Mad Chatter: Nebrasketball's path to the Big Dance, Tai Webster and Creighton's shooting woes

One year ago today, Nebraska basketball was 1-5 in the Big Ten, 9-9 overall. A few days later (after a home win over Minnesota), I had the gall to suggest NU could get back to .500 in league play and crack the NIT. I was way off. Instead, the Huskers finished 11-7 and made the NCAA tournament. 

You know all about that. I’m not bold enough to predict it will happen again. But I do think it’s appropriate (after the biggest win of the season Saturday) to lay out the obstacle course. 

With three horrendous losses in non-conference play (Creighton, Incarnate Word, Hawaii) and only...

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Recruiting: Huskers have major needs at DE and LB; Michigan pursues DaiShon Neal

First, take a look at Nebraska's current scholarship distribution chart. What do you see? 

Six defensive ends — with four of them wholly unproven.  

Five linebackers — two of them coming off major knee surgery, one more with injury nicks that hampered him all of last year, and one who just enrolled in the program. 

Those are problems that Nebraska's new coaching staff will have to manage in the 2015 season — and a depth issue its trying to address in the 2015 recruiting class. 

It's been tough sledding so far at defensive end. 

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Baseball: Huskers clear about ultimate goal

Nebraska's produced a short preseason hype video to entice potential baseball season ticket buyers. The 30-second spot ends with a still-shot of TD Ameritrade Park.

Lots of work ahead — it's a marathon, the ad says — but the goal is clear: Omaha.

The one thing about Darin Erstad is that he's never backed away from embracing the standards set by Nebraska's program during that landmark run from 2001 to 2005 (three College World Series berths).

His Huskers enjoyed a breakout year in 2014 — reaching a Regional for the first time in six seasons. Good, but not enough, ...

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Recruiting: Husker staff out on national recruiting hunt yet again

With signing day now just nine days away, the Husker coaching staff is out on the trail again Monday trying to firm up the commitments of key players across the country while also trying to earn a few new recruits.

The Huskers' recruiting class currently sits at 14 players — four have already enrolled at Nebraska — and NU is expected to sign about 19 total players. As Sam McKewon notes, expect defensive end and linebacker to be a focus.

Mike Riley, as part of his aim to be transparent and keep the fans current on the staff's recruiting efforts, has posted another Twitter map ...

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Pitchford will play against Michigan

Nebraska starting forward Walter Pitchford will play Tuesday at Michigan, coach Tim Miles said Sunday night.

Pitchford won't be suspended for his ejection from Saturday's 79-77 victory over Michigan State. The 6-foot-10 junior was assessed a flagrant-2 foul for what was ruled "a high elbow'' to the head of MSU's Matt Costello. The foul occurred just 3:40 into the game.

The Huskers (12-7, 4-3) will face the Wolverines (12-8, 5-3) at 6 p.m. CST on ESPN.

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Recruiting: Davis family enjoys meet-and-greet at Nebraska

Nebraska football knew heading into a big recruiting weekend that one of its most important tasks was to make sure twin defensive tackles Carlos and Khalil Davis felt at home in Lincoln with the new coaching staff. The Blue Springs, Missouri stars have been hotly pursued by home-state Missouri over the last month, among other schools. 

Tracy Davis, mother of the twins, said by text Sunday that the meet-and-greet visit was "everything we hoped it to be for us and the boys." 

"We feel confident that we as a family made the correct decision about our boys attending college at th...

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Former Husker Rickey Thenarse arrested on burglary charges

Former Nebraska football player Rickey Thenarse was arrested on burglary charges early Saturday morning after an alleged break-in at a northeast Lincoln apartment. 

According to a Lincoln Police Department report, the arrest stems from a 22-year-old woman's complaint at 12:40 a.m. Saturday that someone she didn't know was knocking hard on her front door. She called police, then went into a closet to hide. A short time later, she called police again, informing them that someone was inside her house. 

When police arrived, the woman got out of the closet and opened the door for ...

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Women's basketball: Creighton at Marquette

When: 2 p.m. Sunday

Where: Al McGuire Center, Milwaukee

Radio: 1180 AM KZOT

CREIGHTON (9-10, 2-6)

F Alexis Akin-Otiko, 5-11, Sr., 12.0

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Recruiting: NU DE options thinning as Reuben Jones commits to Michigan and Emmanuel Olenga commits to NC State

UPDATE: Emmanuel Olenga may be out, too. He committed to North Carolina State on his official visit. 

Ladies and gentlemen I found a knew home..... I'm now a part of the #wolfpack #family let's goo #pack — ~♕Emmanuel Olenga♕~ (@Manny_TheGREAT1) January 25, 2015

According to Big Red Report, Olenga is not visiting Nebraska. 

