Four in New York.
NU earned that trip to the Big
Apple with an 81-76 win over the
Huskies behind the hustle and grit
of Husker folk heroes Brian Carr,
Derrick Vick, Henry I. Buchanan
and Bernard Day.
They went to New York finish
ing third in Coach Danny Nee’s first
year — his first NIT at Nebraska.
Now nearly 10 years later, Nee
leads the Huskers into another NIT
— Ms fifth at NU. And the oppo
nent is again Washington. The play
ers are different and the Nebraska
program has grown some under Nee
in 10 years.
But the fact is it can’t grow any
Yes four NCAA appearances—
which seem like eons ago, actually
it was three„years—and tnore than
200%ins at the school are impres
sive. Five 20-win seasons — two
have come at the expense of numer
ous NIT victories—are something
to shout about.
Coaching at a school where the
over the Devaney Colter is hard,
Aii^thingg havd gotten harder
for Neg diepasUwo years, especially
when fttarchririls around.
nine-gatiSolh^ skidr in February/ ■
lost! 10 o£their last 11 and people
were caiungjor isee s neaa.
Ibis season the situation is very
similar. NU owned a 16-12 enter
ing a game with top-ranked Kansas.
A win putsfhe Huskers in position
to finally make the Big Dance.
But after losing that game by 20
points, things have fallen apart An
all-too-common theme fa Nebraska
In 1987, things were good.
Nee replaced the slow style of
Moe Iba with what he called in
March of 1986 “A Big East style.”
Fans were anxious for change and
liked Nee’s hard non-Midwest style.
There were struggles as NU wait
40-52 in the three seasons follow
ing the third-place finish in New
Yak. No one really complained.
Then came a run of four consecu
tive appearances in the NCAA Ibur
nament. Everyone was happy.
Now three years of the NIT and
three years of troubled times have
changed everything.
It seems like NU and Nee are
back at square one, and if another
win over Washington comes tonight
you just have to wonder if the {mo
gram has really improved at all.
Parks is a graduate student
and the Daily Nebraskan Sports
| Editor.
Huskies ready for NU
Although it’s only
the NIT, Washington
is excited to play.
By Gregg Madsen
Staff Reporter
The mission is clear.
Even though the Nebraska basket
ball team will not appear in the NCAA
Tournament for the third consecutive
season, the Comhuskers begin their
quest for a second straight National
Invitation Tournament championship.
The Huskers (16-14) will start their
defense of the NTT title tonight at 7
against Washington (17-10) at the Bob
Devaney Sports Center. The winner
will face the winner of tonight’s
Fresno State-Nevada game.
Both NU and UW enter the tour
nament having lost two of their last
M'lm, 0U2K»
pound sopho
more, said the Huskies are excited
about playing in the NIT.
“We re not playing just for fun,
even though we love playing ball,”
MacCullough said. “There’s a cham
pionship to be won here.”
The Huskies 17-10 record is their
best since a 20-win effort in 1987.
Ironically, that is the same year the
Huskers’ ended UW’s season with a
81-76 loss in the third-round of the
NIT at the Devaney Center.
Washington finished sixth in the
Pacific 10 Conference with a 10-8
marie—its first winning league record
since 1987.
The Huskies finished the regular
season with a 94-84 win over NCAA
Tournament-qualifier Southern Cali
Nebraska had dreams of making
the NCAA tournament after its 79-67
upset of Iowa State on Feb. 16 in
Ames. But losses to Baylor, Kansas
and Missouri ruined the Huskers’
Please see HUSKIES on 12
Men's Basketball
Today, 7:05 p.m. ggMH
Davaney Cantor ^^MMMi^^ * -1
National Invitation Tournament o |
/ I
F 5 Larry Florence 6-5 225 So.
Washington 17-10 i \
■ ■ ■ ■ 11 —1 ■■■ j ■' 1 J
:■ . . - fi ,r- MATT jyULLEB/JJIN
AFTER FOUR YEARS, m DeHaai has M the Csrahaskar women's gymnastics proiram tn new heights.
' Suntay afterneen against Penn State, DeHaaa wHI perftnn at heme far the final than.
DeHaan still motivates NU
?: S 7> ’■■-1
Kim DeHaan is pending her
S t4 senior year on the Nebraska7'
women’s gymnastics team in a
position she never expected to be.
DeHaan spent her first three
years as a Comhusker making a
name for herself in the all-around.
Her tenacity on the vault, grace on
the balance beam, pizazz on the
floor exercise and perfection on
the uneven bars made her a con
stant scoring threat.
