Huskers Start Busy February Home Stretch vs. ISU
|+| Game Information
Game: Game 19
Game Date: Saturday, Feb. 2, 2008
Game Time: 3:01 p.m. CST
Release Date: Friday, Feb. 1, 2008
Television: ESPN Plus (Dan McLaughlin, play-by-play; Paul Splittorff, color)
Radio: Husker Sports Network (Kent Pavelka, play-by-play; Matt Davison, color)
Internet: Huskers.com (live radio, stats)
|+| Huskers Start Busy February Home Stretch Against Cyclones
Following one of the toughest opening stretches for any team in Big 12 Conference play this season, the Nebraska men's basketball team returns to the friendly confines of the Bob Devaney Sports Center this weekend to kick off a February full of home contests. The Huskers will play eight games in the month with five of the contests taking place on their home court, where NU has won better than 75 percent of its games in the past 31 years.
The Huskers open the month against the Iowa State Cyclones in a game set to tip off at 3:01 p.m. Saturday. The contest that will be telecast regionally on ESPN Plus (Channel 8 KLKN in Lincoln; Channel 15 KXVO in Omaha; KIIT in North Platte) with Dan McLaughlin (play-by-play) and Paul Splittorff (color) calling the game. Coverage areas for Saturday's showdown include: KMCI in Kansas City; WOI in Des Moines; KFXA in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; KQEG in LaCrosse, Wis.; KMIZ in Columbia, Mo.; KXLT in Rochester, Minn.; and Spencer Utilities and Cable One in Sioux City, Iowa.
NU men's basketball games can typically also be heard on satellite radio. This week against ISU, the Huskers' broadcast will be heard on Sirius Satellite Radio on channel 119.
The Huskers look forward to getting back into action as they will carry some momentum into the weekend after picking up their first league win of the year on Wednesday. The Huskers, who faced top-five Kansas twice and Baylor in their first four league games, were the last team in the conference to win a Big 12 contest this year after picking up a 66-62 win over Missouri in Columbia.
For the Huskers to make it two straight wins, NU will need several top performances like it received Wednesday. Junior guard Steve Harley continued his strong recent play, picking up a team-high 15 points and five rebounds while sophomore guard Ryan Anderson posted his first career double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Harley's basket with 1:17 remaining gave NU a two-point cushion and
|+| Maric Finds Success vs. ISU
Nebraska has lost three straight games to Iowa State in the Devaney Center and for that streak to stop this weekend senior Aleks Maric will have be at the center of the Huskers' game plan.
Maric has found a great amount of success against the Cyclones in his career, both at home and on the road. He set the NU sophomore single-game scoring record with 37 points on 13-of-15 shooting in
In the past two seasons against ISU, Maric has averaged 26.5 points and 11.3 rebounds per game in four contests. He has hit 40-of-65 from the field in that span and gotten to the free throw line 39 times (made 26, 66.7 percent). Last year, Maric averaged 28.0 points and 12.5 rebounds in two contests against ISU.
|+| Harley Riding High
Adjusting to the Division I grind is tough for most players, even two-time junior college All-Americans. But Steve Harley, the highly touted guard from South Plains (
Harley, a native of
Harley set a career high in consecutive games, posting 15 points against the Bears and 16 points on the road against the second-ranked Jayhawks. Harley, who had a team-high 15 points at
The multi-talented Harley has done a little of everything for the Huskers this season as he has also added 2.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.2 steals per game while coming off the bench in 12 of 17 games played. Harley had scored 16 points in his first three starts (vs. IPFW,
|+| Henry Breaks Out Long Ball
Sophomore guard Sek Henry has always had a solid offensive game according to Coach Doc Sadler, so it is no surprise that it has been on the defensive end where Henry has made his most improvements. Henry has struggled to find a balance between offense and defense, but started to show signs of finding a comfortable middle ground in a road victory against
Henry kept the Huskers afloat in the first half, scoring 12 points in the opening frame on a career-high four 3-pointers. He entered the
Henry, who finished the contest with MU with 14 points, became the fourth Husker with at least four treys in a game this season. He joined Jay-R Strowbridge (4 vs. Presbyterian), Ryan Anderson (4 vs.
