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  1. 2011 Jan 19

    Podcast 1/19: No Hoops Home for Dinger


    By HuskerLocker

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    Tags: podcasts, mens hoops, christian standhardinger

  2. 2010 Dec 20

    Podcast 12/20: Weekend Recap


    By HuskerLocker

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    Tags: podcast, mens hoops, womens hoops, mike ekeler, christian standhardinger

  3. 2010 Dec 17

    MEN'S HOOPS: Dinger's Done


    By HuskerLocker

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    The whispers became reality Friday afternoon for the Nebraska men's basketball program, as sophomore forward Christian Standhardinger officially announced his departure from NU after spending last two weeks on academic suspension.

    While Standhardinger ended the academic semester “on a high note,” head coach Doc Sadler said, the 6-foot-8 German import will still explore a transfer to a different school and, if there's no good fit, a spot on a professional team overseas.

    "It was not an easy decision for me," Standhardinger said. "I feel bad that I will not be a part of the team, and I like, and more importantly, respect all of my teammates. I will always cheer and pull for them and hope they reach their goal of getting to the NCAA Tournament. I'm just a young man who is trying to make the right decision to be able to eventually provide and take care of my family.”

    Said Sadler: "I've enjoyed coaching Christian. He brought tremendous energy and competitiveness to the court, and has really worked hard academically to finish the semester on a high note. That is a credit to him and it has not been easy, but he showed how important academics were to him. I wish him the very best."

    Standhardinger, one of Sadler's most promising recruits, took a long road to Lincoln, sitting out last fall because of a NCAA ruling. In his career debut at Texas A&M in January 2010, he scored 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds. But his minutes fluctuated throughout the Big 12 Conference season, as Sadler said Standhardinger had to adjust to an American game.

    Only once in his entire Husker career did Standhardinger log more than 30 minutes in a game for the Huskers - scoring 25 points and grabbing eight rebounds in a 78-74 loss to Iowa State. In the following game, he played just 15 minutes vs. Texas Tech in a 83-79 win. For the year, he averaged 8.1 points and 3.8 rebounds. Extrapolated out to 30 minutes per game, however, and Standhardinger would have averaged 16 points and 7.5 rebounds.

    In an interview with the Lincoln Journal-Star, Standhardinger said he considering transferring after last season, but did not “after a long talk with Doc.”

    In 2011, Standhardinger averaged just 18 minutes per game despite being one of the team's leading scorers (9.5) and rebounders (5.5) through six games. Sadler suspended Standhardinger for academic issues shortly thereafter, and said he'd reexamine playing status at the end of the semester.

    Standhardinger told the LJS he got discouraged over a lack of playing time and a family illness, and thus slacked off in class. He recovered by the end of the semester.

    "I'm just leaving because of one reason, and that is because basketballwise, me and the program didn't fit,” Standhardinger told the LJS. “Me and the philosophy of Doc didn't fit."

    Nine of Sadler's 23 recruits have left the program during the last four seasons. Another, guard Ray Gallegos, left, but returned.

    Tags: mens hoops, christian standhardinger, doc sadler

  4. 2010 Dec 07

    MEN'S HOOPS: Sithardinger?


    By HuskerLocker

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    Nice work by the Lincoln Journal-Star's Brian Rosenthal, who confirmed with head coach Doc Sadler that Christian Standhardinger hasn't been playing or practicing with the team to catch up on "academic issues."

    Once he does that, Sadler intends to chat with Standhardinger about his future at Nebraska.

    Before his suspension - or whatever you'd like to call it - Standhardinger was NU's leading scorer and rebounder, but he's struggled to find minutes under Sadler last season - when he played the second semester after sitting the first half of the year - or this one.

    Tags: mens hoops, christian standhardinger, doc sadler

  5. 2010 Dec 05

    MENS HOOPS: Five Keys to Nebraska-Creighton


    By HuskerLocker

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    Frontcourt battle: While Creighton may have the most complete power player in center Kenny Lawson, Nebraska has more overall size and depth. NU's guards have struggled, however, to consistently feed Jorge Brian Diaz and Andre Almeida the ball, and the two foreigners are sometimes reluctant to finish strong. The Huskers should have the overall advantage inside – but only if they assert it.

    Point guard duel: Nebraska's Lance Jeter and Creighton's Antoine Young are the straws who stir their team's drinks, and they make an intriguing matchup for one another. Will Young's superior quickness and nose for the lane overtake Jeter, or will Jeter's physicality and dogged toughness outlast Young's talents?

    The Two McDermotts: During his stint at Iowa State, current CU coach Greg McDermott was a good foil of NU coach Doc Sadler, who admired McDermott's ability to create points out of set plays against the Huskers' defense. Doug McDermott, Greg's son, already appears to be the runaway winner for Missouri Valley Freshman of the Year, averaging 15 points and six rebounds per game. He's the Bluejays' most nimble scorer inside the arc in years.

    Sit or Standhardinger: Two years ago, former Creighton guard P'Allen Stinnett sat out the game in Lincoln for disciplinary issues and probably cost the Jays the win they needed to make the NCAA Tournament. NU forward Christian Standhardinger didn't play Wednesday because he needed to catch up on some academic issues. If he plays Sunday, how effective is he in the limited first-half minutes Doc tends to give him?

    Trifecta: McDermott's M.O. - at Iowa State, and previously at Northern Iowa – was to create opportunities for his 3-point shooters. Creighton has plenty of them – Caleb Korver and Ethan Wragge among them – but they run hot and cold. Nebraska's guards – especially Brandon Richardson – tend to lack confidence in their shot. The Bluejays could put the Huskers – or themselves – in a quick hole depending on how many treys they drain.

