Husker Hoops Team Keeps Slim Hopes Alive
As generally unspectactular as Nebraska's basketball team has performed in their first season under coack Tim Miles, they are improved from a year ago. In what many consider the best basketball conference in the country, the Huskers took small steps forward in 2012-2013. The Huskers finished 12-20 overall with a 4-14 Big Ten record a year ago, that ended with a first round exit in a conference tournament loss to Purdue. Now, they've inched up to 15-17 overall and 5-13 in conference. Last night, they topped Purdue in the opening round of the Big Ten tournament for their first win over the Boilermakers in four tries since joining the league.
The Huskers would still need a miraculous run to win the tournament. While they were about a 3-1 underdog against Purdue, there odds are no better than 5-1 against Ohio State, and similarly long against Michigan State and Indiana, the likeliest opponents should they continue to advance. Beating the top three seeds in the Big Ten is probably too much to ask of any team.
Nebraska loses three seniors who have all been major contributors this season in forward/center Brandon Ubel, guard Dylan Talley, and center Andre Almeida. Next season the Huskers get an infusion of talent in junior college All-American point guard Deverell Biggs (who redshirted this season), forward Terran Petteway (who had to sit after transferring from Texas Tech), and forward Walter Pitchford (who sat after transferring from Florida). There are also a trio of freshman set to join the program in point guard Tai Webster, small forward Nick Fuller, and shooting guard Nathan Hawkins. ESPN grades Webster as a four-star recruit and the other pair as three-stars.
The 2012-2013 season may not go down in history as a great one for NU, but it's good enough to get some momentum going in the right direction. It's not hard to see better days ahead under Tim Miles, even if the program still has miles to go.