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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 14, 1998)
Lue at helm
Something strange happened at
the Bob Devaney Sports Center
The Nebraska men’s basketball
team played poorly against
Colorado. Sloppy. Ugly. And they
still won, 82-67, to move to 2-1 in
the Big 12 Conference.
That game, along with a few
ingredients, led me to believe one
thing about the Comhuskers: This is
This is the year when Nebraska
finds respectability in the Big 12 and
some consistency down the stretch.
This is the year when Nebraska goes
back to the NCAA Tournament.
Ah, but Huskers hoops fans have
been here before. The records of the
last three NU teams after 16 games
look eerily similar to the 11 -5 record
of this year: Nebraska was 11-5 in
1997,13-3 m 1996, and 13-3 in 1995
- all non-tourney years.
NU Coach Danny Nee has chart
ed these waters, too. After the CU
game, Nee wasn’t ready to rejoice.
“I don’t think we’ve turned the
comer with this team yet,” Nee said.
“I think we’re right on the edge.”
But two things will keep
Nebraska from falling off the cliff
■ The playmaking leadership
of Tyronn Lue, the first Husker who
can talk the talk and walk the walk
since Eric Piatkowski. Sure, Mikki
Moore was a vocal leader last year,
but he couldn’t carry a team during
crunch time like Lue does. And Lue
bears no resemblance to Jaron
Boone, the attitude menace of 1996.
■ The schedule, both in
December and in the conference.
Nee was bemoaning the 35-day,
seven game road trip the Huskers
took over Christmas, but it will
toughen NU up for a weak Big 12
Conference in January and
Besides Kansas, Nebraska can
match up with any team in the Big
12. The Huskers got their woodshed
beating from the Jayhawks out of the
way early, and if healthy, an 11-5
conference record is not out of the
A little luck aoesn t hurt either.
NU survived a 24-turnover game
against CU - largely because the
Buffs couldn’t hit the broad side of a
bam with their shots. NU will not be
that lucky all season.
The game against Oklahoma
Sunday will provide a key litmus test
for Nebraska. The Sooners have won
seven straight and will be playing in
The chance for the Huskers to
rise above mediocrity is now. The
difference this year is that they can.
Sam McKewon is a sophomore
news-editorial and political sci
ence major and a Daily
Nebraskan senior reporter.
New baseball era begins
Coach misses 1st practice to move family
By Mike Kluck
Though its head coach was
out of town and the weather out
side was more suitable for win
ter hockey, the Nebraska base
ball team opened practice for its
The Cornhuskers worked out
for two hours in Cook Pavilion
Tuesday afternoon without new
Head Coach Dave Van Horn or
new Pitching Coach Rob
Both Van Horn, who was
named the Husker’s head coach
last week after a successful
career at Northwestern (La.),
and Childress, who was Van
Horn’s assistant at
Northwestern, were in
Louisiana on Tuesday preparing
their moves to Lincoln.
Despite their absence, the
Nebraska players were happy to
“I’m pretty excited,” said
NU senior second baseman
Kevin Harrington. “I wish the
new coach was here, but it’s
always nice to be practicing
again with the team.”
However, with a new coach,
Harrington said a lot df
ers are more nervous this year
than they have been in previous
“People don’t know what to
expect and in the past they knew
what to expect,” Harrington
said. “One of the main reasons
people are nervous is because
nothing is for sure anymore.
Now everyone is like starting
The first practice also
helped bring some stability to
the Husker squad after a two
month period of discontent.
On Dec. 29, Nebraska offi
cially fired John Sanders, who
had been the Husker’s baseball
coach for 20 years. Sanders was
relieved of his duties on Dec. 4.
Throughout the remainder of
the first semester, most of the
baseball players worked out on
their own with Assistant Coach
Mike Anderson running prac
But now with a new coach
hired and practice beginning,
the players said they are ready to
concentrate on the season.
“It’s just been really shaky,”
said senior left-handed pitcher
Kenny Duebelbeis. “There were
a lot of questions and nobody
was sure of what was going on.
“I’m just ready to put all the
negative stuff behind and go out
there and work hard and get
after it. All I can say is that it is
only going to get better.”
