Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Big 10 Preview: #11 Nebraska Corn Huskers

The biggest mystery of the new season is the Huskers, because not only are they new to the conference but they've been so bad, pretty much forever, that they're rarely on TV so it's not easy to pick up a whole lot of first hand knowledge.  So here are the two things I know from last season:  Lance Jeter was a pretty good all around point-guard, especially after he made that back-handed flip to get Giambi at home, and they have a lot of size.  Well it turns out Jeter graduated, but they still have most of their size returning.

Exhibit A on the size train is Jorge Brian Diaz, a 6-11, 245 lb. junior from Puerto Rico who is still learning the game, but scores in double-figures with an over 50% shooting percentage.  His rebound totals are a bit lower than you'd expect for somebody that big (just 4 per game), but he's an efficient scorer Nebraska will look to early and often, and he should improve this season.  The Huskers can also go with 6-11, 310 lbs. senior Andre Almeida and/or 6-10, 240 lb. Brandon Ubel to play with or in place of Diaz, both of whom had some nice moments last year and all of whom can take up some serious space.  The Gopher/Husker match up is going to cause some ground to shake.

Losing Jeter hurts, but Nebraska has a similar, ready made substitute ready to go in combo guard Bo Spencer, a transfer from LSU for academic issues which is weird because I thought LSU had no academic standards but whatevs.  Spencer was one of LSU's top scorers the three seasons he was in Baton Rouge, topping out at 14.5 points per game two seasons ago, and chipped in with 2.5 rebs and assists as well.  He should end up being the Huskers best player and leading scorer.

Spencer and Diaz give Nebraska an intriguing inside/outside combo, but unless Diaz makes a big leap in ability the absolute upside for the Huskers is probably an NIT bid.  Of course, they'll probably still beat the Gophers in Lincoln.

DWG Over/Under Conference Wins:  4.5

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