The 14 points were one off his season high of 15 against North Carolina Central. It was his sixth career double-figure scoring game, and first in Big 12 Conference play. It was his highest scoring effort in 21 career Big 12 contests. His previous high was nine in his first career league game against
|+| Balham Coming Up Big
Sophomore forward Chris Balham has been a solid backup for the Huskers this season, especially since the start of conference play. The 6-8, 225-pounder has provided quality minutes in place of and beside all-conference center Aleks Maric over the past five games.
During league play, Balham has averaged 10.6 minutes per game while hitting 5-of-7 shots from the floor and 5-of-6 at the free throw line. He is averaging 3.0 points and 2.0 rebounds per game in Big 12 action. At
On the season, Balham has made the most of his time in the lineup, averaging 3.1 points and 1.5 rebounds per game in 7.5 minutes per game. He has hit an impressive 79.2 percent (19-of-24) from the floor and 75.0 percent (15-of-20) from the charity stripe.
Balham was 2-for-2 from the floor with an offensive board in NU's win at
|+| Leader of the Pack
Preseason all-conference center Aleks Maric is the unquestioned leader of the Nebraska Cornhuskers and is one of the top centers in the nation. The senior from
More honors await in 2008 as he has again been one of the top players in the Big 12 Conference. Maric and freshman Michael Beasley of Kansas State are the only players in the Big 12 Conference ranked among the league's top seven in scoring (Maric, 7th; 15.4 ppg), rebounding (4th; 8.5 rpg) and field-goal percentage (3rd; 56.5) entering this weekend's action.
Along with his powerful offensive game, Maric has improved defensively as well. He leads the league in blocked shots (1.94 bpg) and is on pace for a career high in steals. He ranks fourth on the squad with 20 steals and needs six more to set a new personal season high.
Maric is the active career leader in the Big 12 for rebounds (833), double-doubles (26) and double-figure rebound games (30). No other active player in the league has even 20 double-doubles or double-figure rebounding games. He ranks second all-time at
No. Name (Years) Career Points
1. Dave Hoppen (1983-86) 2,167
2. Eric Piatkowski (1991-94) 1,934
3. Jerry Fort (1973-76) 1,882
4. Andre Smith (1978-81) 1,717
5. Jaron Boone (1993-96) 1,609
6. Erick Strickland (1993-96) 1,586
7. Tyronn Lue (1996-98) 1,577
8. Cookie Belcher (1997-2001) 1,552
9. Rich King (1988-91) 1,475
10. Venson Hamilton (1996-99) 1,416
11. Aleks Maric (2005-pres.) 1,389
|+| Doubling Down Low
Center Aleks Maric established himself as a dual threat in the post from his first career game when he recorded 12 points and 14 rebounds in the season opener against Arkansas-Pine Bluff in 2004. Maric went on to record three double-doubles as a freshman and had 10 as a sophomore. Each of the marks in his first two years tied the NU class record.
Maric added 10 double-doubles last season and, after posting three this season, now has 26 in his career, a total that ranks second in
Maric added his first double-double of the 2007-08 campaign with a workmanlike 21 points and 16 rebounds against Alabama A&M and posted 17 points and 13 rebounds at
Rank Player (Years) Double-Doubles
1. Venson Hamilton (1996-99) 45
2. Aleks Maric (2005-present) 26
3. Carl McPipe (1976-79) 25
4. Dave Hoppen (1983-86) 22
5. Rich King (1988-91) 21
6. Derrick Chandler (1992-93) 19
7. Kimani Ffriend (2000-01) 18
8. Steffon Bradford (2000-01) 16
Andre Smith (1978-81) 16
10. Mikki Moore (1994-97) 11
|+| Chairman of the Boards
Senior center Aleks Maric is the top returning rebounder in the Big 12 Conference after posting 8.7 rebounds per contest last season, including 9.4 boards per game against league foes. The active career leader in the Big 12 Conference, Maric set his career high with 19 rebounds against
With 252 rebounds last season, Maric moved into ninth place on the Husker rebounds chart. This season, Maric has already had a game with 16 rebounds (against Alabama A&M) his fifth career game with at least 15 rebounds and with eight rebounds against Maryland Eastern Shore, he took over sole possession of second place on the Husker career chart.