    Tags: mens hoops, creighton game, christian standhardinger, lance jeter, jorge brian diaz, andre almeida, brandon richardson

  6. 2010 Nov 27

    MEN'S HOOPS: NU Hopes Shooting Carries Over vs. USC


    By HuskerLocker

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    One day after the Nebraska basketball team's second straight loss in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, head coach Doc Sadler gathered his four best shooters – Brandon Richardson, Eshaunte Jones, Drake Beranek and Ray Gallegos – and gave them a simple directive: Don't be so selfless.

    “He told me, Ray, Drake and Bear that we were being selfish if we didn't shoot,” Richardson said. “We took that into consideration.”

    Did they. After combining for just 17 shots and 12 points in losses to Vanderbilt (59-49) and Davidson (70-67), the quartet shot 20 times and scored 27 points in a 62-47 win over Hofstra Sunday.

    “I'm probably one of the most free coaches there is about letting guys shoot the basketball,” Sadler said. “Maybe they needed that for their own selves. Those guys have proven they can make shots, and if you've proven you can make shots obviously I want you to shoot the shots you shoot in practice.”

    That's been a struggle for Richardson, who injured his ankle during the preseason. Expected to be one of NU's leading scorers this year, he's been thrust into the backup point guard role because of the suspension of Kamyron Brown, and he still isn't getting the right amount of lift on his shot because of the injury.

    “I still have that fear that when I'm shooting it I'm going to come down on somebody's foot,” Richardson said. “I'm just being real cautious about it.”

    So, despite averaging 24 minutes per game, he's only scoring 4 points per contest and shooting 27 percent from the floor. And yet the message remains: Shoot out of it.

    “I've always been an unselfish type of guy, that's why they're always in my ear,” Richardson said. “I gotta listen.”

    He'll get another chance in the Big 12/Pac 10 Hardcourt Challenge, when USC visits Saturday for a 5 p.m. game. The Trojans, 4-2, boast one of the stronger frontcourts in their conference, led by 6-10 forward Nikola Vucevic, who's averaging 17 points and 11 rebounds per game. Another 6-10 forward, Alex Stephenson, pitches in 6.3 points and 7 rebounds per contest.

    Nebraska (3-2) will counter with its own front line, which includes leading scorer and rebounder Christian Standhardinger, forward Jorge Brian Diaz, center Andre Almeida and small forward Brandon Ubel.

    Thanks to leading the team in free throws and offensive rebounds, Standhardinger is off to a quick start – while coming off the bench – in his sophomore campaign. He's scoring 11 points per game while averaging just 17 minutes per game. He's second on the team in “possessions” - actually touching the ball during a trip down the floor – only trailing point guard Lance Jeter. Standhardinger is getting the ball on 33 percent of NU's offensive possessions while he's in the game, a sign that he's a go-to guy.

    Based on those numbers, shouldn't Standhardinger play more?

    “I don't know about that,” Sadler said. “Because inside our guys are always going to be the guys who get the most touches. I don't buy into points per minute. I don't buy into that stuff. That's a big, big part of it, but there's so much more.”

    Making the extra pass. Getting a better shot. Making the opponent defend for an extra beat down the floor. Nebraska often did none of the three in Puerto Rico – until Sunday.

    “A lot of times, we just came down and shot the ball without making the defense move,” Richardson said.


    *Sadler said Brown wouldn't be playing “anytime soon” but has handled the indefinite suspension “great.”

    *USC's two losses this year were to Rider (77-57) and Bradley (64-63). The Trojans lack any kind of notable win.

    Tags: mens hoops, brandon richardson, christian standhardinger

  7. 2010 Nov 17

    MENS HOOPS: 5 Keys to Puerto Rico


    By HuskerLocker

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    It's the biggest non-conference challenge of the Doc Sadler era, as Nebraska heads to the Puerto Rico Tip-Off in San Juan, which kicks off Thursday with a game vs. Vanderbilt. Here's five keys to the Huskers making plays and getting wins on the Island.

    Shoot, shoot, shoot: Early-season tournament games often boil down to offense and which teams get hot from the perimeter and the free throw line. Nebraska needs quality minutes and points out of its two best outside shooters, Bear Jones and Drake Beranek and good charity-stripe performances from the guys who should get there the most, Lance Jeter and Christian Standhardinger.

    More McCray: Junior Swiss Army Knife Toney McCray does a little of everything – and that includes making ill-timed mistakes. But Doc Sadler has to let him work through those errors on the court, because, along with Standhardinger, are the two Huskers who can most create their own shots.

    Stay away from a “loose” game: NU can't win a track meet. See last year's BYU game in Vegas and the Hawai'i game in 2006. The Huskers must control tempo and keep the game at their pace. Nebraska still doesn't have the offensive maturity to win 90-point games on the road.

    Don't put your eggs in the first basket: Nebraska is a solid underdog to experienced, talented Vanderbilt – as it should be. The Commodores have comparable size and superior offensive talent. So if NU drops a game to Vandy, it can't sulk through games with Davidson (a likely second-day foe) and a third opponent. Whichever teams they might be, they'll be as strong as Creighton – which always gives Nebraska a tough game.

    Go big: To free up perimeter shooters, NU has to be willing to consistently pair its two best big men – Jorge Brian Diaz and Andre Almeida – on the floor at the same time. Both of them can draw a double-team, both can pass, and both can play off of each other. It remains to be seen just how comfortable head coach Doc Sadler is with not only the biggest lineup he's had at Nebraska – but the biggest lineup he's probably ever coached anywhere.