The players are hoping for a
Big 12 Championship in May
and a berth in the NCAA
Nebraska third baseman Ken
Harvey said that goal is possible
even though the Huskers haven’t
qualified for a postseason con
ference toumap&nt since 1995.
wtT?s predtcrecf to finish 10th
out of 11 Big 12 Conference
teams this season.
“When we come here, (the
Big 12 Championship) is our
goal to win,” Harvey said. “We
don’t come here to lose. We still
want to win and that’s the reason
we came here.”
Nebraska opens its season
Feb. 15 against Minnesota at the
Metrodome in Minneapolis.
Van Horn and Childress are
expected to run practice on
NU RIGHT-HANDED PITCHER Tony Manganaro gets some help stretching
his legs. The Huskers, who play their first game Feb. 15 at Minnesota,
practiced for the first time this season Tuesday afternoon in the Cook
A&M game becomes important
By Shannon Heffelfinger
The Nebraska women’s basketball
team, which lost two of its first three Big
12 Conference games this season, had
hoped to begin
league play with a
bang. But its per
road games at
Kansas were hard
DeForge Sanderford hopes
to light a fire under
the Comhuskers (12-5 overall and 1-2 in
the Big 12 Conference), who play host
to Texas A&M at 7:05 p.m. The Aggies
(4-8 and 0-2) will enter the Bob
Devaney Sports Center looking for their
first conference win.
“As Anna (DeForge) put it, this is
gut-check time,” Sanderford said. “We
need intensity from our team and mental
toughness from our juniors and seniors.
“The kids are very fired up about
It’s a matchup that few Huskers
viewed as critical earlier this season
when 20th-ranked NU was defeating top
teams such as then llth-ranked
Alabama and then ^-ranked Western
But two unexpected losses last week
altered NU’s perspective on its fourth
“We definitely need to win this
game because we can’t set ourselves
back anymore,” NU senior Anna
DeForge said. “I just think we have to
take a step back and return to the things
we were doing when we were winning.”
Those things, DeForge said, include
fewer offensive and defensive miscues.
“Right now, it’s just poor decisions
and not executing the game plan,”
DeForge said. “That’s where we’re hav
ing problems mentally and where we’ve
had problems in the past. I think once
we get over that, we’re going to be a very
Increased toughness in the lane and
greater defensive intensity are also keys
to Nebraska’s game plan tonight,
Before its loss at Kansas, NU’s post
players had accounted for nearly half of
NU’s total offensive production.
Against the Jayhawks, the post play
ers scored a combined 21 points - less
than a third of the Huskers’ 69-point total.
Defensively, after limiting oppo
nents to 63.3 points per game, NU
Women s Basketball Starters
Today, 7:05 p.m.'
Bob Devaney Sports Center
Nebraska 12-5, (1-2) Texas A&M 4-8, (0-2)
Poss. Name Hi Yr. Poss. Name Hi Yr.
G Anna DeForge 5-tl Sr. G KimTarkington M dr.
G Nicole Kubik 5-11 Sr. G Amy Yates 5-9 So.
C Chafeftogers 6-2 So. C Wm Under 6-0 Sr.
F Jami Kubik 5-11 Sr. F Kemc Patterson 5-8 Jr.
allowed 84 and 83 points respectively at
Colorado and Kansas.
‘Two real keys fen- us are the play of
Cori McDill and Jami Kubik,” Sanderford
said. “They make us go in the post
“Cori has beat struggling a little bit
confidencewise, and Jami didn’t have
real good games last week. When they
struggle, we struggle.”
The Aggies offer NU an opportuni
ty to regain some confidence in the post.
A young team, the Aggies have a small
front line compared to Kansas’ front
line, Sanderford said.
“Kansas really put us at a disadvan
tage with their height,” Sanderford said.
“But I think we caught two teams whose
coaches said they played their best
games of the year against us.
“We caught two teams who desper
ately needed wins.”
Now, DeForge said, it’s die Huskers
who are searching for a victory.
Nebraska returns to the road after
tonight’s game for contests at Kansas
State - who the Huskers defeated 80-58
Dec. 4 in Lincoln - and Baylor.
‘We just need to get a victory under
our belts so we can go at least .500 in the
Big 12,” DeForge said. “It’s early. It’s not
like we have to give up our hopes and
our dreams, but we need to buckle down
and get things done.”
NU guard Brooke Schwartz said the
Huskers don’t expect anything less than
a win tonight.
“All I can say is I’d hate to be Texas
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