LINCOLN — Coming off the lowest point total in back-to-back games in 64 seasons hasn’t cost Nebraska basketball coach Tim Miles his sense of humor.
“If another opponent puts five guys out there right now, I’m a little worried,” he said Monday with a wry smile.
So after scratching out just 42 points against Creighton and 38 against Oregon, expect some new offensive wrinkles Tuesday night when NU (6-3) hosts Jacksonville (Ala.) State (8-2).
“I’ve tried to keep it as a democracy where everybody is getting the same looks,” Miles said. “But we may politicize it a little bit and ... get those guys who can score on a more consistent basis more shots.”
Nebraska’s slide to 304th nationally in scoring offense out of 345 schools is hardly a surprise.
“We’re challenged offensively,” Miles said. “We talked about that going into the season. You are what you are. You can say, ‘Oh, we’re better than that.’ We’re not. That’s the way we’re performing, so we’ve got to get better in a hurry.”
Normally, a home game against a team from the Ohio Valley Conference might seem like a way to get well quick.
Not this time.
Jacksonville State is 57th nationally in scoring defense and 15th in 3-point field-goal defense. Miles faced the Gamecocks last year when coaching at Colorado State.
“They are athletic,” he said. “They work. They are going to come out and guard you with some force. They’ve had some success. They’ve won road games against like opponents. I expect a tough game.”
Jacksonville State, coached by former Iowa State assistant James Green, has losses by 19 points to Top 25 UNLV and 22 points to Oregon — the same margin Nebraska lost to the Ducks by on Saturday.
Huskers senior Brandon Ubel said the offensive slump is puzzling because of the easy shots missed, particularly at Oregon.
“Dylan (Talley) probably missed three layups and I missed two or three,” he said. “That’s 12 points, and we’re right in the game. We’ve got to get that fixed. You’ve got to score to win.”
Miles said he hasn’t lost faith in his players despite a two-game skid.
“I really think we’re going to play better,” he said. “Their enthusiasm is good. We’re not going to go out there and yuck it up every day. We’re going to be OK.”
Contact the writer: