LINCOLN — No one on the Nebraska men's basketball roster has a winning record during his time on the team. The Huskers, over the past three seasons, are 46-49 overall (.484) and 13-37 in conference play (.260).
To first-year coach Tim Miles, that makes Wednesday night's exhibition opener against Midland University something to take seriously.
“We need to learn how to win,” he said. “That's the biggest thing I see with this team.
“We need to learn how to face adversity. As soon as things start to go bad, we can't fall apart and lose control of our emotions and faculties. Those are some weaknesses we've shown in practice.”
Poise was in short supply in Nebraska's “secret” scrimmage last week at Iowa State.
Sources said the Cyclones romped as NU struggled against full-court pressure and in creating decent shots out of its offense against an ISU team not known for having shutdown defenders.
Miles said the Huskers need to play their way out of such funks.
“These first six or eight games, that's where it comes,” he said. “It's not going to happen in any practice. We try to manufacture opportunities for guys in practice. We try to provide competition.
“But eventually you've got to go out and earn it. We need the games to figure this out. We have to build confidence, and the only way to do that is to go out and win games.”
As for style of play, Nebraska's new staff is trying to install a motion offense in which players read screens to create scoring chances instead of running specific sets.
“The way I want to play, I don't know that we're quite ready yet,” Miles said. “On Wednesday, we'll try to play the way I want to play.
“But we're also going to do some things that I think are very necessary for this team. We'll take out some of the free-flowing decisions. We haven't made great decisions so far, so we'll dial that down a bit.”
Nebraska will see some familiar names and faces when Midland, an NAIA school coming off a school-record 19-win season, comes to the Devaney Center.
Coach Todd Eisner is a former Creighton player and assistant, who also was head coach at Bellevue University.
The Midland roster includes names familiar to area fans such as Ben Imig, Galen Gullie and James Parrott out of Omaha Bryan, Jalen Hueser of Papillion-La Vista South and Dylan Travis of Omaha Gross.
Midland lost its opener to Park University on Monday 74-73 in double overtime. Parrott, a 6-foot-2 wing, scored 22 points and 6-3 forward Jerome Vaughn had 17 points and 14 rebounds.
Husker senior Dylan Talley said he's ready to play anyone in a different colored jersey.
“We want to see how we execute the new offense and the new system,” he said. “We've been working at it pretty hard for the past couple of weeks. It's a test to see where we're at.”
Nebraska's starting lineup is expected to be senior Talley and junior Ray Gallegos as wings, true freshman Benny Parker at point guard and seniors Brandon Ubel and Andre Almeida inside.
ĽNOTES: Nebraska freshman wing Shavon Shields (elbow surgery) is out for about two weeks. ... Junior guard Deverell Biggs will redshirt, but could play in the exhibition game per NCAA rules. ... The Huskers open the regular season at 6 p.m. Sunday against Southern (La.) University. That is the first of five home games in 14 days.
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