    Win Tickets to the Nebraska-Colorado game!

    Tags: mens hoops, puerto rico tip off, doc sadler, toney mccray, christian standhardinger, bear jones, andre almeida

  8. 2010 Nov 16

    MENS HOOPS: NU Smokes SWAC Foe


    By HuskerLocker

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    A team from the SWAC isn't precisely the ideal warm-up for the Nebraska men's basketball team's big tournament in Puerto Rico this week, but a 83-40 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff will have to suffice.

    NU (2-0) overcame a sluggish, turnover-prone first half to score 55 points in the final 20 minutes. Sophomore forward Christian Standhardinger came off the bench to record his first career double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds. He did most of that damage – 16 and 8 – during the second half.

    “One thing you know about Christian, is he is always going to be high energy, and he’s always going to bring a lot of energy with him,” head coach Doc Sadler said. “Christian is Christian and he’s been that way ever since he’s been here. That doesn’t surprise me.”

    Said Standhardinger: “I always try to give the team everything I've got whether I'm coming from the bench or if I'm one of the starting five. It really doesn't matter. You have to be there to help the team no matter what.”

    Junior guard Caleb Walker pitched in 13 points and 7 rebounds. Point guard Lance Jeter scored 11. The Huskers shot 63 percent – its best single-game rate since 2006 - and held the weak Golden Lions to just 25 percent from the floor. UAPB (0-2) made just three shots and scored 15 points in the first half. Nebraska wasn't much better, scoring 28; 12 first-half turnovers kept the Huskers from extending their lead.

    No such problem after halftime. NU had a quick 11-4 run fueled by five points from Jeter to stretch the advantage to 39-19. The Golden Lions scored five quick points, but Standhardinger answered with seven straight points to start a 16-0 run.

    Nebraska now boards a plane Tuesday afternoon bound for the Honda Puerto Rico Tip-Off, which begins Thursday in San Juan. It's a homecoming of sorts for Husker center Jorge Brian Diaz – and the biggest non-conference test in the Sadler era. NU draws Vanderbilt first; the Commodores are receiving votes in both major polls. Win there, and potential games with West Virginia, North Carolina or Minnesota may await.

    “That’s the beauty of that and that’s going to test our toughness,” Sadler said. “If we play well and get a win, are we going to be tough enough to come back that next day and play? If we play well and things don’t go well, are we going to be tough enough to put it behind us and get ready for that second game?”

    *Note: Backup point guard Kamyron Brown didn't suit up for the game for off-court reasons; Sadler said his status for the Puerto Rico trip is uncertain.

    Tags: mens hoops, christian standhardinger, doc sadler, kamyron brown

  9. 2010 Aug 23

    Podcast 8/23: NU Soccer Loses to Lobos


    By HuskerLocker

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    Tags: podcasts, volleyball, soccer, football, mens basketball, christian standhardinger

  10. 2010 Mar 11

    BIG 12 TOURNAMENT: Five Keys to Texas A&M


    By HuskerLocker

    After a surprising 75-60 win over Missouri on Wednesday, NU's bid for a second-straight upset hinges on these five factors:

    Attack: Unlike Mizzou's extending pressure defense, Texas A&M's prefers to defend at or just below the 3-point line. That means NU's guards - specifically Lance Jeter, Ryan Anderson and Sek Henry - have to dive into the, create kick out opportunities and draw fouls.

    Munich Man: Christian Standhardinger rode the bench for the entire Missouri game, but the German import's offensive game should be more effective against the Aggies. Look for head coach Doc Sadler to give him quality, if not extensive, minutes.

    Sek's Trek: Henry, along with Brandon Richardson, will most likely draw the defensive assignment of guard Donald Sloan - a controlled, smart guard with one of the Big 12's best mid-range games. Henry has to play Sloan tightly without fouling. Sloan uses his body wisely, and gets a lot of calls.

    Wipe the Glass: A&M is likely to abuse Nebraska on the defensive boards - so offensive execution is a must. Where NU has to battle is in keeping the Aggies off the offensive boards. Eight or less would be an accomplishment and recipe for victory.

    Don't Settle in Transition: Nebraska did an excellent job of controlling tempo vs. Missouri by pulling the ball out for long possessions. A&M is just the opposite: Push the slower, more methodical Aggies, and don't let them set up their strong interior defense.

    Tags: big 12 tournament, mbb, five keys, ryan anderson, donald sloan, sek henry, christian standhardinger, lance jeter

  11. 2010 Mar 06

    MBB: Poked in Stillwater


    By HuskerLocker

    Doc Sadler had hoped a couple of 5 a.m. practices might rouse the Nebraska men’s basketball team for whatever slumber it fell into with a 81-68 loss to Colorado on Wednesday’s Senior Night.

    By the time the Cornhuskers appeared to take that lesson to heart in a 74-55 loss to the faster, bigger and NCAA Tourney-bound Oklahoma State Saturday, they were buried under a 28-point deficit and a crowd of unsightly orange pleading with OSU star James Anderson to return for one more season.

    “We’re a vulnerable basketball team,” Sadler said on his postgame radio show.

    Record-setting, too. NU will finish with a school-worst 14 conference losses. The basement of the Big 12, for the second time in the league’s existence - in the fourth year of Sadler’s tenure.

    “We’re 2-14. They’re frustrated, and they don’t have a lot of confidence,” Sadler said.

