Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 9, 2001)
Spo rtsWee kend
Collier, a new
taken hold. Samuel
Collier has -- Tr
ucts and has two more walking on
for possible significant roles.
There was no better time to
catch four of them than at the
opening day of the Nebraska boys
state high school tournament
Thursday at the Devaney Sports
Center. The four - 6-foot-10
Alliance center and walk on Tony
Wilbrand, 6-foot-8 junior Omaha
Burke recruit Roy Enright, 6-foot
4 Burke recruit Jason Dourisseau
and 6-foot-4 Lincoln Southeast
recruit Jake Mulheisen - all had
Wilbrandt was first as No. 1
seeded Alliance, which competes
in Class B, beat 10-10 South Sioux
But the Cardinals kept it close
for much of the first half, while
Wilbrand staved off some threats
'* with his presence in the lane.
Though slow and lacking hops,
Wilbrand has good timing to
block shots (10 in all) and the type
of defensive sense to force smaller
guards toward'the baseline. His
body is close - maybe 15-20
pounds - to being bangworthy in
Big 12 basketball.
Alliance used him wisely on
offense, not attempting to force
the ball inside, and instead allow
ing Wilbrand to use his height on
the offensive glass. He proved a
decent passer; his kick out to a
teammate’s 3-pointer broke the
game open in the first half.
Right afterward was Burke’s
Class A game vs. Millard South
with Enright, a beefish forward
and Dourisseau, a rail-thin guard
who's not done growing.
Much criticism has been
thrown against Enright, who has
physical gifts but hasn't yet fully
matured. When he should go, he’s
hesitant. When, in that moment
in the post when a good player
gathers himself for a move,
Enright rushes. But he has decent
footwork for his size, and he’s
strong enough to make shots.
Enright disappeared for
stretches. Dourisseau carried
Burke, sort of, after swishing two
3-pointers to start the game.
Enright made a big late basket.
But there will be a tendency
for onlookers, who don’t under
stand many high school guards
aren’t skilled at throwing an entry
pass, to believe that Enright does
n’t carry his share.
wnile many are hard on
Enright, I am more inclined (and
was on Thursday) to be hard on
Dourisseau, a silky shooting
guard. Dourisseau’s talented and
a decent shooter. He’s a fair drib
bler, grabs the rebound when it’s
there, can block and can steal.
He’s also a dime a dozen -
there’s at least 15 of him in
Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas com
bined. The difference won’t be
how talented Dourisseau is but
how he polishes up his weakness
He lacks a baseline jumper.
While he can drive, some shots
weren’t good ones, and he didn’t
put himself in position to get
fouled. His legs weren’t always in
his jumper, hence an air ball.
Good news: Dourisseau will
probably grow, which could turn
into a 6-foot-7 swingman.
Mulheisen was the last player
of the day, and Southeast, the No.
1 team in Class A, was blindsided
by Bellevue West in the first round.
The guard was probably the most
polished of the four, but the
streakiest as well. He sat out most
of the first quarter after two quick
and ill-advised fouls, came back
in, made many shots, then missed
just as many in the second half.
He’s the team leader, fiery and
flamboyant. Mostly a shooter,
Mulheisen didn’t do much work in
the paint, and he was off and on
defensively. Down the stretch,
with Southeast teetering back and
forth for the lead, Mulheisen
forced and missed two 3-pointers
in a row when only two points
were needed for a tie.
Still, Mulheisen is Nebraska’s
prospect right now because he
runs the floor well and makes
most of the plays. In the first half,
he scored 14 points in a short peri
od of time, mostly on jumpers.
It’s a decent, not perfect crop
of players. Collier’s taking a
chance on them. I didn’t see a
lyronn Lue or Venson Hamilton
in the group, but Collier’s group
experiment could turn into a core
of role players.
Home crowd awaits surging Johnson
■ Both NU, winners of nine straight,and
Johnson,fresh off a three-home run game,
are hot entering the team's home opener.
BY MATTHEW HANSEN
Bottom of the ninth, two outs, bases
empty, up one run - the perfect time to get
the last out, exchange high-fives and head
A strange time to call for an intention
That’s what Southern Utah did to sud
denly red-hot Nebraska slugger Dan
Johnson in the second game of a twin bill
Tuesday. The plan backfired, as the
Huskers scored four runs to snatch a 12-9
The move still had Johnson perplexed
"I wouldn't know why anyone would
want to put the winning run on base like
that," he says, a slightly too-modest look
on his face.
