Nebraska Postgame Notes
*-Nebraska improved to 2-0 in Big Ten play for the first time ever, and the first time in conference play since the 2005-06 season.
*-The two road wins marked the first time since 1979-80 that NU won its first two conference games on the road.
*-The 13-point deficit Nebraska overcame in the second half was the largest of the season (7 at Indiana) and largest since also overcoming a 16-point deficit against Nebraska-Omaha in 2014.
*-Nebraska closed the game on a 14-0 run, matching its largest run of the season (vs. South Dakota)
*-Tai Webster totaled 18 points, his 15th consecutive game in double figures dating back to last season. He also had five assists, the fifth time this season he had at least five assists
*-Michael Jacobson’s 10-point effort was his highest since scoring 11 points against South Dakota on Dec. 3, and his nine rebounds is the most he’s had in a Big Ten game in his career.
*-Maryland’s 17-0 second-half run was the largest against NU this season.
*-Nebraska held Maryland to 35.4 percent shooting, the Terps third-lowest total of the season. *-Nebraska picked up its first-ever win against Maryland, as NU was 0-4 prior to today *-Nebraska finished with 11 steals at Maryland, the second-highest total of the season for the Huskers. *-Evan Taylor grabbed a season-high eight rebounds, as he was one of two Huskers to set season bests in rebounding. Jeriah Horne grabbed five boards to match his season high.
Head Coach Tim Miles
On deciding to switch to a zone
“Well we couldn’t get to Kevin [Huerter] at all. Mark [Turgeon] is a very smart, clever coach with smart players. They went to that three man game where they were sending guys off doubles and on the baseline and it just confused us enough. Kevin was really shooting well. We just couldn’t get to that action, and I thought we had it under control but it seemed like we had a bad matchup on it. I tried to wait as long as possible to go zone, so when we were getting on the foul line I just wanted to wait, because the more you see it the better you’ll do against it. It was a really critical win tonight…You don’t get it without buy in…and these guys have bought into each other. A lot of guys didn’t have their best game, we didn’t shoot free throws well. But you look at a guy like Michael Jacobson with nine rebounds, and a great attitude every huddle. He was really picking it up. Tai [Webster] having to guard Melo Trimble and carry the whole offense. That’s not easy. So, these guys are a tough minded team, they practice hard and they play hard and stay with it. And that was the thing tonight, to not freak out and stay with it.”
On the thought process behind the 1-3-1 zone design
“We wanted something as we went into Christmas strong on the midline. I’ve never really coached 1-3-1...So we practiced it, and the guys did really well. I just thought we weren’t going to be able to go out and chase them man to man. Our other option was to switch everything and I didn’t like that because we needed our two bigs. So our next part would be to trap, but then you feel like you’re having to get way off on the shooters. I ended up doing it for a while, but Kevin had six already. Now odds are that he’s going to miss, but I’m not playing those odds. So we just had to go with it, and the guys did great.”
Senior Tai Webster
On what the main difference was down the stretch
“I think just having belief in ourselves and our team. We wanted to play better in moments like this obviously after not having the start of the season we wanted. So to be in this position now is big to have our guys come through and step up and make plays.”
On what was going through his team when Maryland was up 13 in the second half
“We definitely felt confident, it was time to rally at that time and put a stop to all the mistakes we were making, bear down and focus on the defensive end and offensively.”
Nebraska Guard Glynn Watson Jr.
Thoughts on the game: “I feel good, we stuck with it, we were down (13) points. We never gave up on each other, we just kept fighting, kept pushing.”
On Maryland’s performance:
“It’s tough, we knew it was going to be tough, we knew it would go down to the wire. Coach Miles said that at the beginning. We just stuck with our game plan, kept fighting, had to make some adjustments in the second half and that’s what we did.”
On guarding Kevin Huerter on the three-point line: “We have to run him off the line, we didn’t do a good job on him. The last stretch we stopped him from making threes, think he missed his last two. We just had to do a better job on him, he had a good game, so next time we play against him we really have to get to him.”