No. Player (seasons) Rebounds
1. Venson Hamilton (1996-99) 1,080
2. Aleks Maric (2005-present) 833
3. Leroy Chalk (1969-71) 782
4. Dave Hoppen (1983-86) 773
5. Rich King (1988-91) 761
6. Andre Smith (1978-81) 753
7. Chuck Jura (1970-72) 740
8. Carl McPipe (1976-79) 723
9. John Turek (2002-05) 682
10. Rex Ekwall (1955-57) 679
|+| Dishing It
Freshman point guard Cookie Miller had a tremendous impact on the outcome of Nebraska's first game back from a three-day break for Christmas, as he posted eight points, 10 assists and five steals in the Huskers' 77-53 win over Alcorn State. Miller just missed his first career double-double while recording a personal high scoring effort in the
Miller's double-figure assists marked the 25th time overall and he became the ninth Husker since 1984-85 to record at least 10 assists in a game. He is the first freshman in that time to record double figure assists, making him the first Husker freshman in the Big 12 era to post at least 10 assists in a game.
Miller is only the second Husker in the past five years to record 10 assists in a game joining Charles Richardson Jr. who had 15 in a road game last year at
Miller nearly made it two straight games with double-figure assists as he had nine assists against Maryland Eastern Shore in the non-conference finale. His 19 assists in two games were the most since
Overall, Miller has had 31 assists against 11 turnovers in the past six games. In conference play, Miller has had just 10 turnovers in 156 minutes (team-high 31.2 mpg) in league play, including only one turnover in 32 minutes against No. 3 Kansas at home and one miscue in 34 minutes in his first Big 12 road game against
The list of Huskers with at least 10 assists in a game during the Big 12 era includes:
10 Cookie Miller (
15 Charles Richardson Jr. (at
10 Jake Muhleisen (
10 Cookie Belcher (
Miller's steady hand as a ball-distributor has helped the freshman lead the team with 70 assists (3.9 apg) against just 36 turnovers.
NU Freshman Top 10 Assists
No. Name (Year) Assists
1. Tyronn Lue (1996) 144
2. Jake Muhleisen (2002) 105
3. Jaron Boone (1993) 87
4. Brian Carr (1984) 78
5. Marcus Walker (2006) 74
6. Cookie Miller (2008) 70
7. Cookie Belcher (1997) 68
Eric Piatkowski (1991) 68
9. Charles Richardson Jr. (2004) 66
Erick Strickland (1993) 66
|+| Road Warrior
Diminutive guard Cookie Miller has shown early in his career that he can play with the big boys, especially in hostile environments.
Miller proved how explosive his offensive game can be when he took over for the Huskers in the second half against Creighton in
In his first Big 12 Conference road game against
In five road games this season, Miller is the team's top scorer at 11.0 points per game. Center Aleks Maric is the only other double-figure scorer as he has posted 10.6 points with 10.4 rebounds in five road contests.
Miller has hit 18-of-44 field-goal attempts (40.9 percent) away from the
|+| Stealing the Show
Freshman Cookie Miller has quickly made a name for himself on the defensive end of the floor as he moved onto the
Miller now ranks fourth in NU freshman history with a team-leading 36 steals this season. The
NU Freshman Top 10 Steals
No. Name (Year) Steals
1. Cookie Belcher (1997) 87
2. Tyronn Lue (1996) 50
3. Erick Strickland (1993) 47
4. Cookie Miller (2008) 36
5. Joe McCray (2005) 32
Clifford Scales (1988) 32
7. Jake Muhleisen (2002) 28
8. Jaron Boone (1993) 26
9. Ryan Anderson (2007) 25
10. Beau Reid (1988) 24
|+| Under Pressure
Since his introductory press conference, Coach Doc Sadler has said that he wants to get to the point where his team can pressure the opponent for 94 feet. With an upgrade in athleticism, speed and talent, that philosophy has already come into play more often this year.
