MBB: Five Keys: OU

By at January 29, 2010 | 3:38 PM | Print

Five Keys to Nebraska’s Saturday game with Oklahoma:

Work toward the charity stripe: OU is generally comfortable trading baskets, with its cadre of strong shooters. Nebraska has to force the issue in the paint, get to the free throw line, and gum up the Sooners’ running game.

Take down Tiny: OU center Tiny Gallon is a 6-foot-9, 300-pound load to handle. But he’s also averaging 3.5 turnovers per game in Big 12 play. Invite the entry pass to him, and double with Ryan Anderson for a few handy steals. Watch Gallon on the boards, though – he’s most dangerous there.

Get physical with the kid: Tommy Mason-Griffin is wunderkind of a freshman point guard – when you ask him to score points. When he’s forced to run offense, Mason-Griffin gets inpatient and skittish, and careens into the lane. Nebraska needs to find its inner mean mug and get rough with the freshman. Make him pay for ill-advised cavorts into the lane. The Big 12 North is twice as physical at the Big 12 South.

Start Standhardinger: We can bet on this not happening, but the Huskers need to start building their offense around a guy who can create his own shot, and Christian Standhardinger has to learn to deal with the responsibility of playing from the opening tip. As a bench guy, he forces the issue too much upon his entry to the game; his energy seems outsized for the rest of the players on the floor, and he gets penalized with fouls and turnovers because of it. Let him burn off the noise in the opening minutes, so he can settle into the game.

Hit Em at Home: Brandon Richardson, Eshaunte Jones and Ray Gallegos have to find the shooting stroke. Obviously, they left it at home when they headed to Boulder, making just 5 of 20 in a 72-60 loss to Colorado.

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