The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, November 18, 1998, Page 9, Image 9

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    Jay Saunders
Tyronn Lue
better off
with NBA
This past Friday, the Los
Angeles Lakers were scheduled to
play their sixth game of the season
at Boston.
Former Nebraska point guard
Tyronn Lue would have been mak
ing his first appearance in the
famed Lakers vs. Celtics rivalry.
But instead of dishing passes to
Kobe Bryant, Lue was sitting in the
west stands at the Bob Devaney
Sports Center watching the Husker
women’s basketball team punish
South Alabama.
Thanks to the NBA lockout,
Lue isn’t able to start his rookie sea
son with the Lakers.
The next day, Lue attended the
men’s game against North
Carolina-Greensboro. Lue knew he
could be starting his senior season
with the Huskers instead of watch
ing his former teammates from afar.
But Lue said he just doesn’t
He said life in Los Angeles is
better than the day-to-day hassles of
And who can blame him? Lue is
playing basketball and working out
every day at UCLA’s facilities.
The guys he is playing with
look like an all-star team. There are
no Cookie Belchers, but there is
Kenny Anderson, Eddie Jones,
Howard Isley and Shaquille
“They are trying to teach me the
game,” Lue said. “They have
always been willing to help.”
Husker basketball fans (both of
them) have criticized Lue’s deci
sion from the day he decided to
forgo his senior season at
because or tne lockout, those
same critics have turned up the heat
on Lue as of late.
I have just two words for those
fans: Back off.
Sure, I too thought Lue proba
bly should have stayed and led a
potentially talented Husker team.
But after talking to him, I have
realized things are better for him in
the glitz and glamour of Los
Angeles than in the cornfields and
mediocre basketball of Nebraska.
Lue had the chance to make it to
the big time, and he grabbed it. You
would too.
Sure, he isn’t getting paychecks
from the Lakers, but don’t feel
' sorry for him. Lue already has
reaped the benefits of a six-figure
shoe contract. . ,
And if Lue is playing basketball
with Shaq, he is probably getting
more than just hoops help from the
Lue said he didn’t have trouble
watching the Huskers on Saturday.
Good for you, Tyronn. You made the
right decision.
Jay Saunders is a junior
broadcasting major and a Daily
Nebraskan staff writer.
White says he’s ready if needed
Staff writer
Five injuries, four months, three I
backs - the top three, nonetheless.
It’s not hard to do the math.
“It’s been
rough for us this
year,” said
Cornhusker I
back Correll
“Especially right
now; things aren’t
looking very
The latest
blow for the
Huskers was the
loss of Dan Alexander, who underwent
surgery Tuesday to repair damage to
his lateral collateral ligament and the
hamstring tendon in his right knee.
With nine days before the regular
season finale against Colorado, NU is
running low on I-back personnel, the
core strength of the Husker rushing
In addition to Alexander, I-back
DeAngelo Evans also has been side
lined with injuries that are most likely
Evans has been hampered off and
on for the last two seasons by nagging
knee and groin injuries. He is nursing a
bruised tailbone, and his status is
doubtful for the rest of the season.
Buckhalter missed practice on
Monday and Tuesday but hopes to be
back today and at full speed against the
“I feel bad for those guys that are
hurt,” said Running Backs Coach Dave
Gillespie. “Everybody does. On the
other hand, I feel good about the guys
that are out there. They’re doing a good
And it’s a sparse, remaining few
who are lined up to step in at the posi
Vying for the No. 3 spot are Dan
White and Travis Soucie, either of
whom could be called upon to start if
Buckhalter is still injured and Evans is
not able to return.
White could be the fourth starter
for NU this season.
The maturity of the backs here is great.
When one guy goes down, another guy is
going to step right in there ”
“I’m ready for it,” said White, a
redshirt freshman. “I’ve waited a long
time for an opportunity like this, and
I’ll make the best of it.”
On the season, White has seen
action in one game, rushing five times
for 23 yards in the Huskers’ 41-0 win
against Kansas on Oct 17.
Though lacking experience, both
Gillespie and Buckhalter said they had
confidence in White to step up and fill
the position.
“I have a lot of confidence in Dan
White,” Buckhalter said. “He’s out
there practicing every day, working
hard, giving 100 percent I feel that at
any given time, when he’s called upon,
he can get the job done.”
Gillespie said that despite the
injuries, the entire I-back corps has
maintained a good mental attitude and
has accepted many of the frustrations.