Sadler's penchant for a disruptive defense has been widely embraced by the players and fans alike. Through 18 games this season,
The 14 steals against NCCU made it three consecutive games with double-figure steals. The last time NU had at least 10 steals in three straight games was the last game of 2003-04 (at
Overall this season,
Year Steals Games Avg/G
2007-08 160 18 8.9 36
2006-07 205 31 6.6 56
2005-06 207 33 6.3 33
2004-05 163 28 5.8 32
2003-04 194 31 6.3 36
2002-03 188 30 6.3 47
2001-02 203 28 7.3 48
2000-01 237 30 7.9 82
1999-00 215 30 7.2 42
1998-99 359 33 10.9 102
1997-98 319 32 9.9 75
1996-97 298 33 9.0 87
|+| Among the Best Rookies
As a newcomer to the league, freshman point guard Cookie Miller will be tested repeatedly during the Big 12 Conference season. If he can continue his success from the non-league play, Miller will likely be in the mix when the media votes on the Big 12 All-Freshman Team.
Through Friday, Feb. 1, Miller ranked eighth in the Big 12 Conference in assist:turnover ratio (1.94-to-1), fifth in assists per game (3.89) and fifth in steals per game (2.00). He is the only freshman ranked in the top 10 in steals and assist:turnover ratio, and the only freshman in the top eight in assists.
|+| Getting Defensive
The biggest show-stopper came against North Carolina Central on Dec. 22 when
North Carolina Central finished with 28 points, just two off the Big 12 and building record of 26 points by Bethune-Cookman in 2003. NCCU's nine field goals in the game also tied the Big 12 Conference opponent low.
It was the second straight game at the
Overall, the Huskers have held just five teams to less than 40 points in
The last time
|+| Taking Care of Business
Coach Doc Sadler stresses the importance of ball security and being smart with every pass. The Huskers have done a solid job of listening to Sadler's direction while taking care of the ball this season as they have averaged just 13.3 miscues per game (240 turnovers in 18 games) to rank in the top 65 nationally entering the week.
In league action, NU posted just 12 turnovers against the strong defensive pressure of the No. 3 Kansas Jayhawks and had nine turnovers on the road against
NU's season high for turnovers came on the road against
|+| Under Pressure
In the Huskers' last home game, NU forced 21 turnovers against Baylor, the most against a conference opponent since forcing 26 against Texas Tech in 1999.
|+| Getting in Gear
The Huskers had one of their most productive offensive games against
The five-game streak scoring at least 70 points was the second-longest under second-year head coach Doc Sadler. Last year, NU had a seven-game streak, all in non-conference action.
|+| Single Digits Rarity?
In what is typically an uncommon sight, the Huskers held
While it may not be common, it was the second time this year and the second time in three home games the Huskers held every player on the opposing team to nine or fewer points. NU also turned the trick against
Against North Carolina Central, the Huskers nearly made it three games without allowing a double-figure scorer as NCCU posted just 28 points in the contest, the second-fewest points NU has allowed since 1947. But Bryan Ayala's last basket gave him 11 points on the night to lead the Eagles. Only three other players scored for NCCU, one with seven points, one with six and one with four.
|+| Maric Chart Watch
With eight rebounds against Maryland Eastern Shore, senior center Aleks Maric improved his career total to 789 boards to rank second all-time on the
Maric, who currently has 833 career boards after picking up 13 against Missouri, is also on pace to soon move into the career top 10 for scoring at Nebraska. Entering Saturday's game against
Entering the season, Maric already ranked in the NU career top 10 for blocked shots, and currently he sits in seventh place with 123 after passing former teammate Wes Wilkinson (112).
Maric is already in the Nebraska top five for free throws made (384, third) and attempted (592, third), and will reach the top 10 for field goals and games started this season.
|+| Hot Shooting Huskers
After a strong start to the season, it's obvious why Coach Doc Sadler was optimistic about his team's shooting ability. Despite hitting just 36.3 percent in conference action, the Huskers have knocked down 45.7 percent overall from the floor on the season.
Center Aleks Maric has been at the front of the offensive charge during his years at
In his career, Maric has hit 52.6 percent (501-of-952) from the field.
|+| Meet the
The Iowa State Cyclones enter this weekend's contest with a 13-8 overall record and sit at .500 in the Big 12 standings after posting a 3-3 mark through its first six league games of the season. The Cyclones have lost four straight road contests and are looking for their first conference road win of the season.
