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By Randy York
There's a new Bo in town, and if you've missed seeing what he brings to Nebraska, find a way to clear your Thanksgiving calendar for a few hours and catch his act Wednesday night when the Husker men's basketball team hosts Oregon. Doc Sadler knows how busy everyone is this week, but that didn't keep NU's basketball coach from mentioning how his Huskers could sure use some extra crowd noise for the Ducks, who have a little waddle of their own going under Nebraska native and former Creighton Coach Dana Altman. Wednesday's Nebraska-Oregon tipoff is 8 p.m. at the Devaney Center, and you can almost take this to the bank: Whatever seat you buy for Wednesday night's Oregon game, you most likely will walk back to your car thinking what so many were thinking Sunday afternoon ... Bo Spencer is special, and what he brings to the point guard position is hard to describe unless you watch him in person and see how much of the court he can survey and slice up.
The high-scoring Rhode Island Rams were the latest to see how tough and tenacious Bo is. The LSU transfer scored 23 points with speed, swagger, vision and vitality, not to mention his winsome, yet wily way of inspiring his teammates. Ask Caleb Walker, the recipient of two Bo alley oop-assisted dunks that helped him score a career-high 17 points. Walker made 7 of his 8 field goal attempts, and Brandon Richardson had a career-high eight assists and tied a career-high with four steals. Richardson also chopped 17 points off the scoring average of Rhode Island's top offensive gunner.
Fortunately, with the ever-popular Lance Jeter having just one remaining season of eligibility left entering last year, Spencer found the transfer school and the match he was looking for. And Nebraska found a proven spark for its first season in the rough-and-tumble Big Ten Conference. Talk about transition and timing. How often can anyone sign a point guard that averaged 9.3 points a game in three seasons at a BCS school? Bo, in fact, once had back-to-back 25-point scoring efforts against Kentucky and Tennessee, proving he's every bit as explosive as he is fast. And here's the best news: As an LSU sophomore, Bo started at point guard on an SEC championship team that finished 27-8 before losing to eventual national champion North Carolina in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. As a junior, he averaged 14.5 points a game and made 83.9 percent of his free throws. Did we mention how Bo led his Louisiana high school team to two state championships and averaged 26 points a game as a senior?
By now, you get the picture. Bo Spencer is a winner that wants to be a program-changer, and his arrival in Lincoln could not be more opportunistic. Husker assistant Wes Flanagan tried to recruit Bo at UAB and reconnected with him shortly after joining Sadler's staff. The only thing besides Flanagan that Spencer knew about Nebraska was Ndamukong Suh, but that was enough for him to consider coming to Lincoln. Sadler gave Spencer a well-deserved second chance, and now Bo wants to return the favor and give Nebraska something the school has waited decades to claim ... its first win in the NCAA Tournament. Who knows? This just might be the season, and now that the Huskers have beefed up their non-conference schedule, the N-Sider has a great holiday gift idea for family, friends and people who just enjoy treating themselves. Both the Oregon game and another power-packed Wednesday night game a week later against Wake Forest are part of a flexible Pick-Six mini-ticket plan where you can customize a six-game package for 50 bucks. I call that the deal of the year. That's why the N-Sider recommends fans jump on it right now, so you, too, can see what Bo knows.
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