Men's basketball year-end review

By Lanny Holstein, Nedu Izu on March 28th, 2013

MVP Dyan Talley

If there’s one thing Tim Miles is going to remember most about Dylan Talley, it’s his gum chewing. There’s no one on the team who chomps better than him, according to the Nebraska coach.

“I mean, my goodness, he just works it,” Miles said with a laugh. “He gets going; he’s all fired up.”

But the chomping of the gum is only one highlight the senior brought to the court this season.

Talley put up point totals of 28, 27, 21, 20 and 18 this season. Those five figures assisted him in becoming Nebraska’s go-to playmaker.

To name Talley the best player on the team would be an understatement. If there were a player you could expect to lead the Huskers in scoring, it was the Camden, N.J., native.

In fact, the guard did it 14 times throughout the season while also leading the team in rebounding eight times. He also brought the ball up the floor every possession, rarely getting a break as he ranked third in the Big Ten playing – almost 36 minutes a game.

Talley saved his best for last as well, and there’s no question the team will take a big hit without his team-high average 13.7 points per a game next year.

-Compiled by Nedu Izu

MVP Brandon Ubel

The senior forward has been the one constant for the Huskers in the transition from the Doc Sadler to the Tim Miles era. A starter under Sadler, he was never fully utilized as a scorer until this season, and when Nebraska needed a little boost on the offensive end, he was there to give it to them.

In Nebraska’s final game at the Bob Devaney Sports Center, Ubel had arguably the best game of his four-year Nebraska career. The senior scored the Huskers’ last 10 points in a 53-51 win. His fiery celebrations after a pair of buckets and a 3-point play had the old arena going nuts in its last go around.

Ubel won’t be remembered as one of the all-time greats. There won’t be a poster with his likeness hanging from the Pinnacle Bank Arena rafters, but he won’t be forgotten by those who watched him continue to fight through the rough stretches of the last few years. Ubel was a consistent contributor through it all.

-Compiled by Lanny Holstein

 

3 points for the future

1. Look for more of the motion offense in 2014.

Miles was careful with his team, feeling out the pieces he had in place in year one. He didn’t go full-bore with his schemes because the talent wasn’t there to run it. As he settles into his position during the next few seasons, he will move toward the faster paced, more prolific attack he used with Colorado State.

2. Which Gallegos will show up next season?

Ray Gallegos was hot at times but mostly cold this season, frustrating more than a few Husker fans. From what we saw of him, he is the purest shooter on the team, but boy is he streaky. Losing Talley and Ubel to graduation, Nebraska will need Gallegos to step up as consistent source of offense next year.

3. Who will be the point guard?

Benny Parker is the obvious answer. He began the year at the position, but when he was unable to contribute much in the scoring category, Miles replaced him with Talley near the end of the year. Talley is gone now, but Nebraska will bring in New Zealand point guard Tai Webster over the offseason. It will be interesting to see how that position battle plays out.

-Compiled by Lanny Holstein

1. Shields Security

The Huskers may be losing a couple of their leading scorers from this season, but they will have one hot scorer in Shavon Shields back for next season. The freshman showed why he deserved time on the court midway through the season with a 29-point showing at Penn State Jan. 19. Expect the guard’s 8.6 points per game to spike next season and him emerge as Nebraska’s playmaker.

2. Big Men?

Probably the biggest question that lingers for Tim Miles and his coaching staff is who will take over at the forward and center positions? Who will occupy the roles once held by 6-foot-10-inch Brandon Ubel and 6-foot-11-inch Andre Almeida? If Nebraska hopes to improve on its 15-18 record next season, it’ll need to answer those questions before next November.

3. Transfers’ Emergence

After sitting out all of the 2012-13 season, sophomore forwards Terran Petteway (6-foot-6-inches) and Walter Pitchford (6-foot-10-inches) will get their chance on the floor for Nebraska next fall. After seeing little time at Texas Tech and Florida, expect the transfers to provide size and athleticism for the small Husker squad next year.

-Compiled by Nedu Izu

 

2012-2013 season's high point

March 6, Nebraska beats Minnesota 53-51 in the last game at the Bob Devaney Sports Center

It was a magical night for the Huskers. From the start, Nebraska was on its game, pulling out to an early lead and holding on down the stretch.

The Huskers had been dominated by the Gophers in the teams’ first meeting, 84-65, in a game that was actually much worse than the final score indicated. With revenge from that game on their minds, the Huskers put on a show. A trio of seniors – Brandon Ubel, Dylan Talley and Andre Almeida – did most of the damage for the team, scoring a combined 31 points and pulling in 14 rebounds.

As the final buzzer sounded, the near-sellout crowd rushed the court one final time. Ubel and Talley were carried off the court on the shoulders of a few Husker fans.

-Compiled by Lanny Holstein

 

 2012-2013 season's low point

Jan. 2, Nebraska loses to Ohio State 70-44 at Columbus, Ohio.

A smile on Tim Miles’ face on the night of Nov. 21 couldn’t begin to describe the emotions most Nebraska men’s basketball fans felt that night at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.

The Huskers had just beaten Tulane with a nail-biting 61-57 victory to begin the campaign 4-0 for the first time since 2008-09 season. The Husker fans, Miles and coaching staff alike were on cloud nine.

Then came Nebraska’s first January match against the then No. 8 team in the nation – Ohio State.

Little did the Huskers know that their first Big Ten matchup of the season would be a reflection of last year’s visit to Columbus, Ohio.

Shavon Shields may have led all players with nine rebounds on the night, but that was the high point for Nebraska. The Buckeyes outplayed and outmatched Nebraska in every other category in their monstrous 70-44 defeat against Nebraska that night.

The 30.4 percent shooting turned out to be Nebraska’s worst performance from the floor all season.

The dreadful welcoming to league play appeared to set the tone for the rest of Nebraska’s 5-13 season in Big Ten play.

– Compiled by Nedu Izu

Grades

A B- might seem high for a team that went 15-18, didn’t make either the NCAA or NIT tournament and was eliminated in the second round of itss conference tournament. However, Nebraska vastly outplayed my expectations after returning only two of its top seven scorers from last season, and I am rewarding it for doing so.

- Lanny Holstein, DN assistant sports editor

Going into his first season as the Nebraska men’s basketball coach, Tim Miles knew he’d be short on scoring for the 2012-2013 campaign. This year’s squad relied heavily on three upperclassmen – Dylan Talley, Ray Gallegos and Brandon Ubel – for offense. A lot of the time, it wasn’t good enough.

For those reasons I give this year’s Husker squad a C+ on its spring report card.

- Nedu Izu, basketball beat reporter

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