ISU suffered a setback with the loss of leading scorer Wesley Johnson on Tuesday against
Johnson averaged 13.9 points per game in 17 contests this season, hitting a team-best 31 3-pointers and knocking down 77.8 percent from the free throw line. Behind Johnson, the Cyclones have gotten 12.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per game from freshman forward Craig Brackens, who also leads the team with 27 blocked shots. Along with Brackens, senior center Jiri Hubalek gives the Cyclones a strong front court that will test the Huskers. Hubalek has averaged 11.7 points and a team-high 7.2 rebounds per game this season. Forward Rahshon Clark has added 9.7 points and 5.4 rebounds per game on a team-best 53.6 percent shooting from the floor.
As a team, the Cyclones have hit 43.4 percent from the field, including 39.0 percent in league action. The Cyclones have struggled from 3-point range, hitting just over 31 percent from beyond the arc.
|+| Huskers Find Success in Classroom as Well as On Court
After opening a new season with the beginning of Big 12 Conference action, the Nebraska men’s basketball team also started a new season’ in the classroom when second semester classes began at UNL on Monday, Jan. 14. The Huskers hope to be as successful as last semester in both areas.
As a team,
“I think this says a lot about the players as individuals and competitors,” said
Junior guard Paul Velander, a secondary education/natural science major, has helped pace the Huskers’ strong academic efforts. Last spring, Velander was the 24th Husker named to the all-academic squad since the formation of the Big 12 Conference, a total that ranks second in the league.
Sadler has had a tradition of helping players find success in the classroom. As head coach at UTEP, Sadler saw 10 Miners earn at least a 3.0 grade-point average during the first semester in 2005-06, his final year at the school. As head coach at Arkansas-Fort Smith, Sadler had a 95-percent graduation rate during his five-year tenure.
NU improved to 12-6 on the year and became the final team to earn a Big 12 victory this season as it moved to 1-4 in conference action.
Maric had 13 points and 13 rebounds for his third double-double of the season before fouling out for the first time this year.
Steve Harley combined with
After being held scoreless against
Henry added another trey less than two minutes later and
J.T. Tiller produced three straight baskets to pull MU within one,15-14, with just over 11 minutes remaining before the Huskers responded with a quick 6-0 run. Harley scored off a nice pass from Maric while breaking the Tigers' full-court pressure and
After Nebraska went nearly four minutes without a point, Henry again came up big as he dropped in his third 3-pointer of the half -- tying his career high for a game -- and Maric added another offensive board and putback for his fifth basket of the opening period. Maric recorded a double-double in the first half with a rebound of a Strowbridge miss, but was called for his second foul on the follow at the 2:09 mark.
Henry scored 12 of his 14 points in the opening frame but the Huskers led by just two after hitting only 34.3 percent from the field.
The Tigers continued playing with high energy to open the second period.
The Huskers suffered a blow when Maric picked up his fourth foul with 12:10 remaining as Volkus made a strong drive to the lane and was fouled. He made it a three-point play to pull MU within one, 45-44. Ade Dagunduro responded for
The affair turned into a see-saw battle as neither team was able to separate itself by more than six points down the stretch.
After a Harley jumper put
Following Volkus's basket to tie the game at 60, the Huskers drained the shot clock and Harley made a strong move from outside the arc into the lane and dropped in a floater to give NU a two-point cushion with 1:17 remaining in the contest. Following two misses on the Tigers' end, Harley came away with the rebound and
Miller, who had been injured earlier in the period and returned to the game, set up a shot with less than 30 seconds left, but he came up short on a drive to the basket. On the following trip downcourt,
After a miss on the other end, Harley was fouled while collecting the rebound and nailed both free throws to ice the contest. It was his third straight game in double figures as he has averaged 15 points per game in that span to lead the team.
|+| Holding at 80
NU had gone 22 games without allowing a team to reach the 80-point plateau until
|+| Strong Streaks
The Huskers' six straight wins to end the non-conference slate is the second-longest win streak by a
Following an 86-50 win over Maryland Eastern Shore, Nebraska's 11-2 record heading into conference play was also its best mark to open a season in the Big 12 era. The previous best occurred in 2003-04 when NU began the season with a 10-2 mark through 12 games, but failed to record a win in its 13th contest.
