Nebraska vs. Western Illinois: Postgame Notes and Quotes
*-Nebraska has now won 15 straight at home, the longest active streak in the Big Ten and the longest by a Husker team since a 16-game home win streak which spanned the 1981-82 and 1982-83 seasons.
*-Glynn Watson finished with a season-high 20 points and matched his career best with nine rebounds (vs. Minnesota in 2017-18). It was Watson’s 12th career 20-point game at Nebraska.
*-With 20 points today, Glynn Watson Jr. now has 1,132 career points and sits in 25th place. He moved past Tai Webster (1,116) and Ryan Anderson (1,125) on Saturday.
*-With three steals, Glynn Watson Jr. tied Brandon Richardson for eighth on NU’s career steals list with 145.
*-Nebraska had three double figure runs (13-0 and 19-0, 10-0) and now has 11 for the season.
*-Western Illinois was held to a season-low 49 points, more than 30 points below their season average (80.4) and the first time they have been held under 65 points this season.
*-Thomas Allen’s blocked shot was the first of his career.
Nebraska Head Coach Tim Miles
On the team’s emphasis today.
“Pass the ball. When we did that tonight, I thought we were pretty good. I don’t know what the stat was, but I think this is fairly accurate so we’re going to go with it. In the first half, we were 12 for 19 from the field after three passes. That is good basketball. Now, we didn’t continue it in the second half when we got a big lead. That’s where we can’t let our guard down because whether you have a big lead or are behind like we were against Texas Tech, if those same habits come out, quick, early outside shot. It makes it really hard on your defense. I didn’t think our three-point defense was great tonight, but I do really like what Billy Wright is doing at Western Illinois. This is the first game that I think they have really been out of. You can tell he coached for (NU assistant) Coach Jim Molinari. You can tell he took over for coach Mo. I mean they are a base man-to-man team, no nonsense. They guard you. They make it hard for you to score. I think we were averaging 85 (points) or more at home, there was no way we were getting to that tonight. So, I think you have to credit them too.”
On Isaiah Roby
“We’re trying to put the ball inside some too. Isaiah (Roby) I think is one of our best options, and those first two times were really good. He kind of fell into the jumper mode after that. At the same time, we want to go to him, and he’s very capable inside now.”
Western Illinois Head Coach Billy Wright
On not being intimidated by Nebraska
“For the most part in the second half I would agree, but in the first half we were not ourselves. I think that had a lot to do with them (Nebraska). Their size, their length, their athleticism and the environment. I mean what a great environment for our young men to get this experience, but you look at some things that we didn’t do so well the first half, we were able to correct in the second half and it was 33-32 in the second half. We’re proud of our effort and our fight, particularly in the second half. We were able to do some things better even though we didn’t shoot the ball very well and had some guys in foul trouble. We were still very competitive for most of the second half we just got down too many points from the start.”
On his team showing fight against Nebraska
“Absolutely, for the youth that we have, you look at, you know Kobe (Webster) didn’t shoot the ball very well and Brandon (Gilbeck) in foul trouble and you have Isaac (Johnson) and Ben (Pyle) out there and they’re trying to do some nice things. I thought for the most part we kept fighting, but they were too big, too athletic in most of the positions and it showed. When we went to a zone in the second half we got three or four stops in a row and kind of got out running and they put the starters back in. There aren’t any moral victories but I’m proud of the way our guys fought and competed.”
On what his team can learn from a game like this
“For the most part it’s a 40-minute game. The first four are just as important as the last four. One of the things we really wanted to do was take away the three-point shot. I think Nebraska is a really good three-point shooting team and to hold them to 4-20 from the three-point line I thought that was a credit to our guys but it also opened up driving angles and offensive rebounds when we didn’t block out so those are some things that we can look up and build up on.”
Nebraska Players Isaiah Roby and Glynn Watson
On bouncing back after the loss to Texas Tech
Roby: “I think we played all right. Obviously, we know it’s early in the season and we’ve got a lot to learn from that game, but we played well today.”
On emphasizing defense today against WIU
Watson: “Yes and rebounding. Coach had talked about us rebounding so we just tried to come out and play defense and rebounding
On defending Brandon Gilbeck
Roby: “I had to focus a lot on positioning because a guy like that, if you give him an angle to the rim it’s going to be a dunk so I had to focus on that a lot. Just staying strong and walling up on him. I’m going to have to do that a lot especially around conference time so it was good to see it early.”
On being aggressive on the offensive end
Roby: “Yes, but at the same time we’re taking one shot, we’re taking one pass shots so I’m the five man right now. As the five man, I’m supposed to set screens and keep the ball moving and not have the ball stick. So, yeah I need to be aggressive, but at the same time I need to keep sharing it.”
On his offensive performance
Watson: “Yeah, just being aggressive. My shot wasn’t really falling last game but I’m going to stay aggressive and play my game. Coach Miles put me in a good position to score and set screens and stuff like that, so I was just being aggressive.”
On defensive rebounding
Watson: “I’m just cleaning up, the other guys box out and things like that but I’m the guy that’s got to clean up when those guys box out. Coach Miles told us all we had to come rebound today and play our defense and that’s what I’m trying to do.”