2007 Nebraska Cornhuskers Basketball Preview
Although coach Doc Sadler (17- 14 in one year with Nebraska, 65- 32 overall in three years) had a fine first season with the Huskers, he decided to revamp the team in an attempt to make it more competitive. This season will probably feature more growing pains for the Nebraska Cornhuskers (17- 14 overall, 6- 10 Big 12), as Sadler looks to the future and tries to make the team more competive in the post-season and the college basketball lines.
The highlight for the Cornhuskers last season was their fourth ranked defense, which gave up 59.6 PPG. That was 18th in the nation. But the team was 11th in scoring, with 66.8 PPG. That will have to get better for this team to be a viable threat in the NCAA basketball picks. The club did poorly under the rim, with 29.9 RPG, making them minus-2.1. Their 14.2 TPG and 14.9 APG were average. Hitting .375 from downtown ranked them fifth in the conference.
Senior center Aleks Maric (18.5 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 56.5 FG%) returns as the team’s leading scorer and top rebounder. He’s the man around which all else revolves. There are four new guys in the frontcourt, including athletic freshman Alonzo Edwards, who arrives with a fine feel for sinking baskets. Freshman swingman Toney McCray, a versatile player, could see some minutes, while junior college transfers Shang Ping and Alex Chapman will see minutes if they can toughen up and build some stamina.
The loss of two-year starting point guard Charles Richardson (7.8 PPG, 3.4 RTPG, 5.8 APG) is of concern. It’s still unclear who will replace him. It could be freshman Cookie Miller or frosh Brandon Richardson. Sophomore Ryan Anderson (10.1 PPG, 4.6 PG, 47 FG%), who shot over 43% from three-point land in his first season, will be a factor in the backcourt.
The Huskers have not been to the NCAA brackets since 1998, and they will not be there this year either. However, the NIT is not out of the question. In 2006- 2007, Sadler got his outmanned club to play tenaciously in each game, making them extremely popular with fans. Expect more hard work, more wins and more optimism for this up and coming club.