The Huskers also had a 12-game home-court winning streak that came to an end with the first conference game against No. 3 Kansas.
|+| Non-Conference Success
The Huskers posted 11 victories in regular-season non-conference play, equalling the program's best mark in the Big 12 era. Nebraska also recorded 11 non-conference victories before league play last year, the first season under Coach Doc Sadler.
Before last year,
|+| Going 80
Overall, NU had six 80-point games last year. The Huskers are now 10-0 when scoring at least 80 points under second-year coach Doc Sadler.
Eight of the 10 highest scoring games under Sadler have come at the
|+| Scoring Droughts
Among its best defensive starts to a game,
That strong start is becoming a similar trend as the Huskers also ran out to a 26-2 lead to start the contest with
Holding opponents to long stretches between field goals is nothing new to Husker fans. Nebraska has held an opponent without a field goal for at least five minutes 21 times this year (5:38 vs. Presbyterian; 5:05 and 5:28 vs. Alabama A&M; 5:28 vs. Alabama A&M; 7:59 vs. Norfolk State; 12:48 and 6:51 vs. Arizona State; 5:02 and 5:33 vs. Rutgers; 6:07, 7:46 and 5:05 vs. Savannah State; 5:00, 10:07, 10:05 and 6:58 vs. North Carolina Central; 5:04 and 5:24 vs. Alcorn State; 5:09 and 6:05 vs. Maryland Eastern Shore; 5:48 vs. Baylor).
In what was expected to be its toughest non-conference matchup of season at the Devaney Center, Nebraska put on a defensive clinic against
The performance against ASU (12:48 between field goals) was the second-longest opponent scoring drought in the coach Doc Sadler era. Last year, the Huskers recorded 20 stretches of at least 5:00 off the clock without allowing a field goal, including a season-high 14:28 for
|+| Shutting It Down
Over consecutive games, the Huskers held Alabama A&M to just 27.6 percent shooting from the floor while allowing
NU also held
|+| Slowing the Scoring
Through the NCAA reporting period on Jan. 27, the Huskers ranked ninth in scoring defense and 15th nationally in field-goal percentage defense.
The most high-profile team
|+| Redshirt Decisions Made
Coach Doc Sadler announced on Saturday, Nov. 17, that two newcomers had made the decision to redshirt this season to better acclimate to Division I play. Sadler said that sophomore transfer Alex Chapman and freshman Brandon Richardson will redshirt this season.
After taking a while longer to decide, Sadler said on Dec. 2 that freshmen Alonzo Edwards and Toney McCray, who have dressed for every game this season, also decided to redshirt, giving NU a solid core for the future.
Also redshirting this season is true freshman walk-on Mike Diacos, a native of
|+| Huskers Pick Up Hardware
A pair of Huskers were honored by the Big 12 Conference on Monday, Dec. 17, as senior center Aleks Maric was named the league’s player of the week and junior guard Ade Dagunduro was selected as the rookie of the week. The honors marked the first time in school history
Maric picked up his second career nod as player of the week and his third overall honor. He was also selected player of the week on Nov. 20, 2006 and was the league’s rookie of the week on Feb. 28, 2005. He is one of only three Huskers to earn the Big 12 Player-of-the-Week accolade, and he became the third Husker to earn the honor twice. Venson Hamilton also picked up the award twice in his senior season in 1999 (in back-to-back weeks) while Tyronn Lue added two awards as a junior, his last season at Nebraska before making an early entry into the NBA Draft.
Maric is the first Husker ever to be named the conference’s player and rookie of the week in his career, and tied Kimani Ffriend for the most individual weekly honors by a Husker with three. Ffriend was the rookie of the three times as a junior in 1999.
Dagunduro is the seventh Husker to earn the newcomer-of-the-week honor and first since Marcus Walker was selected in December, 2005. Only two Husker newcomers have earned multiple awards, with Joe McCray being selected twice in 2004-05 and Ffriend.
Maric and Dagunduro earned the honors after helping the Huskers to pound
The duo then helped
Maric averaged a team-high 16.5 points to go along with 6.5 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game for the week. His top effort came against the Ducks, as he posted his third 20-point game of the season with a team-best 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting. Maric recorded 17 points after halftime. He shot 63.2 percent (12-of-19) on the week, plus 75.0 percent (9-of-12) from the free throw line.