Well, how about four home runs in
nine previous bats against Southern
Johnson’s long-ball binge, coming on
the heels of a power outage which saw
him fail to hit a homer in NU’s first nine
games, was enough of a reason for Husker
Coach Dave Van Horn.
“I probably would've walked him in
that situation, too,” he said. "Dan was just
in a groove.”
That news has to leave Husker base
ball fans giddy and Kansas State wary
heading into the Huskers’ 2 p.m. home
opener against KSU today. The teams
square off in a three-game series.
Husker ace Shane Komine will start on
today, and Jamie Rodrigue will take the
mound for the Huskers on Saturday (12
The Huskers (12-3,3-0) have been hot
for a while now. Winners of nine straight
games, all on the road, the team has large
ly been doing it without Johnson’s powder,
good for 21 home runs and 53 RBI’s last
Now, that power is back with a
vengeance - a Big 12 record-tying three
home runs in the first game against
Southern Utah and a total of five home
runs and 13 RBI’s in NU’s last five games. A
season slugging percentage of .872. Scary
“1 think this team has really shown
w'hat it can do (during the winning
streak)," Johnson said. “All of those wins
have come on the road, and w?e had to
come from behind to get a couple of
“To be able to come back at other
teams' places, I think that says a lot.”
Van Horn cautioned that this team
hadn't always played great baseball dur
ing the winning streak. The fact that NU
had to mount the last-ditch comeback
against Southern Utah, winners of only
one game this year, proved that.
The struggles, Van Horn said, are a
“I think we re a much closer team than
we were a couple weeks ago," he said. “It's
that bond of playing hard together with
the other team's fans against you and how
you have to come together when you’re
playing from behind.
“Trials bring teams together."
Now, NU gets to play in front of its own
crowd, a fan base as excited about base
ball as it's ever been - the team sold 1,100
season tickets this year compared to a
mere 60 last year.
Both Johnson and Van Horn fully
expect a huge, loud crowd today, especial
ly because the temperature, supposed to
peak at around 50 degrees, will cooperate.
So, take inventory. A confident team.
Good weather. Loud fans. And. finally, a
surging Dan Johnson.
" All arrows point to trouble for K-State.
“Well, it’s tough to sweep anybody in
this league,” Van Horn said. “Once you
talk about sweeping, that’s usually when
you get swept. We’ll concentrate on win
ON File Photo
Nebraska first baseman Dan Johnson has hit five
home runs in the Huskers' last five games after
going without a homer in the team's first nine con
ning the opener, then go from there.”
Sounds a tad modest.
Another last-second defeat ends Huskers7season
KANSAS CITY, Missouri — The final
ization of a season and five Nebraska sen
iors’ basketball careers was painfully evi
dent in the teary eyes of usual Stonehenge
Nebraska Coach Barry Collier in the post
game room on
It wasn’t only
Collier who was
red-faced. The sea
son’s climax cast a funeral home atmos
phere in the Nebraska locker room as well,
with players shuffling out to the bus slowly.
It was a funeral of sorts, with Nebraska
being laid to rest by a struggling 11-17
Kansas State team, whose 62-58 win over
Nebraska in the first round of the Big 12
tournament was basically Nebraska’s sea
son in a one-game nutshell.
The nail in the Nebraska coffin was
Kansas State 62
hammered home by KSU junior forward
Travis Reynolds, who hit an off-balance
desperation shot with one and-a-half sec
onds left to break a 58-58 tie.
It was the third game Nebraska had lost
this season on a near last-second shot.
“My heart just dropped,” said Nebraska
senior guard Cookie Belcher of his feelings
on seeing the Reynolds’ shot go in. “I didn't
want my career to end, especially that way.”
The Reynolds shot ended an era at NU
while coincidentally also providing the first
lump-in-throat moment in the new Collier
"Five seniors were going to lose,”
Nebraska junior guard Cary Cochran said.
“We’ve gotten this team rolling. It’s
Some wouldn’t consider the team as
rolling, with Nebraska winning only three
more games than last season’s 11-19 mark.
But Collier said there were positives even in
the light of Thursday’s tough defeat.
“When you see this team from the
inside, you see that the competitiveness is
there,” Collier said. "There were lots of rea
sons to be disappointed in the season we
were having ... but when we had a prob
lem, the next day we always went back to
work. The players told me that wasn’t
always the case in the past.”