    It only got worse when senior leading-scorer Ryan Anderson sat out the game with a ankle injury. Sadler played 11 guys in the first half, in which the Cowboys (21-9 overall and 9-7 in the Big 12) used a 22-2 run to bust open a tight game and race to a 38-19 halftime lead. OSU hit 9-of-15 3-point attempts in the first half.

    Nebraska turned the ball over 14 times in the first half in all manners of ugliness.

    Meanwhile, Anderson - a junior who is expected to declare for the NBA Draft - thrilled the 12,018 fans at Gallagher-Iba Arena with a variety of steals, jumpers, jams, pirouettes, leaps and other things great players might do in a game that more resembled an exhibition than the tight-fisted, overtime war these two teams waged in Lincoln last year. Anderson scored 25 points.

    Oklahoma Stated quickly padded its halftime lead to 53-25 in the first four minutes of the second half. From there, OSU hit the cruise control and proceeded to launch long 3-pointers, connecting on just 1 of 14 attempts, while NU guard Brandon Richardson (16 points) and Christian Standhardinger (14 points) toiled at keeping the game respectable. NU succeeded in this, scoring 30 points over the game’s final 15 minutes to Oklahoma State’s 21.

    At 14-17 overall, Nebraska will try to pin a happy face on a disastrous season with an improbable run in the Big 12 Tournament at Kansas City's Sprint Center. As the No. 12 seed, the Huskers will first face fifth-seeded Missouri on Wednesday at 2 p.m. Win there, and it’s a date with No. 4 seed Texas A&M on Thursday.

    Tags: doc sadler, mbb, christian standhardinger, brandon richardson

  12. 2010 Jan 30

    MBB: NU Clears Big 12 Hurdle with Defense


    By HuskerLocker

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    Answering the challenge of its head coach and potentially providing a crucial spark for the rest of the season, Nebraska’s basketball team finally notched its first Big 12 Conference win Saturday night.

    And the 63-46 victory over Oklahoma followed a formula familiar to most of head coach Doc Sadler’s wins at NU: Stifling defense, spearheaded by aggressive guard play.

    “I knew this team tonight, win or lose, was going to come out, look people in the eyes and play aggressive,” Sadler said. “That is the only way we can play. This team is playing way too good to not be rewarded with some wins.”

    Nebraska notched six steals, forced 15 turnovers, blocked three shots, and altered many more. Sadler said he’d been waiting for some shots to fall, and they did, as NU hit 44 percent from the floor - its best performance in league play.

    The surprise? Nebraska dominated the boards, hammering the reputedly physical Sooners 36-27, a total that included 12 offensive boards. The Cornhuskers outscored OU 30-10 in the paint, and 14-6 on second-chance points. In one of the better games of his freshman season, center Brian Diaz not only outscored Oklahoma’s McDonald’s All-American Tiny Gallon 10-6, he won the rebounding battle, too, 7-6.

    NU (13-8 overall, 1-5 in the Big 12) broke a 15-all tie with a Ryan Anderson 3-pointer with 5:51 left before halftime. When Oklahoma (12-9, 3-4) closed the gap to 21-20, forward Christian Standhardinger followed his own miss with a putback. He was fouled, and converted a 3-point play for a 24-20 lead. Brandon Richardson added two free throws, and Anderson hit another trey just before halftime for a 29-20 lead.

    The Huskers had previously struggled out of the second half gate. Not Saturday. Fresh after Sadler used a 10-man rotation in the first half, they made 8 of their first 11 shots - Richardson, who came off the bench to lead all scorers with 16, nailed three consecutive jumpers in a 90-second stretch - to pad the lead to 49-32. An impatient team to begin with, OU rushed offensive possessions against Nebraska’s pressure defense, settling for 3-point jumpers.

    “Coach said to be more aggressive on the defensive end and that’s what we did,” said Richardson, whom Sadler brought off the bench for a surge of energy. “It caused OU to miss some shots and we picked up our intensity to make them force turnovers.”

    Gallon was consistently double-teamed in the post; he committed four turnovers. While OU guards Tony Crocker and Willie Warren returned to the lineup after sitting out with injured right ankles, they were ineffective, combining to hit just 3 of 16 shots. Freshman point guard Tommy Mason-Griffin, who lit up Iowa State for 38 points on Wednesday, was largely shut down by NU’s Sek Henry. Mason-Griffin scored just nine points, and also had four turnovers.

    “We could never get into a rhythm offensively,” OU coach Jeff Capel said.

    Nebraska, meanwhile, spread around the wealth. Standhardinger made on 3 of 9 shots, but scored eight, grabbed five rebounds and made a series of hustle plays - a charge, a tie-up on the floor. Anderson scored 11. Point guard Lance Jeter tied Diaz with seven rebounds, and dished our four assists.

    The performance probably equal or surpassed NU’s wins at USC or vs. Tulsa in Las Vegas. The Huskers found their groove at the right time, as Kansas State, Kansas, Baylor and Texas - the top four teams in the Big 12 - await as the next opponents on the schedule. The Wildcats, who lost to Kansas 81-79 in overtine Saturday night, travel to Lincoln Tuesday.

    “We’ve got a tougher one Tuesday with a great team, so we can celebrate tonight, but tomorrow is a brand new day,” Jeter said.

    Tags: mbb, doc sadler, brandon richardson, ryan anderson, brian diaz, christian standhardinger, lance jeter

  13. 2010 Jan 29

    MBB: Five Keys: OU


    By HuskerLocker

    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.