Maryland Coach Mark Turgeon
Opening Statement: “Got to give Nebraska a lot of credit. I told our guys in the meeting yesterday that you got to knock Nebraska out, because they keep coming. We never knocked them out. We built a 13-point lead. We were very good in the first half, we were terrific in the second half. Kevin Huerter was terrific, our defense was terrific. At about the five, six minute mark we started to play a little bit slower, couldn’t put stops together. They showed one possession all year, the 1-3-1, didn’t work on it enough and that’s 100 percent on me there. We got some good looks, got a few layups against it, just couldn’t finish. With that said we just needed to make one play. We needed to have one stop and a rebound, or one play offensively. We just never did it. I give them credit.”
On if inexperience showed with the younger players: “A couple things. One, we haven’t seen a 1-3-1 all year. So, if you have a veteran team and you haven’t seen it, you just do what you did in the past and adjust quickly. We took the easy way out because we had so many new guys on the floor and just tried to make plays against it. So maybe the inexperience for us, going through that, with this team in our building, made a little run on us, and not being able to make plays, that was all new for us. We’ve been coming from behind, a lot of times in our close games at home. That was a little bit different feeling. It’s just disappointing that we weren’t able to get it done. The game was almost over, practically over. They cut it from 13 to five way too quick. 65-to-60 just happened way too quickly. Really that was the difference in the game. I don’t make excuses, I’ve just got to do a better job.”
On how disappointing this is after Tuesday’s win: “I think we had about 15 minutes where we were really, really good. Against a good team that won at Indiana. We built a 13-point lead and looked really good. Did a lot of nice things. Its college basketball. Just disappointing we let it get away. We played well enough up until that point in the game, we really did. We played well against a good team, a tough team. We didn’t make a lot of shots. Only 35 percent. It is hard to overcome that. We have to become a better rebounding team if we’re going to shoot like that.”
On Kevin Huerter’s performance: “Nebraska did a great job of stopping Melo, and it opened things up for Kevin. He’s been practicing well, shooting the ball well. It’s good to see. He’s the one who really separated the game. It was good to see, I mean shooting 17 is a lot but it’s good to see him be more aggressive.”
On what he was trying to get during the final possession: “I thought the one before, the guys really executed when we were down two. Got Melo a good look for three. Really wanted to get the two to tie and head to overtime… but Melo got an open look. He made a lot of those for us. The last play we just didn’t execute it the right way. Either a lob or an iso from Melo, we just never got into it.”
Maryland freshman guard Kevin Huerter
On Nebraska’s late run:
“Credit to them. They made a run and we didn’t make stops. They got a lot of offensive rebounds and a lot of balls just didn’t seem to tip our way. They came back and did what we’ve been doing to a lot of teams this season.
On his individual performance:
“It felt good during the game but it definitely doesn’t feel good now. Winning is all that matters. Winning cures everything. If you don’t win, it doesn’t really matter.”
On whether he told his players to keep shooting the ball in the second half:
“They had guys make plays down the stretch. They seemed to hit a lot of tough layups and when they missed, they’d be there for the tip-ins. We just didn’t rebound.”
On the importance of transition points and an up tempo style of play:
“We have to put today aside. I think today what helped for me was I was aggressive from the tip. You see the first three go in and any shooter will tell you once you see that first one go in you feel a lot better and a lot more confident. Guys found me today. Guys were unselfish.”
Maryland junior guard Melo Trimble
“They did a good job of capitalizing on our misses. It was unfortunate that we weren’t able to tie or go up at the end because so far we’ve been able to do that this season. We weren’t able to do it today. That’s basketball. We just have to learn from it, go to practice, get better and get ready for our next opponent.”
On Coach Turgeon’s message after the game:
“He put the blame on himself, but we were a family, a team, and we will always have each other’s backs. Coach saying that meant a lot and it shows how much he cares about us. We know it’s a long season.”