Emmanuel Olenga, #Nebraska DE recruit, texted me to say since he committed to NC State that he would not be visiting Lincoln next weekend. — Bryan Munson (@BigRedBryan) January 25, 2015

UPDATE No. 2: Another offer on Nebraska's board, Steven W...

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A tale of Husker recruiting, as told through Twitter

It's a big weekend for Nebraska football. The Husker staff is hosting a lot of commits and prospects on official visits. 

But what does an official visit include? Well, as part of the Nebraska staff's new pull-back-the-curtain philosophy, we'll let the recruits, coaches and NU personnel tell you themselves.

Beautiful weekend at Nebraska for some official visits! The future is bright and so is this sunshine! #GBR 🔴🔴🔴 — Ryan Gunderson (@TheGundy) January 23, 2015

Heading back to #Huskers first thing in AM after a productive week. Need great recruiting weekend #GBR Let's...

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Mad Chatter: Ron Brown's future should be in Nebraska, the realness of Bill Belichick, college hoops

It's Friday! That means Ten Big stories in 10 little bites. We cover the Deflate Debate, Coach K's march to 1K, Tim Miles' rock-solid recruit, Bud Selig's farewell, Roger Federer's stunning defeat and more. But first, saying goodbye in Lincoln.

Ron Brown is following Bo Pelini to Youngstown State. 

Ron Brown is following Bo Pelini to Youngstown State.

Doesn’t matter how many times I say it — or write it. That statement just doesn’t sound right. 

Maybe it’s because Brown and Pelini never seemed like a great match. I always wondered what Brown was thinking when Peli...

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Women's basketball: UNO at Oral Roberts

When: 2 p.m. Saturday

Where: Mabee Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma

UNO (6-12, 1-5)

G Brianna Bogard, 5-7, Jr., 11.5

G Madi Robson, 5-7, So., 4.1

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Video, photos: Nebraska baseball opens practice

Nebraska baseball returned to the field on Friday at Haymarket Park for the first practice of the season.

Check out a photo showcase from the practice as well as video:

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Husker student section going from Red to Gold for #AveryStrong

LINCOLN — The Red Zone student section at Pinnacle Bank Arena will transform into The Gold Zone against Michigan State on Saturday to create awareness for pediatric cancer in honor of Avery Harriman, the 7-year-old son of Husker assistant Chris Harriman and wife Cheryl.

Avery, who weighs 44 pounds, has undergone two bone-marrow transplants in his three-time battle with leukemia, which began at age 2. His latest biopsy showed no signs of the disease.

The student section will wear gold “#AveryStrong’’ T-shirts with orange lettering in support. The event coincides with the Natio...

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Bluejay men's soccer adds two midfielders to spring roster

The Creighton men's soccer team announced Friday the addition of midfielders Joel Rydstrand and Evan Waldrep.

Rydstrand, a Sweden native, played with IK Sirius this past year while also spending time with the Swedish National Team at a 22-player camp. The midfielder was on loan from the IK Sirius Academy to BKV Norrtälje through the end of last fall.

Waldrep, from Phoenix, Ariz., has played for the Real Salt Lake Academy while competing for the U.S. U-16 and U-18 National squads. This winter he is slated to play with the U.S. U-18 MNT squad in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Both ...

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Creighton's Zierden to undergo MRI exam for injured right knee

Creighton guard Isaiah Zierden will undergo medical tests Friday to determine the extent of the knee injury he suffered on Wednesday.

Zierden had to be helped from the court after injuring his right knee with four minutes to play in the first half of the 64-61 loss to Butler. Zierden spent the remainder of the game in the locker room.

Creighton coach Greg McDermott said Zierden will undergo an MRI test Friday morning.

Zierden suffered a dislocated kneecap and ligament damage in the same knee last March. He missed Creighton’s last seven games but was able to rehabilitate...

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Women's basketball: Creighton at DePaul

When: 8 p.m. Friday

Where: McGrath-Phillips Arena, Chicago

TV: Fox Sports 1

Radio: 1620 AM KOZN

CREIGHTON (9-9, 2-5)

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Recruiting: Reuben Jones decommits from Nebraska

There will be drama in the college football recruiting business. 

Nebraska lost one of its defensive end commits Thursday night when Reuben Jones Lakeland (Florida) Lake Gibson standout Reuben Jones informed Husker fans on Twitter that he was officially opening up his recruiting to consider options. Jones announced his decommitment after getting an in-home visit from NU coach Mike Riley.

Jones will be visiting Michigan this weekend and received a visit from Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh on Wednesday. 

Just got a home visit from Nebraska head coach🔴⚪🔴⚪Coach Mike Riley i...

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Video: TBL hosts former Husker WR coach Rich Fisher

Host Mike'l Severe and guest co-host Joe Ganz interviewed former Nebraska wide receivers coach Rich Fisher on "The Bottom Line" on Thursday. Fisher talked about his time at NU, the creation of the #BOOM hashtag and more.