    Tags: mbb, brandon richardson, doc sadler, christian standhardinger, ray gallegos, eshaunte jones

  14. 2010 Jan 29

    MBB: 'Gotta Man Up'


    By HuskerLocker

    Lance Jeter wore a hard look before Friday’s practice for the Nebraska basketball team, a mixture of frustration and resolve as NU, 0-5 in the Big 12 Conference, tries to move past the worst league start in 20 years.

    “We’ve got teams making us play offense 30 feet from the basket,“ Jeter said. “We’ve got teams taking it right to us. They’re not scared of us. That shouldn’t happen. We’re supposed to be the tougher team. We’re not right now.”

    A 72-60 loss at Colorado fueled Jeter’s comments. CU forced 13 Nebraska turnovers in the first half and worked its offense for 41 points in the second half. Unlike NU’s four previous games, the Buffaloes never trailed - and did not seem particularly challenged.

    So Jeter and Sadler agreed Friday: Although NU prepares for a 7:00 p.m. Saturday home game with streaky Oklahoma, the Huskers rightly focused during the last 48 hours on getting back their attitude and aggressiveness.

    “Gotta man up,” Jeter said. “And this is the game to do it.”

    Beyond that, Sadler said, Nebraska is close to clicking. Practices remain spirited. NU has to keep working to feed center Brian Diaz - “the ball has to be inside for you to be any good,” Sadler said - but the offense is producing open 3-pointers for the “green light” crew of guards Brandon Richardson, Ray Gallegos and Eshaunte Jones.

    “We’re just not making them,” Sadler said. “At some point, we’ll start making them.”

    The offensive wild card has become freshman forward Christian Standhardinger, whom Sadler benched quickly in the first half of the CU game after two fouls, two turnovers and a lane violation. Sadler reinserted Standhardinger when Nebraska trailed 60-42, and the German import promptly scored 14 of the Huskers’ last 18 points.

    By Friday, Sadler had clearly tired of questions about the 6-foot-8 mercurial freshman, who was benched for the Missouri game because of an “academic issue.” Sadler closed his eyes and rolled his neck when prompted to explain when - or if - Standhardinger, a defensive liability but an offensive weapon, gets into the rotation.

    “Guys, he’s played in four games,” Sadler said. “He ain’t no different from any other freshman. It’s going to take playing time. When he’s going to get that playing time? I don’t know…When he does get it - he’d better give us something positive.

    “I’ve never seen so much fascination with one guy who hasn’t done anything. He’s given us all the effort in the world. But it’s not like he’s going to be the guy who comes in here and…it’s unfair to him. It’s unfair to him to expect him to be the guy who’s going to do all this magical stuff.”

    Sadler acknowledged that Standhardinger’s lengthy journey to NU - the eligibility issues and whispers of him turning pro - fuel the interest. So does the German’s potential.

    “(Fans) want somebody they can hang their hat on,” Sadler said. “That’s where it’s at.”

    Standhardinger isn’t currently available for interviews.

    Sadler’s used a variety of lineups since his seven-man spartan rotation ran out of gas in the late stages of the 84-72 loss to Kansas. Freshman Brandon Ubel, Myles Holley and Gallegos have seen their minutes go up. Holley had his best game in Boulder until CU forward Austin Default stoned him on a pick, and sprained his shoulder. Holley didn’t practice Friday.
    The Sooners (12-8 overall, 3-3 in the Big 12) are even more in flux. Starting guards Tony Crocker and Willie Warren sat out a 89-84 win over Iowa State with sprained right ankles. Freshman point guard Tommy Mason-Griffin scored a career-high 38 points as OU built a 21-point lead with a seven-man rotation then held on when Iowa State made its late surge.

    Sadler didn’t know if Warren or Crocker would play Saturday. Oklahoma, just 2-8 on the road, hasn’t won in Lincoln since 2004.

    “We got to be concerned about our basketball team - for whoever they play. It’s not going to change that much for what they do.”

    Note: The start time for the game has been changed from 12:45 p.m. to 7 p.m., as bad weather in Norman prevented the Sooners from leaving for Lincoln on time. The game was scheduled to be seen on the Big 12 Network; no alternate TV has been set up at this time, but the game can be see for free on Huskers.com. NU defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is supposed to be hand at the Devaney Saturday to be honored for his various football awards won during the 2009 season.

    See also: Five Keys to OU

    Tags: doc sadler, mbb, christian standhardinger, lance jeter

  15. 2010 Jan 27

    MBB: Huskers Need Boldness in Boulder


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    Doc Sadler said he’s been emphasizing a better transition game to Nebraska’s basketball team since the beginning of the season.

    “We’ve always stressed it,” Sadler noted Tuesday.

    After scoring only 53 points in three of four Big 12 games - consider the stress level a little higher, as the 12-7 Cornhuskers - winless in the league - try to steal a road win at improving, but beatable, Colorado Wednesday night.

    “I’m on them more for not shooting than I am for shooting,” Sadler said. “We’ve got to get the ball down the court, we have to get open shots in transition.”

    Either layups or open 3-pointers by Brandon Richardson, Eshaunte Jones, or Ray Gallegos. They have a green light.

    Yes, Gallegos, who earned some confidence with eight second-half points at Missouri. It was the true freshman’s most extensive action - 17 minutes - of the Big 12 season. A running style suits Gallegos, who spent much of his high school career in West Jordan, Utah and summer leagues playing in transition, “creating for myself and other players.”

    “It’s an advantage for myself and the team, too,” Gallegos said. “I think it helps.”

    Said Sadler: “Ray’s getting tougher. I thought he showed some toughness against Missouri in a tough place and guys coming after him.”