Dagunduro registered 12.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game in the two victories. The junior had 15 points and seven rebounds versus
In addition to Maric and Dagunduro’s individual awards, the
Voters in the Associated Press poll also took notice, as
Prior to Sadler's first season with Nebraska in 2006-07, the last time NU received votes in the AP poll was Jan. 16, 2006, when Nebraska was 32nd with 18 points after defeating then-No. 12
|+| Huskers Continue Strong
The Huskers have won 24 straight non-conference, regular-season games as the home team dating to a 73-72 loss to UAB in the 2005-06 campaign (including the
Despite returning eight letterwinners from a year ago, the Huskers knew there would be a completely different look to the squad this season. Among the 19 players on the roster, eight are scholarship newcomers. There are also two walk-ons who redshirted last year in the program and one new invited walk-on.
Two newcomers junior Ade Dagunduro and freshman Cookie Miller have been fixtures in the Huskers' starting lineup this season. Dagunduro started the first 16 games this season before coming off the bench at
Overall, Sadler has played a total of six players this season who had never worn a
|+| Aussie Honors
After a solid junior campaign that saw him average 18.5 points and 8.7 rebounds per game, center Aleks Maric was the top returning scorer and rebounder in the Big 12 Conference and will contend for All-America honors this winter.
A second-team all-league selection following last season, Maric was named an Athlon Sports magazine third-team preseason All-American this fall and was a member of the preseason All-Big 12 team selected by the coaches. If he picks up All-America honors, Maric would become just the ninth Husker ever to earn postseason All-America honors and the first since Carl McPipe in 1978.
In addition to the preseason honors, Maric is among 50 players named to the initial watch lists for two prestigious player-of-the-year honors, the Wooden Award and the Naismith Trophy.
Entering last season with only a handful of players with Division I experience meant that some newcomers would have to step up. The first to answer Coach Doc Sadler's call was Ryan Anderson, who despite standing just 6-4, played the majority of the season at the 4 spot and created offensive mismatches against opponents on a nightly basis.
As one of five returning scholarship players, the
In his career,
|+| Strowbridge on the Mark
Sophomore guard Jay-R Strowbridge received great praise from Coach Doc Sadler during the preseason as one of the most improved players on the team. While injury has set him back twice this season, including the week before the start of conference play, Strowbridge has again proven to be one of the Huskers' top 3-point shooters.
After setting a blistering pace as a rookie last season, Strowbridge has hit at a 39.0 percent clip from beyond the arc this season, knocking down 16-of-41 3-point attempts. While it is behind last year's average that ranks third in single-season history and first in the NU freshman record book (47.3 percent, 25-of-54), Strowbridge still owns a career mark of 43.2 percent (41-of-95).
With 95 attempts in his career, Strowbridge now qualifies for the Nebraska career record where he moved into second all-time just behind Brian Conklin, who knocked down 43.2 percent in his career (176-of-407). Strowbridge's career mark is also ahead of NU's career 3-point leader Cary Cochran, who hit 268-of-630 attempts from long range.
Rank Player (seasons) 3FG 3PA Pct.
1. Brian Conklin (2001-04) 176 407 .4324
2. Jay-R Strowbridge (2007-pres.) 41 95 .4316
4. Ryan Anderson (2007-pres.) 76 185 .411
5. Clifford Scales (1988-91) 45 110 .409
6. Henry T. Buchanan (1987-88) 67 165 .406
7. Chris Cresswell (1990-92) 103 261 .395
8. Marcus Perry (2006-07) 98 249 .394
9. Ray Richardson (1989-90) 105 278 .3777
10. Paul Velander (2006-pres.) 49 130 .3769
|+| Making History
Coach Doc Sadler is quickly making a name for himself at
This year, Sadler became one of only two coaches in program history to win at least three straight games to open the season in each of his first two years on the Husker bench. He joined E.O. 'Jumbo' Stiehm who opened 1911-12 and 1912-13 with five victories each year.
This is the third consecutive season
Sadler already owns 29 victories as