wooden-legacy

Women keep lists of the men they’ve had sex with. They all do it. Be it a mental checklist or a literal written list they hide in a shoe box, they all keep track of every dick they’ve ever laid eyes on. If a women denies this fact she is lying, I promise.

On the other hand, I’ve found that men have no interest in keeping track of all the women they’ve slept with. For one, all men lie about the number of girls they have had sex with and a true accounting would be a reminder of both their dishonesty and pitiableness. Another factor is the sheer objective of sexual activity for most young men is the conquest itself, not an emotional connection with a member of the opposite sex. Men track numbers, not names.

The most prescient explanation for the difference between the sexes I ever received was from a woman I worked with. She claimed that women keep a list as a sort of measurement of themselves, a system of affirmation (or renunciation depending on the situation). They wonder — what is the guy I lost my virginity to up to? Is he a doctor, a bricklayer? Is he happily married? What about my college boyfriend? Is he a success? These things, for whatever reason, matter to women. Social media has only made this method of introspection easier (in sum, if your wife/girlfriend is under the age of 40 she absolutely knows what all her ex-partners are up to).

Schools like Duke and Kansas don’t keep lists of the names of teams they conquered, like men, they just track the number vanquished opponents. For programs like UD however, tracking what your former flings are up to is paramount, it matters. The hope is that some of these teams, Nebraska, Vanderbilt, Northwestern and Alabama in particular, go on to do great things and in turn become a positive reflection on Dayton’s season come March. This, unfortunately, is out of our hands.

What will Nebraska be in March? A plumber, an accountant, a convicted felon? Time will tell, but regardless we will make sweet love to the Huskers tomorrow night. Add another notch to the belt.

And go ask your girlfriend/wife about their lists.

theoverview

Coach Tim Miles moved a mountain, getting Nebraska to the NCAA Tournament for seemingly the first time since man walked upright in 2014. Since then it’s been business as usual for the Cornhusker basketball program, which is to say, a regression back to the norm. Apparently it’s tougher than you think to get young black men to come to the land of maize.

Nebraska went 16-18 last season, finishing in the basement of a tough Big Ten conference. The bad news for Miles? The cupboard is even barer this year. Two of the Huskers top scorers moved on, Shavon Shields graduated and Andrew White delivered a gut punch to the program, leaving as a grad-transfer for Syracuse after playing just one season in Lincoln (White transferred into NU after spending two years at Kansas). The defections leave Nebraska with just two starters returning to the fold for the 2016-17 campaign.

The Huskers have jumped out to a 3-0 start this season, with underwhelming victories over Sacramento State, University of Mary (?) and Louisiana Tech. Miles’ club is basically a premature baby at this stage, battling for life inside an incubator. With Dayton, possibly UCLA, Clemson, Creighton and Kansas rounding out the Huskers’ non-conference schedule, we will see whether or not they leave the hospital in one piece, or end up in the bottom of a bag of medical waste.

Nebraska’s early-season performances aren’t necessarily indicative of anything given their opposition, but I’ll ply you with some overreaching takeaways nonetheless. The Huskers are hitting 38.5% of their three-point attempts and get to the line with the tenacity of Rick James back in the late seventies. The one deficiency that stands out is their turnovers. Miles’ team is turning the ball over around fourteen times a contest, a dreadful figure given their quality of competition.

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Offensively, the Huskers are very similar to Dayton. They rely on two players to carry the bulk of the load. Although Dayton’s reliance on a duo to generate points is due to unfortunate circumstances, it was Nebraska’s reality coming into this year’s campaign. Miles’ club lost 50% of the scoring, 36% of the rebounding and 44% of their assists from last year’s squad. The Cornhuskers simply do not have the talent or experience to make up for those losses at this early stage of the season.

Tai Webster, a 6’4” combo guard, is the Huskers’ undisputed go-to guy offensively. A four-year starter, Webster leads the team in scoring and gets to the line at a high rate. Webster (17.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg) is from New Zealand, a region of the world UD that apparently gives Dayton fits. Jack McVeigh (a goddamn Aussie!) is Nebraska’s other main cog, a sharp-shooter currently connecting on 56% of his three-point attempts. McVeigh (14.7 ppg, 6.0 rpg) is a 6’9” stretch four who will undoubtedly be a matchup nightmare for the Flyers defensively.

Ed Morrow, a 6’7” wide body from Chicago’s Simeon High, and 6’8 sophomore forward Michael Jacobson round out the Husker frontcourt. Morrow (9.7 ppg, 6.0 rpg) is a banger around the rim, a solid rebounder who finds a way to score down low. Jacobson (4.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg) has range but is very tentative offensively. He is, however, a contributor on the boards.

night-in-sports-february-3-508245906_masterNebraska’s point-guard is sophomore Glynn Watson, Jr. (a pet peeve of mine, you can’t go by “Junior” if we have no idea who your father is. This is ostentatious yet impresses no one. Stop it). Watson (10.3 ppg, 3.3 apg) started as a freshman, and although not a consistent perimeter player, does have the ability to “score the ball.”

The Cornhuskers do have some depth, as they have ten players who are clocking in at least eleven minutes per game. I’d assume this number will change as the season progresses, and the opponents get tougher, but as of this writing, Nebraska has a lively bench. A trio of reserves lead the way off the pine: 6’7” freshman Jeriah Horne (4.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg), 6’8” freshman Isaiah Roby (3.7 ppg, 2.0 rpg) and 6’5” junior guard Evan Taylor (3.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg). You don’t need to know anything more than their names, trust me.

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Nebraska’s first three games have come against subpar competition, facing off against Sacramento St, a Division 2 school that participates in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, and Louisiana Tech — which is why the Huskers are currently ranked 312th in schedule strength. Dayton, even a depleted Dayton, will be their first “real” game of the season.

Nebraska comes into tomorrow’s game shooting only 43.7% inside the arc and, given Dayton’s lack of front court, the fact that the Huskers are only rebounding 28% of their offensive misses is a positive indicator for UD. As a reference point, D1 average for offensive rebound percentage is approximately 30%. Typically if you’ve faced very weak competition these numbers would be overstated. Dayton is statistically better as far as two-point defense is concerned than every team Nebraska has played to date, and, not surprisingly, worse in their ability to keep opponents off the glass.  The main takeaway from all this data would be that Nebraska does not appear to have a strong inside presence despite what may appear to be some height advantages over the Flyers. 

Flyers opened at -1 and closed as 2.5 point dogs against St. Mary’s, putting me 1 and 3.5 points off respectively. I think they open as 5 point favorites against Nebraska. The market has moved consistently against The Men of LOWD. They close as 3.5 point favorites.

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Archie Miller has made a career out of feasting on lower-tier Power 5 squads. Although Nebraska certainly has the size to give UD problems, I think the Flyers have just enough of a talent-edge to give them the victory.

Charles Cooke, who else, leads all scorers with 22 points. Scoochie Smith chips in 15 and DURRELL knocks down four threes. Flyers win, 67-63. I’m going to be too focused on Tim Miles’ teeth to enjoy this game.