Listen to TBL live from 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays, plus contact the show on Facebook and Twitter.

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Video: Former Husker wide receiver Niles Paul on TBL

Former Nebraska wide receiver Niles Paul joined "The Bottom Line" host Mike'l Severe and guest co-host Joe Ganz, a former NU quarterback and grad assistant, to talk about Paul's basketball skills, his progress in the NFL, former Husker coach Bill Callahan and more.

Listen to TBL live from 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays, plus get the latest news from the show on Facebook and Twitter.

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Mississippi's Stringfellow, a former Husker commit, charged with disorderly conduct

OXFORD, Miss. — Mississippi safety Trae Elston and receiver Damore'ea Stringfellow — a former Husker commit — have been arrested and charged with disorderly conduct early Thursday.

Elston was also charged with resisting arrest. Both were booked in the Lafayette County Detention Center just after midnight, according to jail records. They were still in jail as of noon on Thursday.

Elston played in 12 games last season, finishing with 59 tackles and an interception.

Stringfellow is a transfer from Washington who sat out last season because of NCAA transfer rules. Stringfel...

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Recruiting camp returns to St. Louis; Rivals adds free 'Combine' testing

Good news for Midwestern prospects: Rivals and Under Armour will return one of their instruction camps to St. Louis after last year's event was in Chicago.

This is a few hours closer for in-state prospects, and closer to most kids in the Midwest who want an extra look from Rivals evaluators. It'll be held May 3.

Rivals also introduced a “Combine” series, where players will be timed in a variety of tests such as 40-yard dash, shuttle run, three-cone drill, vertical jump and others. Presumably, those test scores will go into a database that coaches can tap into to assist with s...

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Freshman Jake Montgomery leaving Mavericks for USHL

University of Nebraska at Omaha hockey coach Dean Blais announced on Thursday that freshman forward Jake Montgomery is leaving the team.

Montgomery will rejoin his former United States Hockey League team, Sioux City.

“We certainly wish Jake the best,” Blais said. “He is a good student and a good person, but he wasn’t getting the ice time he expected here. He’ll get that opportunity in Sioux City and a chance to continue his hockey career.”

Montgomery, a native of Oakdale, Minnesota, appeared in six games for the Mavs, the most recent on Dec. 30 against New Hampshire. Read more »

Recruiting: It's not all about star ratings, and here's proof

To give you a sense of how important development of talent is to unlocking true potential, I give you the Rivals star rating for each of the seven Big Ten players appearing in ESPN NFL draft analyst Todd McShay's Top 32 2015 prospects as of Jan. 15. The following is their star rating out high school:

No. 4 Randy Gregory, Nebraska defensive end: Three stars

No. 7 Brandon Scherff, Iowa offensive tackle: Three stars

No. 15 Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin running back: Four stars 

No. 19 Devin Funchess, Michigan wideout: Three stars

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Recruiting: Satellite camps will be part of Nebraska's strategy

Why spend all the time, energy and effort trying to persuade a talented kid from California to come to your camp at Oregon State when one of your coaches can be an instructor (and an evaluator) for a day a few miles from the recruit's house?

That's the question Ryan Gunderson and the OSU staff asked a few years back. Ultimately, the answer was obvious.

Satellite camps.

A program can't host a camp 50 miles from its campus. But its coaches can work at one — just get hired by a third-party as an instructor at a camp outside that zone.

These satellite camps are somewh...

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Women's basketball: North Dakota State at UNO

When: 7 p.m. Thursday

Where: Sapp Fieldhouse

Radio: 1180 AM KZOT


G Brooke LeMar, 5-6, Sr., 18.9

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Women's basketball: Nebraska at Wisconsin

When: 7 p.m. Thursday

Where: Kohl Center, Madison, Wisconsin

Radio: 107.3 FM Lincoln, 93.3 FM Omaha

WISCONSIN (7-10, 3-4)

C Cassie Rochel, 6-4, Sr., 5.8

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TBL: Lee Barfknecht talks Husker hoops

World-Herald staff writer Lee Barfknecht joined "The Bottom Line" on Wednesday to discuss Nebraska basketball's win over Minnesota and more.

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TBL: Dirk Chatelain's take on the new Husker staff

World-Herald staff writer Dirk Chatelain joined "The Bottom Line" on Wednesday to discuss the Patriots' deflated football situation, the new Husker football staff, college basketball and more.

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Nebraska taking new directions in strength and conditioning

New Nebraska strength and conditioning coach Mark Philipp is holding off on doing interviews with the media for the time being, but a BTN video appeared Wednesday that gives a peek into some changes the Huskers are making in the strength and conditioning program — and they involve assistant athletic director for strength and conditioning Boyd Epley and the Nebraska Athletic Performance Lab.

You may recall the NAPL being a big part of the East Stadium expansion project that opened in 2013. In year one, if Husker football used it much — if at all — the school didn't promote the usage...

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