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  1. 2010 Mar 26

    MBB: Three Leave NU


    By HuskerLocker

    The doors of most college basketball programs revolve in late March and early April. Nebraska’s is no exception, as NU players Ray Gallegos Quincy Hankins-Cole and Myles Holley, announced their transfers after spending less than 12 months in the program.

    “I’m disappointed and I told them that,” head coach Doc Sadler said. “They were among the most enjoyable players I’ve coached in my career, but I told them I understand each of their reasons.”

    They join guard Adrien Coleman, who transferred in December. It’s rare that players actually explain their reasons for departure in a press release - thanking Sadler in the process - but Gallegos, Hankins-Cole and Holley did.

    Gallegos, a freshman guard from West Jordan, Utah, cited homesickness: “I wanted to be closer to my mom and my family. I’m really close with them and want them to see me play and enjoy my college basketball years with me.”

    Hankins-Cole, a JUCO transfer who will be a senior forward, said he had a “personal situation to take care of (back home), and it’s a responsibility that I don’t think I can do from here.”

    Holley, a sophomore forward from Baltimore, pointed to family and playing time: “The reason I wanted to move on is to find playing time and be closer to my mom. I only have two years left and I want my mom to be able to see me play and enjoy those years with me.”

    All three were role players for the Huskers. Gallegos started three games and Holley started one. Hankins-Cole had the best numbers, averaging 4 points and 2.4 rebounds per game.

    Nebraska now has three scholarships to fill, on top of the likely signing of Butler (Kan.) County guard Caleb Walker April 14. Sadler was on the recruiting trail this week, and spent last week scouting prospects at a national junior college tournament in Hutchinson, Kan.

    Tags: mbb, doc sadler, ray gallegos, quincy hankins cole, myles holley

  2. 2010 Feb 24

    Podcast 2/24: A Date with History


    By HuskerLocker

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    Tags: podcasts, wbb, mbb, connie yori, doc sadler, eshaunte jones, quincy hankins cole

  3. 2010 Feb 23

    MBB: Two Players Not Heading to Ames.


    By HuskerLocker

    Nebraska's basketball team will be short two role players as it heads to Iowa State Wednesday night. Eshaunte Jones and Quincy Hankins-Cole won't make the trip, head coach Doc Sadler said, because of "certain academic requirements."

    “I have decided that Quincy and Eshaunte will not be going with the team on the trip to Iowa State this week," Sadler said. "There are certain academic requirements that our players are expected to meet and that has to be a priority for them. They did not meet these requirements.”

    Tags: mbb, quincy hankins cole, eshaunte jones

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 2010 Jan 15

    MBB: Time to Get Tough


    By HuskerLocker

    It wasn’t until 24 hours after Nebraska’s 84-72 loss to Kansas that senior guard Sek Henry heard about what he called coach Doc Sadler’s “shout out” to the Cornhuskers’ mental toughness.

    Henry was in the middle of a night class when students, reading Sadler’s quote in the paper, asked Henry what he thought of his coach saying NU wasn’t willing to “hurt and grind” enough to upset the No. 3 Jayhawks. Sadler often critiques his team. But rarely its toughness.

    “I was kinda hurt about that,” Henry said Friday. “But at the same time it was the truth. The team was not mentally strong.”

    Henry said one or two tough guys on the floor isn’t enough, and he’d spend practice Friday “being vocal” and getting inside his teammates brains “when things were breaking down.”

    Could the Huskers’ mental meddle have been tied to physical fatigue? NU opted for a seven-man rotation Wednesday night despite a fierce first-half pace and KU’s defensive pressure.

    “If we were tired, then they had to be tired,” Henry said. “They were playing just as hard as we were.”

    Kansas was also playing with two more guys in its rotation.

    Sadler said he considered playing freshmen Brandon Ubel, Myles Holley or Ray Gallegos. But he wanted to keep hot-shooting Brandon Richardson and Eshaunte Jones on the floor, and opted for Christian Standhardinger down the stretch for the German’s ability to draw fouls.

    The guy who may have most helped NU with second-half rebounding - junior Quincy Hankins-Cole - wasn’t a part of the equation.

    “He wants to play," Sadler said. "Great kid. But the commitment sometimes has lacked.”

    Hankins-Cole - who missed practice Thursday with the flu, but returned Friday - hasn’t played in either of NU’s Big 12 games. At Texas A&M, the Huskers (12-5 overall, 0-2 in the Big 12 Conference) were beaten on the boards 39-27. Kansas outrebounded Nebraska 30-17. Hankins-Cole has averaged 3.1 rebounds per game, but that number jumps to 7.9 per 30 minutes of playing time - best on the team.

    “Quincy ought to be on that floor,” Sadler said. “He’s the guy who has to make that decision, that commitment, it takes to play here. Some days he’s very, very good.”

    Sadler said NU’s guards - Henry, Ryan Anderson and Lance Jeter - have to pick up the rebounding slack. It doesn’t get much easier with Iowa State visiting for a 7 p.m. Saturday tilt at the Bob Devaney Sports Center in an early game to stay out of the Big 12 cellar.

    The Cyclones (11-5, 0-1) are smarting from their tough home loss, 90-83 to No. 1 Texas. In the UT game and in a 86-65 loss to Duke, Henry said he noticed ISU crashed the boards so hard with forwards Curtis Brackins and Marcus Gilstrap, that opponents got easy transition baskets when they grabbed the defensive rebound.