Kimani Ffriend, who snared six
rebounds in 11 gutty minutes of action
despite a sprained medial collateral liga
ment in his right knee, agreed that this sea
son was a better ride than last year’s roller
coaster but identified Nebraska’s main flaw
in Collier’s first year.
"Against the good teams we would play
up to that level, but against teams that we
should beat, we'd play to their level,” he
said. “They’d hang around and win.”
The proof was wearing a purple jersey
on Thursday night.
Nebraska played the underdogs Kansas
State to a standstill in the first half, gaining
only a 30-28 halftime advantage on a late
Belcher steal and lay-in.
As the seesaw continued in the second
half, Nebraska used the surprising pres
ence of Ffriend as a spark. Ffriend con
tributed six rebounds and three points,
numbers that weren’t expected since the
center wasn’t expected to play.
"Kimani showed a lot of courage,”
With the help of Ffriend, NU found
themselves up 56-51 with 4:30 left when
freshman Brian Conklin hit two consecu
But KSU had a weapon of their own.
Junior Larry Reid proved tough to stop for
Nebraska, scoring a game-high 21 points.
Please see FINAL on 9
Nebraska sprinter Chris Chandler holds the fifth-fastest 60-meter time in the country at 6.63. He won the Big 12 Championship in the event and will be competing in both the
60- and 200-meter in the 2001 NCAA Indoor Championships this weekend in Fayetteville, Ark.
Speedster's second chance looms
One-tenth of a second.
The blink of an eye. The snap
of a finger.
For Nebraska’s Chris
Chandler, it was the difference
between All-America and disap
A year ago, he was one-tenth
too late. His time of 6.74 in the
60-meter at the NCAA Indoor
Championships left him watch
ing the finals. After winning the
Big 12s in 6.61 and the 200 at the
USA Indoor Championships in
20.84 the two weekends prior to
nationals, disappointment was
an appropriate feeling.
“What happened to him last
year ... he got to the NCAA
championships and got his eyes
opened up,” Husker Sprint
Coach Billy Maxwell said. “I
think he realizes now that he
needs to make some amends for
"I was just burned out,”
Chandler said. “Last year I was
just trying to do everything, and
this year I know it’s coming up,
and I’m just preparing myself.”
He’ll get another chance this
weekend in Fayetteville, Ark,
site of the 2001 NCAA Indoor
Championships. Chandler goes
in with the fifth-fastest 60
meter time in the country (6.63).
He’ll also compete in the 200
It would seem to be a golden
opportunity for redemption.
Nothing, however, is pre
dictable for the senior sprinter
from Starke, Fla.
Chandler came out of
Wallace State Community
College as a national champion
in the 55-meter. He was highly
recruited and had a bright
future. He could’ve gone wher
ever he wanted.
But Chandler knew better.
He knew what crowd he wanted
to be around. Or didn't want to
“I was going to go to Florida
State,” Chandler said. “If I had,
I’d probably be out of school by
Chandler, blessed with an
amazing amount of talent, is
constantly trying to hold him
self back, trying, and sometimes
failing, to stay under control.
Instead of rolling into out
doors as one of the best sprint
ers in the country, he missed the
majority of the season because
of academic problems.
Please see CHANDLER on 9
■ A cool million and the chance
to add a home game make the
Pigskin Classic appealing to NU.
FROM STAFF REPORTS
Nebraska added a 12th regu
lar season game to its schedule
Wednesday as Nebraska Athletic
Director Bill Byrne announced
that the Huskers will host Texas
Christian in the Pigskin Classic
on Saturday, Aug. 25. The game
will be televised by ABC.
The benefits of the Huskers'
involvement in the game are
multiple according to NU offi
cials. The athletic department is
set to make more than $1 mil
lion from appearing in the
The game also gives
Nebraska’s fans another
Saturday of football to look for
‘With the addition of Texas
Christian University, vve believe
we have the most attractive
home football schedule in the
country,” Bryne said.
This marks the fifth time that
the Huskers will play in a presea
son classic game. Nebraska is 4
0 in preseason contests and
holds a 5-1 all-time advantage
NU Coach Frank Solich
doesn't seem concerned about
adding another game to an
already difficult home schedule,
which includes visits from Notre
Dame. Kansas State and defend
ing national champion
“We look forward to kicking
off the season against an excel
lent opponent such as TCU,”
Solich said. “While it makes for a
very challenging schedule this
season, the team feels it will be a
benefit for our program.”
Gary Patterson faces a
daunting task in the opener of
Please see PIGSKIN on 9
Powered by Open ONI