LINCOLN — The shooting arms of former Nebraska basketball stars Dave Hoppen, Eric Piatkowski and Erick Strickland will need some ice today.
Those three were available for autographs at 7 p.m. Wednesday before the Huskers’ game against Minnesota. By 7:05, the line was nearly 1,000 deep.
Those three were on the all-time Devaney Center team as voted on by fans. Completing the team were Venson Hamilton and Tyronn Lue.
After a video tribute at halftime, Piatkowski said he got goosebumps.
“I’ve got a lot of fond memories of being here,” he said. “And it was so neat to see the fan support tonight. It’s great one more time to see this place packed from floor to ceiling.”
Back from Vegas
Gary Mouden was in the Devaney Center for the first Nebraska basketball game in November 1976.
“So I figured I had to come back for the last one, too,” said Mouden, who worked in insurance in Lincoln before moving to Las Vegas 23 years ago.
Mouden, who was good friends with former Husker coaches Joe Cipriano and Moe Iba, had a 35-year-old picture with him from the day ex-Kansas State sports information director Glen Stone helped pull a prank.
Stone, in town to promote an upcoming KSU football game, got into a Husker basketball uniform on media day — with Mouden and Iba’s help — and went through the layup line and passing drills while wearing long argyle socks.
Cipriano, known for his rising voice when agitated, screeched: “Moe! Moe!”
“Joe was a great prankster,” Mouden said. “So that may have been the only time we got the last laugh on him.”
Mouden also was a key figure in the first Nebraska Basketball Development summer high school team that went to Las Vegas in 1981. That team included Dave Hoppen, Ron Kellogg and Kerry Trotter.
Bits and pieces
Nebraska finished 11-7 at home this season. The Huskers never had a losing home record in the 37 years of the Devaney Center. ... NU and Minnesota each finished with 34 rebounds. In the first meeting, the Gophers held a 36-19 advantage. ... In honor of Andre Almeida’s final home game, a tape recording of the Brazilian national anthem was played before the U.S. anthem. ... Mascot Herbie Husker descended from the catwalks above the arena floor via a rope.