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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Nov. 19, 1997)
Tom Osborne’s biggest criti
cism of the Big 12 Conference
championship game was almost
realized in only the conference’s
second season of existence.
When the game was pro
posed, Osborne was against it,
saying that if a team were run
ning for the national champi
onship, it could play a team it’s
already beaten. Many people
said that if a team loses to a team
in the other division, it wouldn’t
be the best team in its own divi
sion. Osborne’s argument, they
said, was unfounded and should
n t happen.
Let’s look at this season and
see how close the 25-year coach
of the Huskers was to being on
Nebraska beat Texas Tech 29
0 the fifth game of the season.
Tech lost again in the confer
ence, to North Division team
Kansas State, but is undefeated
in the Big 12 South Division.
AND, the Red Raiders already
played the two teams they’re tied
with for the Big 12 south lead:
Texas A&M and Oklahoma
The result - Tech beat both
teams and proved itself the best
team in the South, at a 5-4 over
all and 4-2 record in the confer
ence. It should be facing the
Huskers for the conference
Nebraska will face the 7-2
Aggies on Dec. 6 for the Big 12
title. Why isn’t Tech facing
Tech declared itself ineligible
for postseason play after an
embarrassing situation earlier
this year. Tech had numerous
academically ineligible athletes
competing on grass and floors all
over Lubbock. In fact, it had two
players academically ineligible
on its 1993 national champi
onship women’s basketball team.
Tech know it was wrong and
is willing to discipline itself.
That makes Tech look better than
a Longhorn miracle last season.
It seems the arguments that
were unfounded were the people
who tried to prove Osborne
wrong. A team can lose all the
non-conference and out-of-divi
sion games it wants to. What
matters is its record in its divi
For now, Osborne doesn’t
have to face off against Spike
Dykes and a familiar Tech oppo
nent. He can hold his criticism
for at least one year longer.
But, it does kind of make you
Oseka is a senior news-edi
torial major and a Daily
Nebraskan senior reporter.
Huskers face second test
By Sam McKewon
Despite not having a senior in its
starting lineup, the Nebraska men’s
basketball team has an advantage in
experience over its second opponent
of the young season, Western Illinois.
The Leathernecks welcome nine
new players to their roster after a 19
10 campaign in 1996 and a second
place finish behind Valparaiso in the
Mid Continent Conference. WIU also
lost its two top players in the front
court, forwards Janthony Joseph and
Western Illinois Coach Jim
Kerwin said it will be a tough task to
beat the Huskers (1-0) tonight at the
Bob Devaney Sports Center at 7:05
with such a young team.
“It’s hard to start out the season
against a veteran team when you’re
not one,” he said. “We know this is
not going to be an easy game for us.”
Despite the Leathernecks’ youth
and their preseason loss to Pella
Windows, a team the Huskers beat by
20, NU Coach Danny Nee is expect
ing a tougher game than the one
Nebraska experienced Sunday
against UNC-Greensboro. Nebraska
beat the Spartans 75-51, and at one
time led by 39 points.
Nee said there’s plenty to chal
lenge the Huskers beyond WIU
“We still have a lot of things that
we have to work on,” Nee said. “Our
defense can still get better, and we
need improvement offensively, too.”
Nebraska has already seen
improvement in the play of junior for
ward Andy Markowski. Markowski
set career highs in both points and
rebounds against UNCG, with 16 and
Markowski has become a central
key to the success of NU's system,
“He just has so much more confi
dence now,” Nee said. “He is the per
fect complimentary player to this
team. We re asking him to do a lot of
Containing Markowski and NU
junior center Venson Hamilton could
be a problem for the Leathernecks.
Kerwin said he had yet to decide on
front court starters, saying that only
senior guards Mark Buckingham and
Tony Ackerman and junior guard
Brandon Creason will be penciled in
as starters before game time.
Kerwin said he has a great deal of
respect for Nebraska’s inside/outside
combination of Hamilton and junior
guard Tyronn Lue.
“Hamilton is a force in the middle
who can move around and knows how
to block shots,” Kerwin said. “You
put him with Lue, who is one of the
fine guards in the nation, and there’s a
lot you have to stop.”
Nee said he will start Lue, sopho
more guard Cookie Belcher, junior
forward Larry Florence, Markowski,
and Hamilton. Florence did not play
in the first game because of discipli
Freshman guard Todd Smith
returned to practice Monday, and Nee
said Smith is planned for a tentative
return to action by the Ameritas
Classic by Dec. 5.
Smith will be groomed as the
backup to Lue at point guard, which
Nee said is an important piece to the
“Todd played the point all through
high school, so that’s his natural posi
tion,” he said. “We would certainly
like to have a guy that can back up
Tyronn when we need him.”
Western Kentucky awaits Sanderford
By Darren Ivy
A great basketball team wins
even when it’s not playing its best.
In a WNIT second-round game
against Alabama on Sunday, the
Nebraska women’s basketball team
committed 30 turnovers, but still won
“I am proud that we found a way
to win,” said Coach Paul Sanderford
whose team entered The Associated
Press rankings at No. 21 on Monday.
“We are not nearly the team we are
going to be later in the season.”
The Huskers were able to win
because they outrebounded and out
shot the Crimson Tide from the free
But the turnovers were a problem,
In the Huskers’ first-round game
against Miami (Ohio) on Friday, the
Huskers had 30 turnovers but still
won 88-54. In the two exhibition
games NU had 17 and 29 turnovers.
“We have to cut that number in
half to have a chance to win (against
Western Kentucky),” Sanderford
said. NU plays its WNIT semifinal
game Thursday at 4 p.m. against No.
15 Western Kentucky, a team
Sanderford coached for 15 years
before taking over the NU coaching
position this season.
Sanderford said the turnovers are
coming as a result of two things:
unfamiliarity with the offense and
impatience with the ball.
“The good thing about our
turnovers is that some of them are
coming when we are going north and
south,” Sanderford said. “If you run
and push the ball, you will turn it over
some. That’s part of the game and we
don’t worry about that a whole lot.”
The thing that bothers
Sanderford, he said, are the unforced
“Things like forcing the ball in
the post, not catching the ball or
bouncing it off our foot are the
turnovers we can not have,”
If NU can cut down turnovers and
continue to rebound and shoot free
throws, it will have a chance to win
against Western Kentucky and other top
teams in the country, Sanderford said.
Against No. 11 Alabama on
Sunday, NU had 44 rebounds, com
pared to 33 for UA. NU also outshot
Alabama from the line. NU shot 84
percent, and UA was 54 percent for
Free-throw shooting has
improved from 52 percent in the first
exhibition game against Slavyanka.
Senior forward Jami Kubik said
NU has worked on free-throw shoot
ing in practice and outside of it
because the Huskers know it is a big
factor. She said they have a drill
where they start with 21 points and
then shoot free throws.
“If we don’t get down to zero, we
run a line drill for each one above
zero,” Kubik said.
NEBRASKA GUARD Nicole Kubik tries to block Alabama guard Leah Goss’
shot Sunday. Kubik led the Huskers in steals with five.
Tournament challenge excites Franck
By Jay Saunders
Tanya Franck loves a chal
Ever since the defender from
Toronto arrived at Nebraska from
Arkansas-Little Rock in 1994,
she has had to overcome a great
deal of obstacles.
Those obstacles, Franck said,
have only made her stronger.
“I live for a challenge,” Franck
said. “It gets the adrenaline rush
ing. To have something you have
to overcome is a big boost.”
After a 5-1 first round NCAA
Tournament win over Michigan,
NU Coach John Walker said
Franck played a great game.
I live for a
challenge. It gets the
“On Sunday she played really
well,” Walker said. “She won sd
many balls. That is such an over
One of the biggest challenges
of her college career is staring
down at her Sunday as the sev
enth-ranked Huskers prepare to
play No. 2 Notre Dame.
A win against the Irish, a
perennial soccer power, would
extend Franck’s career. But a loss
would mean her college soccer
career is over.
A lot of people may buckle
under that pressure, but Franck
said she thrives on it.
“(The Notre Dame game)
could either extend my college
career or end it quickly,” Franck
said. “It makes the game a little
more exciting. I get more pumped
To get to this point in her
career, Franck has had to come a
long way. In her first year at
Nebraska, she tied for third on the
team in points scored. Franck had
an assist on the Cornhuskers’
first-ever goal. .
Then in the beginning of the
1995 season, Franck tore the
anterior crucial ligament in her
left knee. She was gone for the
entire season. But for Franck, it
was just another challenge.
“I knew I would come back,”
Franck said. “There was no
She did come back to
Nebraska, and to the Canadian
In the 1996 season, Franck
contributed on a Husker team that
finished with a 23-1 record.
That summer, Franck played
with the Canadians. She played
the entire game against the U.S.
Please see FRANCK on 8
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