Tim Miles is hoping the warm and fuzzy feelings that have blanketed the state in the last 48 hours will help his Nebraska basketball team Tuesday night.

"I hope it'll be great. I hear Scott Frost is going to lead the band," Miles joked of Nebraska's new football coach. "So that's awesome for us and I'm looking forward to it.

"Now somebody tell Frost."

Jokes aside, Nebraska has to hop back on the horse two days after an 86-57 loss to No. 3 Michigan State to face No. 14 Minnesota. Tip is set for 8 p.m. at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

It's a game that matches the Huskers up with what could likely be the second-best team in the Big Ten behind the squad Nebraska faced Sunday night in its conference opener.

"It cannot be viewed as a good thing, but everybody's got to do it. So it's not unfair, it's just no fun," Miles said of the short turnaround between games. "Certainly you'd like more time, especially with a ranked team, which is a huge opportunity win for you. But at the same time, that's just the way it is."

Nebraska flew back to Lincoln on Sunday night after the Michigan State loss, and went through a light workout Monday afternoon in preparation for the Golden Gophers, who come into the game with an 8-1 record and the Big Ten's top scoring offense at 89.4 points per game.

Minnesota also has the nation's leader in double-doubles in forward Jordan Murphy and the nation's leader in blocked shots in center Reggie Lynch.

So, not exactly a breather as Nebraska tries to avoid an 0-2 Big Ten start.

"They're not nearly as deep (as Michigan State). But Jordan Murphy could arguably be the player of the week every week in the Big Ten, and what does that tell you? He's got a chance to be the player of the year, and that's with at least three other guys going to the NBA," Miles said. "And then Reggie Lynch is the nation's leader in shot blocks. So you look at just those two, and then Amir Coffey's a very good player, Nate Mason's an all-league guard, Dupree Mcbrayer is playing really well too.

"They have a lot of talent, especially in that first group."

The key then becomes whether Nebraska can force Minnesota to go to its bench. Only sixth man Isaiah Washington is averaging more than four points a game among the Gophers' bench players.

For a Nebraska team that wants to attack the paint and draw fouls, some better offense than what led to a 7-for-40 performance from two-point range against Michigan State will be needed.

"We need to do what we do, which is play harder, attack the paint and make the right play," Miles said. "It's easy for a coach to tell you to do it. It's hard for a coach to feel what (his players) feel when they're driving in there. And that usually tells you the length and athleticism gets you to do kind of weird, crazy things that you wouldn't normally."

Reach the writer at 402-473-7436 or cbasnett@journalstar.com. On Twitter @HuskerExtraCB.


Husker basketball reporter

A Ravenna native, Chris covers the University of Nebraska men's basketball team and assists with football coverage. He spent nearly 10 years covering sports at the Kearney Hub and nearly four years at the Springfield News-Leader in Springfield, Mo.

Load comments