We didn’t just get a win last week, but we got a win the way we needed a win. An offensive explosion (against a terribad defensive team) that we can only hope reignites the engines between now and March 15th. Next up, a reeling Nebraska squad that might have completely given up hope.
By the numbers
One month ago, Nebraska beat Northwestern at home to get to 5-5 in conference. Since then, they’ve lost six straight. They had a shot against Maryland on the road, but since then they have the look of a team who’s season can’t end soon enough. The great defense that had been their calling card leading up to our last match up has let them down in the B1G (8th in conference per kenpom’s adjusted efficiency), and they’re offense has continued to be dreadful.
Just like last time, the Nebraska offense should be a good matchup for us. They don’t shoot the ball well from deep (27.2% in conference), and they don’t get many offensive rebounds (23.8% offensive rebounding % last in conference). While we don’t do a particularly good job of keeping opponents from scoring inside, their one dimensional nature will allow us to pack it in with man to man as well as liberally sprinkle in zone.
Defensively, Nebraska again represents a good matchup. The Huskers don’t defend the three well (11th in conference 3FG%), and they foul a ton. They foul opponents on nearly 25% of defensive plays.
We’re getting the right team at the right time. Let’s dig deeper into why.
Who are they on offense?
They’re still Terran Petteway and Shavon Shields. Nothing has changed. Both players are bullies who get to the rim, finish well, and (in Shields’ case) complete plays at the line.
The problem continues to be that there is no one else. I know we’ve all been frustrated at times that we’ve got liabilities on offense. Well Nebraska has it far worse.
Tim Miles has emphasized Petteway getting other players involved early in the game. He’s shown leadership by being a willing facilitator. The problem is that unless you’re running a Petteway Shields pick and roll, which never happens for some reason, you get something like this.