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Official Husker Locker Blog

2011 Feb 16

MEN'S HOOPS: Five Keys to OU

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By HuskerLocker

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Five Keys to Nebraska capturing a much-needed road win at Oklahoma:

Use the size to create open shots: OU's biggest player is 6-8 forward Andrew Fitzgerald. NU routinely plays three guys – Jorge Brian Diaz, Andre Almeida and Brandon Ubel – taller than that. The Sooners will most likely try to double-team the Husker post player, which should leave shooters Brandon Richardson, Bear Jones and Lance Jeter open for jumpers. They need to hit them.

Use the depth: Oklahoma's six-man rotation is long on chemistry and short on bench depth. OU, for example, had no prayer against Missouri's intense pressure in a 84-61 loss last week. Nebraska routinely plays ten guys; perhaps Wednesday night is the time to use some pressure?

Find the shooters: Guards Cade Davis and Steven Pledger combined to average 12 3-point attempts per game. They make about five of those. Both are 6-foot-4 and big enough to consistently get those shots off. NU's defenders need to force those guys to drive and make shots in the lane. Both turn over the ball with frequency.

Match the intensity and effort: The last time Nebraska faced a thin bench on the road, Texas Tech pounded the Huskers on the offensive boards and escaped with a 1-point win because of shabby defensive plays. Can't happen again. OU isn't much better than the Red Raiders – but the Sooners are more aggressive on defense. If NU falls behind early, it won't be so easy to crawl back into the game.

Rise to the moment: Nebraska needs this one. A win here sets up a big stage for Saturday's game with Texas. In recent years, the Huskers have struggled with games like this.

Tags: mens hoops, lance jeter, jorge brian diaz, andre almeida

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