Over the next few weeks I will be writing season previews for each Big Ten team. I have ranked them one through twelve and will post the previews in reverse order, starting with the worst team first. Without further ado, Nebraska!
Nebraska is just not very talented or experienced. It is fairly simple. In Big Ten basketball a team can be successful with a veteran, though less talented team as well as a young talented team. But, having neither talent nor experience is a recipe for failure.
After finishing just 12-18 in their first season in the Big Ten last year, Nebraska has a new coach, Tim Miles. Miles is coming to a bare roster in Lincoln. Their three best players from last year’s team are all gone, with Bo Spencer and Tony McCray having graduated. Miles, who turned around Colorado State, from awful to an NCAA Tournament team last year. Turning around Nebraska will be just as difficult.
Because Nebraska lost nearly all of their proven players from last year they will need new guys to step up this year. The young players who could have large roles this year include freshman guards Benny Parker and Shavon Shields. Also, the Cornhuskers have a seven foot tall junior college transfer in Sergej Vucetic, from Serbia. Those three can get valuable experience this season, as there should be plenty of available minutes.
Nebraska has a young team that cannot compete this year, along with a brand new coach that is moving from the Mountain West to the Big Ten. That is a big jump in level of competition, especially taking over a team that has little Big Ten experience itself. It will not be a winning season for Nebraska, but best case scenario Miles will see what kind of young talent he has going forward. Worst case scenario? The Cornhuskers don’t see any development out of their new players and lose hope after a tough start to Big Ten conference play. They begin with Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan and Michigan State as their first four games of conference play. There is about a 5% chance in my mind they win one of those games and that is being generous. Hopefully, for Nebraska’s sake, the young players buy in and they finish near .500 overall and more than a few conference games. I have them as finishing last in the Big Ten, with their youth and lack of talent putting them behind the eight-ball all season. Big Ten Record Prediction: 3-13