    “We get the rebound, we’ll get it out and get transition baskets because of the way they crash the boards,” Henry said.

    NU lacks, of course, the size and rebounding prowess of Texas or Duke. So the Huskers will have to pick their spots to run and utilize their superior quickness after made baskets to press the Cyclones. Nebraska forced ISU into 17 turnovers in both games last season.

    Sadler may have to scramble for guards, though, Richardson took a knee to his thigh late in the Kansas game, and Jones missed two days of practice with the same flu that felled Richardson and Hankins-Cole.

    See also: Five Keys to ISU

    Tags: mbb, sek henry, doc sadler, quincy hankins cole, brandon ubel

  7. 2009 Dec 29

    MBB: Bench Aids Big Red in Blowout


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    The opponent - Southern Utah - wasn’t much of a test, but the Nebraska basketball team couldn’t have drawn up a more offensively efficient night in an easy-breezy 94-61 win Tuesday night at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.

    NU scored its most points of the season and the most since 2005, hit 54 percent of its shots, dished out 18 assists, and despite facing two entirely different defenses - a pressure man-to-man and a soft zone, only committed four turnovers.

    And get this - head coach Doc Sadler thought the 10-3 Cornhuskers looked sluggish.

    “I thought we’d see a lot more zone than we saw tonight, so that’s really what we practiced on almost in its entirety, so I thought it was awful sluggish offensively,” Sadler said. “But then you look at the points that we scored and when they did go to the zone in the second half and we got some easy baskets.”

    Courtesy of a potent post game, headlined by forward Quincy Hankins-Cole, who scored a career-high 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting. Hankins-Cole also reached the line six times.

    “I think it’s important for at least one post guy to score a lot,” he said. “It is important for them to bring attention so it opens things up for the guards to score. As long as you keep it balanced between both, then it’s kind of like pick your poison. They can’t double all of them.”

    Sadler played all 13 guys on the bench - Adrien Coleman transferred and Christian Standhardinger isn’t yet eligible - with freshman forward Myles Holley showing up most prominently in the box score. Seven points, 11 rebounds - many of them high-flying affairs. All told, NU had 48 bench points for the night - outpacing the starters, although typical starter Jorge Brian Diaz came off the bench vs. the Thunderbirds.

    One lingering concern: Free throws. NU made 20-of-32 overall, and just 6-of-14 in the first half. Diaz, Hankins-Cole and Holley accounted for seven of the 12 misses.

    “We have to get that corrected and that’s one area that I don’t know how to get corrected except to just shoot free throws and we have to do that,” Sadler said.

    Next up: A Saturday tilt with Maryland Eastern Shore, which lurks in that same spot of the calendar where Maryland Baltimore County came up and nipped the Huskers in 2008.

    Tags: mbb, quincy hankins cole, myles holley

  8. 2009 Dec 19

    MBB: Ugly Win, Angry Doc


    By HuskerLocker

    Nebraska basketball coach Doc Sadler was so thrilled Saturday night about NU's 57-41 victory over winless Jackson State that, by the time you read this, it’s likely the Cornhuskers have already went through another practice.

    "We’re going to work more at 5:30 a.m. (Sunday)," said Sadler, thoroughly unsatisfied with the Cornhuskers' offensive execution and shooting. "This team is going to get a lot tougher. We’re going to start doing this a lot more I’m afraid and we’ve got work, work, work to get done."

    Fortunately for 8-2 Nebraska, 0-8 JSU missed sixteen straight shots - more than a few of them open bunnies - while scoring just nine points in the first half. NU didn't fare much better with a season-low 24 first-half points, many of them scored on second-chance opportunities after Husker guards missed wildly on rushed 3-pointers.

    "You go in at halftime and you shoot 10 of your 30 shots as 3-point shots - you’ve got to be kidding me," Sadler said. "You’ve gone to the free throw line four times and they’ve gone (eight times). There wasn’t anything about he halftime that I was excited about."

    Admittedly, it was an opportune time for junior college transfer Quincy Hankins-Cole to enjoy a surprising breakout game. Hankins-Cole, held out since the Creighton game with a knee tweak, scored 15 points off the bench, grabbed six rebounds, and played the kind of post defense for which Sadler had primarily recruited him.

    Advice from Nebraska center Jorge Brian Diaz helped unlock Hankins-Cole's scoring performance.

    “It just happened to be a mismatch on the court at that time, so Jorge told me to take advantage of it," Hankins-Cole said. "So I just did that.”

    Ryan Anderson chipped ten points, mostly the lunch pail variety. Nebraska hit just 10 of 22 free throws on the night; normally dependable guard Sek Henry missed four. Sadler was strapped for players, as Brandon Richardson didn't play with a back injury and Bear Jones tried to play with a cortisone shot in his foot, but couldn’t. Freshman Ray Gallegos earned his first start at combo guard as a result.

    Already, forward Toney McCray is lost for the season with an elbow injury.

    "I’m trying to find five guys," Sadler said. "There are a lot of opportunities for guys to earn minutes. I’m still trying to find it, but every time you think you are getting close then something else seems to happen.”

    Tags: doc sadler, quincy hankins cole, ray gallegos, mbb

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