Now that Nebraska has secured Kansas for a home-and-home series in men’s basketball in 2016 and 2017, look for the Huskers to add more opponents from the Big 12 Conference.
Marc Boehm, the Nebraska executive associate athletic director who oversees basketball, said Big 12 schools are showing more interest in adding the Huskers in basketball now that more time has passed since Nebraska’s exit from the conference in 2011.
“We think some of these others will pop as well,” Boehm told the Journal Star. “If it makes sense, you do it. It’s a win for our RPI, it’s a win for our fans, who get to see some of the teams they grew up with, and it’s close, so you’ve got three components going for it.”
Nebraska on Tuesday announced its home-and-home series with Kansas. The Huskers play in Lawrence, Kansas, next season, on Dec. 10, and the Jayhawks will play at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Dec. 16, 2017.
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Kansas marks Nebraska’s first regular-season opponent from the Big 12 Conference for men’s basketball since it joined the Big Ten in 2011.
Nebraska assistant coach Jim Molinari, who’s in charge of scheduling, first contacted Kansas about a series, Boehm said. Nebraska administration then worked with Larry Keating, the special assistant to the Kansas athletic director, who’s in charge of KU’s scheduling.
“Kansas was very interested,” Boehm said, adding that the schools have been visiting about a series for a couple of years.
“The two programs have talked before this. It just wasn’t the right time to pull the trigger yet. I think both parties felt this was the right time to start something up.”
That Kansas would add Nebraska isn’t that surprising when considering the Jayhawks have already played a home-and-home series with Colorado, which left the Big 12 in 2011, the same year Nebraska joined the Big Ten.
“It was a win-win for both programs,” Boehm said.
* WHITE’S FUNK: For the first time this season, junior guard Andrew White has been held to single-digit scoring in back-to-back games.
White scored a season-low four points after scoring eight points in Thursday’s loss at Penn State.
“We ran all kinds of actions to try to get Andrew going, but there are some things I believe he could do better for himself,” Miles said, specifically noting running harder in transition and working to get to the free-throw line more often.
White attempted a Big Ten season-low six field goal attempts. He’s battled a shoulder stinger and bruise, but Miles said that shouldn’t be that big of an issue now.
“Everybody goes through a little funk, and certainly that injury threw him off,” Miles said, “but now I think he’s healthy and we’ve got to get him back on track.”
* MORROW’S SPARK: Freshman forward Ed Morrow, in his second game back after sitting four games with foot pain, scored eight points on 4-of-5 shooting in 17 minutes. Morrow twice drove on 7-foot-2 Isaac Haas and scored in the first half, igniting Nebraska’s rally that cut a 21-point lead to six.
“Ed and Nick Fuller did a great job of getting that thing back to a workable number, a few-possession game," Miles said, "so we could go out and feel like the second half we could compete and go to win.”
* NO McVEIGH: Freshman forward Jack McVeigh had back-to-back games of 17 points and 16 points, and now has produced back-to-back scoreless games. In fact, he played a season-low 4 minutes against Purdue.
Miles said he pulled McVeigh in the first half after Purdue had three straight three-pointers in a 13-0 run.
"Maybe it’s not all Jack’s fault; I have to see that," Miles said. "But I know we had just subbed him in, it seemed like, and he was in the middle of everything going wrong.”
* ETC: Nebraska’s starting guards of Benny Parker, Tai Webster and White were a combined 6-of-26 shooting. “I think Benny was pressing, and Tai had a tough night. Tai had a bad night,” Miles said. … Purdue coach Matt Painter didn’t appreciate a question about Haas’ lack of playing time in the second half. “The guy in front of him (Hammons) is pretty good,” Painter said with an icy glare. . … Shields now has 1,560 points, moving past Cookie Belcher for ninth place on Nebraska’s career scoring list. White remains one point shy of 500 for the season.
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