Head Coach: Tim Miles (first year at Nebraska)
2011-2012 record: 12-18 overall, 4-14 B1G Ten
To start let us look at the up coming non conference schedule for Nebraska. Some cupcakes to start with then comes the B1G Ten/ ACC Challenge with a game against Wake Forest. Wake Forest returns their scorers and have impressive incoming freshmen leading to Wake Forest giving the Huskers all they can handle. Following that Nebraska has a matchup with USC and a likely loss to Creighton, who are picked to win the Missouri Valley Conference. Those games are followed by an appearance in the Sun Bowl Invitational where they will face some more tough challenges. I think Nebraska will enter conference play sitting on a 11-1 or 10-2 record, at the worse I see a 9-3 mark. Needing an unlikely AMAZING B1G Ten season and an early loss in the B1G Ten Tourney will let the Huskers miss March Madness and the NIT.
With the completion of the Pinnacle Bank Arena in downtown Lincoln excitement is growing for future Husker basketball. The Huskers fan base received a new reason and a renewal of excitement this past spring when the university hired Tim Miles to take over the program. Coming form Colorado State Coach Miles takes over a program that is replacing many spots among the team. Husker fans will struggle through this season, wanting immediate results, but trust me it takes some time. The future of Husker basketball looks brighter. With a new coach and better facilities bringing in the recruits, Nebraska can build on this.
Head Coach: Bill Carmody (entering his 13th season)
2011-2012 record: 19-14 overall, 8-10 B1G Ten
The non conference schedule for the Wildcats looks alright, while playing in the South Padre Island Invitational could garner a loss to TCU. It's possible they come out of it unscathed. With a tough game against Maryland in the B1G Ten/ ACC Challenge, then games against Baylor and Butler emerging with a 10-3 record
would be good for Northwestern. Unless Northwestern gets help from the incoming big men and amazing
perimeter play from the backcourt wins could be something difficult to come by. Yet if they are able to get help in those areas Wildcat fans will have something to look forward to. Competing with an elite upper portion of the B1G Ten, and a likely lackluster exit from the B1G Ten tourney, the NIT looks where Northwestern will end their season.
Losing John Shurna is gonna hurt. Northwestern has never made an appearance in the field of 65 in March will Shurna and they still will not this year. With the addition of Jared Swopshire a 6-8 forward transfer from Louisville may help fill the void left by Shurna, but I think he will be unable to produce the help his team needs like Shurna was able to. Northwestern has an abundance of big men but they come young and inexperienced and will be unable to help the front court. Drew Crawford will bring the firepower to the back court and is projected to be drafted in the 2013 NBA draft. The loss of guard Jershon Cobb for the season could really hurt, it cuts experience and depth in the back court. Northwestern returns guard Dave Sobolewiski who stepped in last year and ran Coach Bill Carmodys offense efficiently. With a 3-1 assist to turnover ratio his experience will be desperately needed.
Look forward to more next time!