2001 All-Big 12 Second-Team (AP and Coaches)
2001 Big 12 All-Defensive Team (Coaches)
2001 All-District 12 Second-Team (NABC)
1999 Big 12 All-Defensive Team (Coaches)
Belcher's Career Highs
Points: 29, vs. Kansas (2/25/01)
Rebounds: 10, vs. Iowa State (1/24/98); vs. Colorado (2/1/01)
Assists: 10, vs. Pittsburgh (12/11/99)
Steals: 8, vs. Texas Tech (2/20/99); vs. Oklahoma State (2/7/01)
Blocks: 4, vs. Oregon State (11/30/96); vs. Colorado (2/21/98)
Cookie Belcher left as big a mark on the Nebraska men's basketball program as any Husker in school history. During his stay in Lincoln, the Mexico, Mo., native set numerous records while moving into the Husker all-time top 10 in several other categories. His 353 career steals are not only a school and Big 12 Conference record, but also rank third in NCAA history.
Belcher was looked to for his defensive ability from the beginning of his career, after he was inserted into the lineup from day one. Throughout his career, Belcher was counted on to play long minutes. He is the only player in Nebraska history to record at least 4,000 career minutes played. Along with that record came new school marks for games played (131) and career starts (129).
After a wrist injury sidelined him for the 1999-2000 campaign, Belcher came back with a vengeance in 2000-01, leading the Huskers with 16.4 points per game and chipping in 5.1 rpg and 4.4 apg. He also collected a team-high 82 steals.
With 492 points on the season, Belcher moved into eighth place on the Huskers' all-time scoring chart. In all, he finished with 1,552 points for an 11.9 ppg average throughout his career.
Belcher received a medical redshirt after injuring his wrist early in the season. He played in four of Nebraska's first eight games, but did not see action in the final 22 games. Despite the injury, Belcher handed out a career-high 10 assists in NU's win against Pittsburgh, while pulling down nine rebounds. Belcher had seven steals in four games, raising his Nebraska career record total to 271.
Belcher finished second on the team in scoring, averaging 11.8 points per game, raising his scoring average for the third straight season. He led the Huskers in assists (138), steals (102) and three-pointers (39) and was second in minutes played per game (31.5). After 74 consecutive starts to begin his career, he missed his first game as a Husker at Colorado State with sever back spasms.
Belcher scored a season-high 18 points against Washington State in Alaska and vs. UNC Greensboro and finished the season strong with 17 and 15 points, respectively, against UNLV and TCU in the NIT. Overall, Belcher had 11 games with 15 or more points, pacing the Huskers to an 8-3 record in those contests. He reached double figures in 22 of 32 games as a junior.
Belcher struggled slightly from the floor, but a large part of that can be traced to his wrist injury. After the injury on Feb. 3 at Coloardo, Belcher hit just 42 percent from the field, 27 percent from three-point range and 53 percent from the foul line, down from 68 percent before the injury. The sore wrist did not bother him on the defensive end, where Belcher racked up an NU and Big 12 season-record 102 steals on the season and had an NU single-game record eight steals at Texas Tech. His five steals against UNLV moved Belcher past Erick Strickland into first place on the NU career steals chart. As a junior, Belcher had three or more steals in 19 of 32 contests and finished the season averaging 3.2 per game, first in the Big 12 and fifth nationally.
Belcher also led Nebraska with 138 assists, the seventh-best single-season in school history. Nebraska was 10-3 when Belcher had five or more assists. He matches his season high with nine assists in the season opener against UNC Greensboro and had a career conference-high eight vs. Texas A&M, when he also tied his season high in rebounds with seven.
His 22 blocked shots were second on the team and his 62 career blocks are ninth on the NU career list and most in school history by a guard. Belcher was named to the Ameritas Classic All-Tournament Team for the third straight season.
Belcher started all 32 games in his sophomore season and averaged 11.1 points (third on team), 3.9 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game. Belcher scored a season-high and Big 12 career-high 21 points at Iowa State on Feb. 28 on 8-11 shooting. He recorded his only career double-double with 15 points and a career-high 10 rebounds in NU's meeting with the Cyclones in Lincoln. Overall, Belcher had 19 double-figure scoring games on the year, including seven games with 15 or more points, and five such games in Big 12 play. Nebraska was 5-2 when Belcher reached the 15-point mark and in those seven contests Belcher hit 59 percent from the field, up from his 44-percent season average.