“I think the morale is good,”
Gillespie said. “They know they’re
going to have to step up and take
advantage of their opportunities, and
they’re ready to do that.”
Buckhalter agreed that the
resilience among the I-backs is one of
the team’s rallying points.
“The maturity of the backs here is
great,” he said. “When one guy goes
down, another guy is going to step right
in there.”
Poise helps Crouch through rough year
By David Wilson
Senior staff writer
Though it’s still fresh in his mind, Eric Crouch
can describe how Travis Ochs grabbed his face mask
Saturday in only so many words.
So the Nebraska redshirt freshman quarterback
did the next best thing Monday after practice. He
reenacted the fourth-quarter penalty that was never
called in the Comhuskers’ 40-30 loss to Kansas State.
“You see,” Crouch said as he squeezed his head
into his helmet, ‘‘1 was dropping back, and I stepped
out of the way and the guy kind of got me with this
part here....”
Crouch raised his right hand to his face mask,
stuck the appropriate fingers through the various
spaces between the bars and turned his head 90
degrees to his right.
“I found out my neck was a little more flexible
than I thought it was,” Crouch said. “I really felt it in
the morning.”
He can laugh about it now.
But watch the live version, and you’ll see
Crouch’s head do a near 180-degree turn.
“It’s not that it was a face mask, or that it ended
that game,” Crouch said, “it’s the potential for injury.
In the NFL, that’s a $15,000 fine.
“After (Ochs) did that, he kind of did one of
these....” Crouch said as he hunched over and cov
ered his head with his hands. “He was like, ‘What did
I just do?’ I was real surprised that they didn’t call it”
a penalty would nave given Nebraska new lile,
trailing by four with more than two minutes remain
ing in the contest
But watching film of the play, you won’t see
Crouch jumping up and getting in the referee’s face
for not making the call. And that’s what Nebraska
Quarterbacks Coach Turner Gill expects from
The strong composure and confidence Crouch
has shown all season have never been more evident
than last Saturday, Gill said. Despite the loss, both
Crouch and Gill said the effort marked Crouch’s best
game as a Husker.
“I’ve really been impressed by his poise,” Gill
said. “He carries himself well on the football field, on
the sidelines and in the locker room.
“That’s what you like about a quarterback. No
matter how good ifs going, no matter how bad it’s
going, you have to carry yourself with confidence
and let your teammates know you’re in control.”
After replacing an injured Bobby Newcombe in
NU’s second game of the season, Crouch posted win
ning starts against Alabama-Birmingham and
Then, hampered by a hip pointer, Crouch saw
limited action until earning the starting nod against
Iowa State on Nov. 7. Newcombe was at home in
Albuquerque, N.M., for a second opinion on his pos
terior cruciate ligament tear thatweekend - and will
sit out the remainder of the regular season.
Crouch, who made his fourth start Saturday, said
he has slowly built confidence through the highs and
lows of Nebraska^ 8-3 season. It showed against tile
then-second-ranked Wildcats, he said.
“The whole game, I pretty much kept calm and -
relaxed,” Crouch said. “I made sure that I stayed
focused and kept my head in the game. The more you
keep your composure, the better you’re going to play.
I’ve already learned that, and it’s probably good that I
learned that at such a young age.”
The 6-foot, 200-pounder completed 10 of 21
passes for 139 yards, while rushing 22 times for 108
But the Kansas State defense wasn’t the only
giant Crouch was up against.
“The environment was definitely something that
I’ll be able to look back and say I went through,”
Crouch said. “It’s just experience under my belt. I’m
prepared for it now.”
Though there may have been more low points
than high points for the Huskers this season, Crouch
said, the younger NU players have learned from their
Playing on the first Nebraska team to lose three
conference games since 1977 may not be the worst
tiling that could have happened, Crouch said.
“When a team this young goes through some
thing like this, I just think it builds a lot of character
for the team,” Crouch said. “We definitely don’t like
to lose here at Nebraska, and when we do, we build
off that. We gain motivation off that. Those are all
things that I can say will help us in the future.”
But the season hasn’t passed without a few bright
spots, Crouch said.
For the signal caller, personally, his first career
Please see CROUCH on 10
EVEN THOUGH QUARTERBACK ERIC CROIJCH has taken many big hits this season, he has kept his
composure. Now, the redshirt freshman is a starter.