    Actually taking the open shots is part of Gallegos’ maturation process. Not unlike Brandon Richardson last year, Gallegos looked to pass first earlier this season, as he adjusted to the pace and toughness of college basketball.

    “I feel like I belong here now,” Gallegos said. “I just have to work on my ball-handling more. I feel it’s a little shaky right now. And I have to work on my weight.”

    He’s at 175 pounds. By next year, Gallegos wants to weigh 190. That extra padding will help in the Big 12, where teams “all know what you’re doing.”

    “It makes it that much harder to score,” Gallegos said.

    Against Colorado (10-9 and 1-4), Nebraska’s won’t have much choice. The Buffaloes are averaging just more than 76 points per game - 15 more than last season, when CU spent the entire season in the cellar.

    The Buffaloes might be headed there again - but they’re more competitive, beating Baylor at home and nearly upsetting Kansas State (an 87-81 loss) and Texas A&M (67-63). Freshman forward Alec Burks is averaging 16 points per game - a source of scoring not available to Colorado last season.

    “It’s function of them having more experience and better players,” Sadler said. “…They’re getting a lot of points in transition.”

    CU creates eight steals per game with its unorthodox matchup zone. The Buffaloes also foul more than any team in the Big 12 - 22 per game - although that may be a result of the guard-rich teams CU has played - Texas, Baylor, Kansas State and Texas A&M. Nebraska lacks a consistent penetration threat to knife into the zone.

    “They won’t foul us,” Sadler deadpanned. “We don’t get fouled very much.”

    Notes: The game starts at 9 p.m. central on Fox Sports Rocky Mountain, but may not be seen in parts of the state until 10 p.m. on tape delay…Sadler said NU is healthy as it’s been all season…Christian Standhardinger is expected the play Wednesday after getting benched by Sadler for Saturday’s loss at Missouri. How did the freshman forward take it? “I didn’t really ask him,” Sadler said. “Was he disappointed? I’m sure he was.”

    Tags: mbb, doc sadler, ray gallegos, christian standhardinger

  16. 2010 Jan 23

    MBB: Tigers Ditch NU with 2nd Half Run


    By HuskerLocker

    Nebraska’s basketball team wrote the same old Big 12 script at Missouri Saturday night.

    Same competitive game for 30 minutes. Same scoring drought midway through the second half. Same deficit on the boards. Same provocative personnel decision by head coach Doc Sadler that may send a message in the long run - but almost certainly cost NU in the short term.

    Same ending: a 70-53 loss that wasn’t as lopsided as it looked, but felt all-too-familiar.

    Playing without freshman forward Christian Standhardinger - benched by Sadler - the Huskers stuck with the faster, more experienced Tigers for much of the game, subduing a sellout crowd of 15,061 at Mizzou Arena in Columbia. A 3-pointer from freshman Ray Gallegos cut Missouri’s lead to 45-44 with just over eight minutes remaining in the game.

    “Right where we wanted to be,” Sadler said.

    But the Tigers had just switched to a three-quarters backcourt trap, and a 3-2 zone defense in the frontcourt. Nebraska (12-7 overall, 0-4 in the Big 12 Conference) didn’t aggressively attack it, settling for quick, lazy jumpers. Mizzou turned that NU dry spell into a 15-1 run that sealed the Tigers’ 31st consecutive home win. Reserve Miguel Paul, who scored a career-high 15 - 12 above his season average - was a catalyst in the run, draining two 3-pointers and a pull-up jumper in transition.

    “It becomes hard to overcome,” Sadler said.

    He couldn’t complain about the effort. After spotting Missouri (15-4, 3-1) an early 12-5 lead, NU settled down and worked its offense, only committing 12 turnovers. Point guard Lance Jeter held his own with 7 points and 7 rebounds. Brandon Richardson, who finished with 11, drew fouls and made his free throws. The Tigers only led 28-26 at halftime.

    But Mizzou pounded the offensive boards in the second half, finishing with 19 second-chance points. NU defenders struggled to cover the Tigers’ quicker guards, who slashed to the basket for layups and fouls. Nebraska again suffered a dry spell out of fatigue, foolishness or just confusion.

    “We can’t continue to have these four, five-minute spells where things don’t go the way we need them to,” Sadler said. “At some point, you gotta correct it. And we’re not correcting it.”

    And while Sadler finally played forward Quincy Hankins-Cole for 7 minutes, he benched Standhardinger, who could have helped with scoring and rebounding, for one half due to a “academic situation.” Sadler intended to play the German import in the second half, but did not.

    "We're going to act the right way," Sadler said to newspaper reporters. "As I told the team, there's been way too many guys in this program that have represented this program the right way, and there's a right way to talk to people and there's a wrong way to talk to people."

    "We've got too many young guys to let anything go. I'm not saying I would've let it go if it would've been a senior group, but I'm darned sure I will not let anything go with this many young guys."

    Sek Henry led NU with 15. Center Brian Diaz had a quiet game, scoring just 2 points in 21 minutes of play.

    Tags: mbb, brandon richardson, doc sadler, quincy hankins cole, christian standhardinger

  17. 2010 Jan 15

    MBB: Five Keys: ISU


    By HuskerLocker

    Stop Staiger: In two games vs. NU last year, ISU guard Lucca Staiger - a sharpshooter with 25-foot range, especially deadly from the corner - hit 11 3-pointers and averaged 17.5 points. Staiger’s hit 49 field goals this year - and 46 of them have been treys. It’s what he does. It’s all he does. Nebraska’s struggled in recent games with overplaying screens and failing to rotate out on 3-point shooters. Can’t happen against this guy.

