Tuesday, January 29, 2008

BASKETBALL: Who did Doc make mad?

The start of the Big 12 Conference season has been a dreary one for the Nebraska men's basketball team. The Cornhuskers are 11-6 overall and 0-4 in the league heading into Wednesday night's 7:05 p.m. game at Missouri.

To add a little perspective, realize that Nebraska’s 0-4 conference start includes two losses to undefeated and No. 2-ranked Kansas. The scheduling quirk of having to play the talented Jayhawks twice in the first four games is something Sadler said he hasn’t spoken to anyone in the Big 12 offices about.

"I guess I made somebody mad," Sadler joked before admitting that the two lopsided losses to Kansas have tested his team's confidence.

Nebraska lost to Kansas 79-58 on Jan. 12 at Lincoln, but then suffered an 84-49 loss to the Jayhawks last Saturday in Lawrence, Kan.

"We've just got our brains beaten in -- twice -- and you've got to hope in some small way that your team is strong in character," Sadler said. "Because if it's not, I don't care who you are, you're going to take a step back. But I do think our team does have a strong character about it and I think we’ll continue to play hard."

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Tuesday, January 29, 2008 || 0 comments

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

BASEBALL: 2008 Huskers have 'different dynamics'

During Saturday's Nebraska baseball season preview stop in Grand Island, Cornhuskers' coach Mike Anderson said he's looking forward to seeing the program somewhat return to its roots.

"We want to get back to being hard-nosed, team-oriented -- that type of stuff," said Anderson, whose team finished 32-27 last year and uncharacteristically had several off-the-field problems. "We had several guys that signed professional contracts and that's a good thing, but you also have different dynamics and with those different dynamics, there was a lot of individual stuff.
"I'm not saying selfish, but there were different dynamics."

Other notables from Anderson:

--Kash Kalkowski, a Nebraska recruit who still has his senior year of high school baseball and a summer of American Legion baseball ahead of him, has impressed Anderson. "We're absolutely thrilled with him and I think the high level of competitiveness that he has is going to be great," Anderson said. "From seeing him play basketball and everything else, we know what we're getting. He's going to do everything he can to figure out a way to win."

--Anderson said Joe Broekemeier, a redshirt freshman pitcher from Aurora, is still bothered by a shoulder injury. "We know the type of athlete he is, but when you have an arm injury, it takes time," Anderson said. "I wouldn't anticipate seeing him the first half of the year and, unless things go very well, it still may be a year that we don’t see much of Joe."

--Like most Husker fans, Anderson said he enjoyed watching former Huskers Alex Gordon (Kansas City Royals) and Joba Chamberlain (New York Yankees) make it to the major-league level. "It was exciting for Alex to see what he was able to do after his slow start," Anderson. "Watching Alex and Joba both this year was great."

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Saturday, January 26, 2008 || 0 comments

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Friday, January 25, 2008

FOOTBALL: Not so fine at the Shrine Classic

According to the Sporting News' NFL Insider, two former Nebraska Cornhuskers didn't exactly help their NFL draft stock with their performances in last week's East-West Shrine Classic in Houston.

In fact, ex-Nebraska cornerback Zackary Bowman was listed No. 1 on the list of West team players who hurt themselves the most. "He has very quick feet, but he is not back to pre-knee injury form yet (and the question is whether he ever will be)," TSN's NFL Insider wrote. "Bowman was choppy in backpedals and struggled to change direction."

Former Huskers' quarterback Sam Keller was ranked No. 4 on the "hurt themselves most" list. "Until he revamps his mechanics -- the ball comes out almost shot-put style -- he will struggle to throw the ball accurately," TSN's NFL Insider wrote about Keller.

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Friday, January 25, 2008 || 3 comments

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Thursday, January 24, 2008


LINCOLN -- The 100th victory of Connie Yori's coaching career at Nebraska apparently barely made a ripple inside the team's locker room Wednesday night.

The Cornhuskers gave Yori the milestone with a 73-60 victory over No. 21-ranked Texas A&M Wednesday night. However, it appeared Nebraska forward Danielle Page was unaware of the significance, or at least not until she was fed the information by a NU sports information department staffer mid-interview.

"It was her 100th win, I heard," Page said in jest. "Well, actually, we have a cake, but we haven't given it to her yet -- maybe tomorrow, yeah."

Then, Page apparently stopped for a moment to contemplate the logistics.

"A hundred candles are hard to come by," Page said. "Have you ever tried to light a hundred candles, too? It's impossible."

Yori is now 100-73 in her sixth season at Nebraska. She is 270-188 at the Division I level, including 10 seasons as the head coach at Creighton.

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Thursday, January 24, 2008 || 0 comments

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Nebraska gets linebacker recruit from Texas

The Nebraska football team picked up a verbal commitment over the weekend as outside linebacker Alonzo Whaley has pledged to join the Cornhuskers' recruiting class, according Rivals.com.

Whaley, a 6-foot, 213-pounder from Madisonville, Texas, committed after his recruiting visit to Lincoln this past weekend. He has also received scholarship offers from Arizona State, Houston, Louisiana Tech, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and UTEP.

With Haley giving his verbal commitment, Nebraska's class is back at 18 members. On Friday, the Huskers reportedly lost Mesa, Ariz., defensive back Keelan Johnson, who de-commited and is now expected to sign with Arizona State.

National letter-of-intent day is Feb. 6

In other Nebraska football news, The Birmingham News in Alabama reported Monday that Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban has approached Nebraska offensive coordinator Shawn Watson about filling the same position at Alabama.