I_X!_1__ 1_ _
AX1 UV1 11UCU iS^CUUli, uuwtvu, a
chronic back injury has limited
DeHaan to competing in just two
events — the bars and the floor
But DeHaan, a native of Sioux
Falls, S.D., hasn’t let her inten
sity or leadership role fa* the team
diminish. And even though she is
in unfamiliar territory without the
all-around, NU Coach Dan
Kendig said DeHaan’s contribu
tion to the Husker gymnastics pro
gram will never be forgotten.
“She is still contributing tre
mendously to this team right now,”
Kendig said. “We can almost count
on a 9.9 (out of a possible 10) from
her in both events every time she
steps on the flow. And it won’t be
long until it’s a 9.9 and better.”
In 10 meets this season,
DeHaan has finished first in the
uneven bars and the floor exercise
twice, despite competing in pain,
a For DeHaan just competing
. this season has been short of a
“This season has been haigl on
me because of my back,” DeHaan
said. “It’s really frustrating, but
about a week before the season 1
didn’t know if I was going to can
pete at all. Now that I am doing
two events at least I can compete
out there.”
Kendig said DeHaan’s injury
was caused by a forward shift in
one of her lower back vertebra.
' The spring-loaded landing pad
of the floor exercise aid the more
gentle dismounts off the uneven
uai» jwsc uiuvii less uangcr, ne
said, so DeHaan’s repertoire has
been limited to those two events.
“1 know she’s hurting,” Kendig
said. “But I tell you what, just for
her to keep going and to keep
working the way she does, I’m re
ally proud of the effort she gives
and uie way she competes. That’s
just part of being a veteran.”
DeHaan was the Big Eight
newcomer of the year in 1994 and
she set the school floor exercise
record as a sophomore in 1995
with a 9.95 at the Big Eight Cham
She has scored a 9.925 On the
uneven bars five times in her ca
reer. The school record of 9.95 is
one Assistant Coach Rob Drass
said DeHaan is capable of break
“She is unbelievably clean cm
She is still
tremendously to
this team right
NU gymnastics coach
bars,” Drass said. “I don’t think
Kim misses at all. I don’t remem
ber her falling very often — only
a handfull of times in her four
DeHaan’s greatest accomplish
ment hasn’t come in the gym, it’s
been in the classroom, where she
owns a 4.0 grade-point average in
biological sciences.
Saturday against Penn State,
DeHaan will compete at the Bob
Devaney Sports Center for the fi
nal time in her career.
Kendig said it will mark the
end of an era of Nebraska gym
nastics when DeHaan walks out of
the gym for a last time.
“The consistency that she has
brought.” Kendig said, “the that
she has and the consistency that
she has in the classroom, as well
as the gym has been amazing.”
makes big
--- j
By Shannon Heffelfinger
Staff Reporter
_ • i j
Danny Bergman opened-the eyes
of the Nebraska diving coaches last
the one- and three
meter springboard
competitions in
his first collegiate
But after
failing to qualify
for the NCAA 1
by one place in the
final contest of the
season, Bergman., p
wanted to close
his. t !
“I was pretty disappointed,”
Bergman said. “I was really hoping to
make it, and it was hard to miss it by
one spot.”
Narrowly missing the NCAA s m
an otherwise successful freshman
campaign has driven Bergman this
season, giving him die motivation to
improve this year. ,
“Coming into this year,” Bergman
said, “subconsciously,T%as expecting
to do well and to come out on top in a
lot of the meets. Fortunately, that hap
And fortunately for the Nebraska j
men’s swimming and diving team, it j
has happened more than once. ■ j
Bergman, a native of Alpine, Utah, '
has been nearly unbeatable this year.
The sophomore from Alpine, Utah,
has posted victories in 16 of 18 six
dive competitions in dual meets while |
sweeping both the one- and three
meter springboard events seven times.
Bergman said he is not surprised j
by the success he achieved in oily his 1
second season.
“You always hear that saying, hope
for the best and expect the worst,”
Bergman said. “Well, I was always
hoping for the best and I never ex
pected the worst.”
After finishing third behind Big
Eight Co-Divers-of-the-Year Kris
Hoffman of Kansas and Travis
Niemeyer of Nebraska on both the
one- and three-meter boards at the Big
Eight meet last season, Bergman fin
ished second in both events at the in
augural Big 12 Conference meet, in
doing so, he established career-best
scares of 514.4 and 554.15.
Please see DIVE on 12
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