The Nebraska Cornhuskers were arguably the most disappointing team in college basketball during the 2014-15 season. Expected to be a top-25 team for most of the year, Nebraska finished with a 13-18 record behind ranking No. 310 overall in points per game. The Cornhuskers’ season was, quite frankly, awful.
Now with the 2015-16 season rapidly approaching, expectations for Tim Miles and Co. have significantly cooled. Most do not expect Nebraska to compete in the Big 10 and especially do not expect this team to make it to the 2016 NCAA Tournament. However, this team boasts the talent to surprise and make a major impact in both the Big 10 and the nation.
Both Terran Petteway and Shavon Shields will not return, meaning that this team loses over 50 percent of their scoring. However, if someone steps up on this team and can consistently average over 10 points per game, the Cornhuskers have the opportunity to be a very good team. I’m a huge believer in Tarin Smith taking a huge step this offseason in terms of production next season.
That being said, do not expect Nebraska to compete for the Big 10 title. Several other teams are far more ready to take a step forward, and the Cornhuskers are nowhere near as talented as the likes of the Indiana Hoosiers, Maryland Terrapins or Michigan State Spartans.
Last season was extremely disappointing, but I think this is the season where Nebraska shows up and plays great basketball. Watch for a late season push to make it onto the 2016 NCAA Tournament bubble and possibly and upset or two over highly ranked Big 10 opponents. The Cornhuskers may be at the back of everyone’s mind heading into the season, but this team looks prepared to make a splash on Selection Sunday.