Belcher reached double digits in nine Big 12 games and averaged 11.7 points in Nebraska's last nine games. He had a seven-game double-figure scoring streak early in the season. In addition to his 21-point effort at Iowa State, Belcher scored 20 points against UNC Wilmington on an 8-for-11 performance from the floor, had 19 at Texas (7-13) and 19 against Missouri in Lincoln (8-12). His game against the Tigers in Lincoln was one of the most complete of his career as he added eight rebounds, five assists and four steals in 39 minutes.
Belcher scored 13 points in the Ameritas Championship against Grambling State and was named to the all-tournament team for the second straight season. Belcher and backcourt running mate Tyronn Lue combined to score 40 or more points seven times in 1997-98, including a season-high 47 against UNC Wilmington and 45 at Iowa State in the regular season finale.
In addition to his career-high 10 rebounds against Iowa State, Belcher grabbed nine rebounds against Texas-San Antonio and had a season-best nine assists against UNC Wilmington in the first round of the Ameritas Classic. He finished in the top 15 in the Big 12 in assists at 3.9 per game and had five or more assists 13 times. He ranked among the league leaders in assist-to-turnover ration at 1.65:1. Belcher's 124 assists were second on the team and was just 10 assists short of cracking the NU single-season top 10 list.
Belcher led the team in steals with 75, the fourth-best single season total in school history, but just third on his personal list. He tied his then-career high with six steals against Arkansas in the NCAA Tournament. His four blocked shots at Colorado tied his own school record for blocked shots by a guard. He also had four rejections as a freshman against Oregon State.
For his defensive efforts, Belcher was one of six players voted to the Big 12 All-Defensive team, joining teammate Venson Hamilton on the squad. Belcher averaged 32.1 minutes, the second-highest total on the team. In the summer of 1998, Belcher played on a U.S. all-star team that toured Greece.
Belcher earned a starting job from the start of the season and turned in one of the best freshman seasons in Nebraska history. The only Husker to start all 33 games in 1996-97, Belcher finished the season fifth on the team in scoring at 9.2 points per game and was also fifth in rebounding at 3.8 per game. His 305 points were the fourth-highest ever by a Husker freshman, trailing only Dave Hoppen, Eric Piatkowski and Jerry Fort. Those three players are the top three career scorers in Husker history.
Belcher also led the Huskers in steals with a Nebraska freshman-record 87, shattering the previous record of 50 set by Tyronn Lue in 1995-96. His 87 steals were two short of the old NU single-season record of 89, set by Erick Strickland (1996). Belcher's 2.6 steals per game also led the Big 12, and he was the only newcomer to lead the conference in any category in 1996-97.
Belcher was Nebraska's top three-point marksman, knocking down nearly 40 percent of his long-range attempts and was second in threes made with 30. Possibly the Huskers' most versatile player, Belcher was also second on the team in assists with 68 and third in blocked shots with 20.
Belcher served notice of his ability from the start of the season, leading Nebraska in scoring in two exhibition victories with 19 points per contest. He averaged 10.0 points per game in NU's first four contests, then exploded in the Ameritas Classic. He was named to the all-tournament team after scoring 39 points in two games, including a career-high 22 against Coppin State. He added 17 against Bowling Green in the championship game and also reached 15 points against Creighton. He scored in double figures 12 times as a freshman.
He grabbed eight rebounds in the opener at Texas and tied that total later in the season at Kansas State. Belcher had seven rebounds at Colorado and grabbed six boards four times. He handed out a season-high five assists at Colorado on Jan. 4, and had four assists in four games.
Belcher had a Nebraska season-high six steals against Bowling Green in the Ameritas Classic. He had four steals against Creighton and in back-to-back February games against Colorado and Texas Tech. Belcher's 20 blocked shots was one of the top totals ever for a Husker guard. His four blocks against Oregon State were the most by an NU guard since blocked shots were kept as an official statistic in the 1977-78 season. Belcher played on a People-to-People Sports All-Star Team that toured Italy for two weeks in the summer of 1997.
Belcher's Career Stats
| 1996-97|| 33-33||999||117-256||.457||30-76|| .395||41-83||.494||126-3.8||68||20|| 87||305-9.2|
| 1997-98||32-32||982||135-305||.443||29-102||.284||55-87||.632||126-3.9||124|| 16|| 75||354-11.1|
| 1998-99||32-31||1007||137-320||.428||39-128||.305||64-102||.627||107-3.3|| 138|| 22|| 102||377-11.8|
| 1999-00||4-3||83||10-16||.625||0-1||.000||4-7||.571||15-3.8||16|| 4|| 7||24-6.0|
|2000-01|| 30-30|| 1024|| 177-394|| .449|| 48-143|| .336|| 90-121|| .744|| 152-5.1|| 131|| 21|| 82||492-16.4|