LINCOLN — After Nebraska's first loss of the men's basketball season last Saturday, senior Dylan Talley warned teammates that there is no time for a letdown.
“The schedule don't get no easier,” Talley said. “We've got to compete if we're going to win.”
The Huskers (4-1) will be underdogs in their next four games, starting with Tuesday's trip to Wake Forest (3-2) for an 8:15 p.m. tipoff in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
Two things work against Nebraska in this matchup.
Wake Forest, while going 13-18 last year, beat NU in Lincoln 55-53 on guard C.J. Harris' layup with 3.6 seconds left. Harris is back and leads the Demon Deacons in scoring at 15.8 points a game.
Also, the road in general hasn't been good to the Huskers. Over the past three seasons, Nebraska has gone 3-12, 2-11 and 3-10 away from home.
“We're ready for a road game,” Talley said. “It's all mental. As long as we come to play, I think we'll be OK.”
The mental readiness wasn't there in Saturday's 74-60 home loss to Kent State. Nebraska rallied late in the first half to go up 33-32 at halftime, but fizzled from there.
“I felt we didn't come out with the spark we should have in the first half, but we played well and got back into it,” Talley said. “Then we didn't come out with the spark again the second half.”
Nebraska might have some motivation to get back at Wake Forest for last year.
“Yeah, but I feel like we owe everybody one,” Talley said. “We're trying to win every game we can.”
Nebraska, with depth issues, has played its starters heavy minutes. Three Huskers are among the top 10 in the Big Ten in minutes played: Talley is third at 35.2 minutes; Ray Gallegos is tied for fourth at 34.2; and Brandon Ubel is ninth at 32.6.
A key reserve, freshman Shavon Shields, remains questionable with elbow soreness following surgery for a ruptured bursa sac.
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