    Dish to Diaz: The light’s come on for the lanky freshman in the last two weeks. Now the Husker guard need to keep ringing his bell. He’s a tough matchup because he has 15-foot range and can score with either hand.

    Calm down Christian: We suspect Christian Standhardinger won’t commit an offensive foul and a travel within the first two minutes of his playing time Saturday night like he did vs. Kansas. The key with this kid is keep him on the floor. He’s not exactly instant offense. But he draws fouls and frustrates defenders more as the game wears on. Sadler’s been good about letting the kid work through his mistakes.

    Quincy, MD: Junior Quincy Hankins-Cole was brought to Nebraska to rebound and play defense, and he only sees the floor sparingly - not at all in the last two games. We think Doc will give him a look early vs. the Cyclones, who pride themselves on offensive rebounding.

    Press to impress: NU is still quicker than Iowa State, the league’s slowest, often most methodical team. ISU is thin and mediocre at guard, and Nebraska boasts depth and talent at that position. Standhardinger can be an active weapon in the press, too.

    Tags: five keys, mbb, christian standhardinger, quincy hankins cole

  18. 2010 Jan 13

    Five Keys: Kansas


    By HuskerLocker

    Hit the Treys: About ten 3-pointers would be preferable. Since NU’s better off not attempting too many shots from beyond the arc, hopefully “ten” also accounts for two-thirds of the total 3-pointers taken. Of course that’s a lofty goal. It’s also Kansas.

    Survive on the Boards: Nebraska won’t win the rebounding battle. But it has to limit KU’s second-chance opportunities. Defense informs rebounding, as does hustle, both of which the Huskers have. But some bounces have to go their way, too.

    Make Collins and the Kid Beat You: If NU takes away Cole Aldrich and the Kansas bigs for a half, senior guard Sherron Collins will pound the deck and true freshman Xavier Henry will start launching deep jumpers. They’ve shown a track record of doing that already this year, and despite Bill Self’s exhortations to the contrary, they’d do it again Wednesday if the moment called for it. Henry’s bound for the NBA and knows it. Collins tries to play hero. As good as these two can be, KU is better with ball movement.

    Cherish the Dribble: And use it wisely. Point guard Lance Jeter generally does well in maintaining spacing on the court and keeping the possession alive. But this is one of those games where Nebraska has to watch picking up its dribble too early, or getting caught on the wings without an escape plan.

    Get Long at the Right Times: Doc Sadler needs to steal a few points Wednesday night with Christian Standhardinger on the floor without getting too exposed on the defensive end. Look for a more aggressive substitution pattern that keeps the new guy on the court, but in the right role.

    Tags: mbb, doc sadler, christian standhardinger

  19. 2010 Jan 11

    Podcast 1/11: Husker women still undefeated


    By HuskerLocker

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    Tags: podcasts, mbb, wbb, kelsey griffin, doc sadler, christian standhardinger, wrestling

  20. 2010 Jan 10

    Husker Monday Takes: How Bo Should Spend His Winter Vacation


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    Six strong takes, just as you like them, Husker football right at the top.

    *One week ago, I mentioned heightened expectations for Nebraska’s football team. The definition of being “back.” Now that the Cornhuskers are beginning to appear in the top ten of various (and ridiculously early) top 25 rankings, you can begin to get the picture.

    NU will be playing a 365-day season in 2010 - not 150. In recruiting, offseason development, spring football, the summer police “blotta” and all the rest, the Huskers will get more play - good and bad - from the national media outlets that control, to some extent, preseason perception and placement. Those things are important, understand, when it comes to bowl pairings later in the year. Possibly even BCS bowl pairings.

    In a sense, that’s just another challenge for Bo Pelini and his staff. Whether or not Bo sees himself as a creature of the media - he’s going to become one. There’s something attractive - authentic - about his occasionally explosive sideline style, the emotions worn on his sleeve - hell, his bare arms. Bo isn’t prone to quotables, but his confidence plays well on talk shows and TV programs that crave black/white statements.

    Bo has some acolytes in the national media. Jim Rome is one of them. Kirk Herbstreit, a former teammate, is another. Throw Andy Staples of SI in there, too, for all the positive pub he’s given the Big Red. Here’s a New Year’s resolution hoping he reaches out to those guys before spring ball, during spring ball, and throughout the summer. The recruitiniks at Rivals and Scout, too. Hey - those guys know how faithfully Husker fans follow Signing Day in February. Then - you post every one of those appearances and articles on Bo’s personal Web site.

    Bo may not personally want that kind of hyper-attention. But it’s the kind Nebraska needs to keep up with the Big 12 South’s primary outpost, Texas.

    *Would I put NU in the top ten right now? Upon further review, I guess not yet. Not until Zac Lee’s rehab points toward full recovery.

    If Lee rehabs OK, I’d look hard at top 5-7, along with Alabama, Boise State, Virginia Tech, Ohio State and a few surprises.

    If not - I’d need a crystal ball detailing Cody Green’s development. Green will never get a better chance at taking the reins than this offseason - his second at Nebraska. These three months - that’s his window, whether he officially beats out Lee or not. If Green makes the leap, he’s the guy, at the very least, in 2011. If not, there will be some freshman nipping at his heels.

    *And that freshman, if I had to play a hunch, will be Brion Carnes, Bradenton (Fla.) Manatee quarterback who will take a visit in January. If he can get past being “Tommie Frazier’s nephew” - a hurdle in Lincoln - Carnes possesses many of the skills a new, more physical NU offense desires. Carnes - who was committed to South Florida, but has wavered with the firing of Jim Leavitt - is mobile, has better-than-average footwork, and knows how to make throws on the run.