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Monday, January 21, 2008 || 0 comments

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

New Nebraska coach Bo Pelini underpaid?

Reports have come out of Lincoln that new Nebraska head football coach Bo Pelini has agreed to a contract that will pay him $1.1 million annually. Official terms of the multi-year deal are expected to officially be announced soon.

While it's difficult for most of us to fathom the concept that someone making more than $1 million per year is underpaid, I think that might be the case with Pelini at Nebraska. Sure, he's unproven as a head coach, but Pelini's reported salary would make him only the eighth highest-paid coach in the Big 12 Conference.

Previous Nebraska coach Bill Callahan was hired for $1.5 million a year to replace Frank Solich back in 2004. Callahan's salary was increased to $1.75 million in early September when he received a contract extension.

You wouldn't expect Nebraska to pay Pelini in the range of Oklahoma's Bob Stoops ($3.6 million a year) or Mack Brown ($2.8 million), but it is interesting to note that not only Missouri, Texas A&M are paying their football coaches more, but the Huskers' head coach makes less than his peers at Baylor, Texas Tech and Kansas as well.

Big 12 Coaching Salaries
Coach, School Annual Salary
Bob Stoops, Oklahoma $3.6 million
Mack Brown, Texas $2.8 million
Gary Pinkel, Missouri $1.9 million
Mike Sherman, Texas A&M $1.8 million
Art Briles, Baylor $1.8 million
Mike Leach, Texas Tech $1.7 million
Mark Mangino, Kansas $1.5 million
Bo Pelini, Nebraska $1.1 million
Gene Chizik, Iowa State $1 million
Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State $950,000
Dan Hawkins, Colorado $940,000
Ron Prince, Kansas State $760,000

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Saturday, January 19, 2008 || 1 comments

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Huskers 80-1 long shot to win 2008 national title

Nebraska is an 80-1 long shot to win the 2008 college football national title, according to Bodog.com. Kentucky, Louisville and Oregon State all share the same odds as the Cornhuskers.

Southern California is the favorite to win it all next season, coming in at 3-1. Florida, Georgia and Ohio State are all next at 6-1.

Oklahoma is the top Big 12 team, coming in at 8-1. Also in the Big 12, Texas is 12-1, Missouri is 20-1 and Kansas is 30-1.

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Tuesday, January 15, 2008 || 0 comments

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Coach Doc Sadler’s Nebraska men's basketball team now needs to try and steal a road victory at Colorado Tuesday night to avoid an 0-2 start in conference play for the fourth time in the past six seasons. The Cornhuskers opened Big 12 action last Saturday night with a 79-58 home loss to No. 3-ranked Kansas.

While senior center Aleks Maric had 19 points against the Jayhawks and sophomore guard Ryan Anderson scored 12, the majority of Nebraska's newcomers struggled to score against Kansas. That was particularly the case for Ade Dagunduro, who was held scoreless on 0-of-6 shooting from the field.

"As a team, I was not that disappointed," said Sadler, who team shot 40 percent against Kansas. "Obviously, offensively, I think some of our new guys may have struggled a little bit, but the fact is that the bar was set pretty high Saturday. The thing that I’ve tried to tell those guys is, 'You’ve gone against the best defensive team, maybe, in this league,' and we only turned the basketball over 12 times.
"So we're going to make shots and we've just got to stick with what we're trying to do."

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Monday, January 14, 2008 || 0 comments

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Monday, January 07, 2008

Pelini rounds out coaching staff by hiring KU assistant

From Nebraska sports information:

LINCOLN -- Nebraska football coach Bo Pelini has announced that Tim Beck will serve as the Cornhuskers' running backs coach. Beck joined the Huskers on Monday after completing his third season as an assistant coach at Kansas in the Orange Bowl last Thursday.

Beck is the final full-time assistant to be named to the Nebraska staff, as Pelini announced the other eight members of his coaching staff in mid-December. Like the other members of Nebraska's new staff, Beck has prior experience coaching in the Big 12 Conference.

Beck helped Kansas to its best season in school history with a 12-1 record in 2007, capped by a 24-21 victory over Virginia Tech in the FedEx Orange Bowl. In each of his three seasons on Mark Mangino's staff, Beck served as the Jayhawks’ receivers coach, and he added the title of pass game coordinator in 2007.

In 2007, Beck helped engineer one of the nation's most potent offenses as Kansas ranked second nationally in scoring offense (42.8 ppg), eighth in total offense (479.8 ypg) and 17th in passing offense (291.0 ypg). KU senior receiver Marcus Henry caught 54 passes for 1,014 yards and 10 touchdowns to earn All-Big 12 honors, while three other Jayhawks caught more than 40 passes each.

Before joining the Kansas staff, Beck was one of the most respected high school coaches in the state of Texas, serving three seasons at Summit High in Mansfield. He was the 2003 District Coach of the Year after leading Summit to its first-ever playoff appearance and district championship. Beck also served as the head coach at R.L. Turner High in Carrollton, Texas, from 1999 to 2001.

He also had a successful run as the head coach at Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, Ariz., from 1993-1995. Among the standouts Beck coached at Saguaro High was former Nebraska All-America safety Mike Brown.

In addition to Kansas, Beck’s collegiate experience includes three seasons at Missouri State (1996-98), two seasons as a graduate assistant at Kansas State (1991-92) and one season at Illinois State (1990).

Beck is a native of Youngstown, Ohio, and graduated from Cardinal Mooney High, the same high school that Bo and Carl Pelini attended. Beck played college football at Central Florida.

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Monday, January 07, 2008 || 0 comments

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