    If not Carnes, than possibly Kain Colter out of Colorado. If not, Colter, then the mystery man, Darian “Stump” Godfrey, the Gilmer, Texas product who accounted for 64 touchdowns and more than 4,400 yards in leading his team to an undefeated season and a 3A championship.

    NU is trying to put some tasty frosting on its 2010 recruiting class, as Chicago-area safety Corey Cooper and Portland defensive end Owa Odighizuwa are the biggest names the Huskers continue to pursue, and both seem intent on waiting until Signing Day to make their decisions. If Nebraska gets both, the class becomes a nice comeback after a slow summer. If both go elsewhere, you get the sense that NU may make changes in its approach for 2011. More changes, I mean, than the ones that have already been made.

    The best potential recruit of the 2010 class? Jermarcus Hardrick, if he morphs into a Phil Loadholt clone and mans the right tackle spot for the next two years. Among the four-year recruits, Columbia (Mo.) product Chase Rome jumps out as a major defensive tackle in two years, with potential for Jared Crick numbers. Landing Odighizuwa - a bright, athletic end whose background, demeanor and intelligence is eerily reminiscent of Ndamukong Suh - would trump them all.

    My sleeper? A guy Nebraska landed almost a year ago - offensive tackle Mike Moudy. A 6-foot-7, 300-pound rock. I just like the way he attacks defenders on film.

    *So the SEC won its fourth straight national championship. It has to say something, right? Sure. But I’m not sure it’s saying the same things, year after year.

    In 2006, Florida’s speed and defensive aggression forced an over-hyped quarterback, Ohio State’s Troy Smith into a game-long meltdown.

    In 2007, LSU was simply better than Ohio State, and everybody knew it. Throw the statistics out the window. The Buckeyes actually competed more in that game than I anticipated.

    In 2008, Oklahoma controlled the first half, threw the game away with its insistence on the no-huddle offense at the goal line, and wore down in the second half as Sam Bradford wasn’t protected by penalty flags like he was in the Big 12.

    In 2009, you know the ugly story.

    The binding statistic - SEC teams all rushed for more yards than its opponents - reflects a consistency of style, a commitment to traditional football, albeit from unconventional (or shall we just say old-fashioned) means: The single wing, the option, the counter trey. Three of the four opponents (Ohio State in 2006, OU and UT) were spread/shotgun offenses that routinely used four and five wide receivers. All of them were stymied in one way or another by the SEC‘s defensive speed, and unable to adjust.

    Trends can be tough to detect. Was Nebraska a trend in the 1990s? Not on offense. On defense, though, absolutely: Following in the footsteps of Miami, Washington and Florida State, NU got smaller, faster and more aggressive. That trend remained true until Michigan and Tennessee won national titles with more traditional base defenses/pro-style offenses in 1997 and 1998.

    Is there a SEC method that Bo’s trying to copy? You’d hope so, because it seems to work. It’s not exactly foolproof - goodness, look at LSU, post-Pelini, and South Carolina, since forever - but it puts Nebraska in a unique position in the Big 12.

    *USC is panicking for the moment, but Pete Carroll’s departure from the program is precisely what it needs. That’s right. Carroll, for all his considerable strengths, was beginning to construct a team of diminishing returns, choosing transfers and freshmen over more seasoned position players, and a green staff over assistants who, like Norm Chow once did, might steal Carroll’s thunder.

    While he was far from losing control of the Trojans’ program, Carroll had lost track of it, to a certain extent, and his hubris over Mark Sanchez’s timely departure last year, coupled with his various shrugs at off-the-field issues in 2009, suggested he was as committed to his highly-laudable work in the Los Angeles community as he was to game-planning and roster management. Nowhere was that more evident than in a game vs. Oregon - a team Carroll typically owned - in which the Ducks so badly out-schemed the Trojans that it looked as though USC was back in its Paul Can’t-Hackett days.

    The Trojans ought to hire Carroll-lite - Stanford’s Jim Harbaugh, whose shoulder chip is similar to Carroll’s in 2001, with equal charisma and passion to burn - now that Mike Riley is no longer available. Harbaugh has the ego, NFL background and sheer personality to deal with USC athletic director Mike Garrett, who has a history of rubbing folks a certain way.

    *Excellent debut for Christian Standhardinger, who scored 13 points and grabbed 7 rebounds in a 64-53 loss at Texas A&M Saturday. He got to the line five times and made four free throws. Expect those numbers to continue, and increase.

    I know it’s not easy for head coach Doc Sadler to sacrifice defensive possessions and potentially wins in developing Standhardinger and center Jorge Brian Diaz as NU’s primary offensive threats, but everything I saw vs. the Aggies confirmed, again, that putting those two on the floor at the same time represents NU’s best long-term interests. Standhardinger provides at least some resistance on the boards, and Diaz really does have a deft touch around the basket. Plus - they can draw fouls. Right now, who among Nebraska’s true guards - be it Brandon Richardson, Sek Henry, Lance Jeter or Eshaunte Jones - is consistently doing that.

    Sadler wants the Huskers to work for better shots instead of settling for long 3-pointer. But I’m not seeing any guards with a first step quick enough to do it. I am seeing two post players, now that Standhardinger is in there, who can create their shots and are serviceable from the foul line.

    Tags: husker monday takes, bo pelini, cody green, recruiting, zac lee, doc sadler, christian standhardinger, big 12, chase rome, jermarcus hardrick, mike moudy

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