The 25th-ranked Nebraska men's basketball team defeated Wayne State 75-40 in an exhibition game on Thursday night at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln. 8,215 watched Isaiah Roby lead the Huskers with 12 points.
Nebraska Coach Tim Miles
On Game Takeaways
We are who we are, we know this. It was good to play everybody and it was good to get a win. I think that that's really important. I think we need more physicality, rebound the ball, better flow and rhythm on offense. We ran a lot of motion, and I'm not sure that that was that effective. We didn't run that many sets or plays. We did a little bit to start the second half, and I thought we were okay, I think we were at 54 percent the first 6 or 7 minutes, maybe 8 minutes. Coach Kaminsky does a very good job at Wayne State. I like him, he's building that thing little by little. But for us (to be successful), we need to shoot the three, stop the three and we need to rebound, and if we can do those things we'll be good. And tonight I don't think we rebounded all that well in terms of the physicality of eliminating our opponent. And I know we didn't shoot well.
On shooting percentage concerns
Yeah, you can't sit there and look at 4 in 26 and say we're fine. Isaac Copeland shot really well, did not shoot well. We didn't do much for them, but at the same time I think we will shoot better. We're not like a 40 percent 3-point shooting team, but we need to be mid-30s.
On James Palmer Jr. and rotation
“I’ve got to get (James Palmer Jr.) going a little bit. But, you know James, we played him with some point. We played some lineups that we don’t get to practice very much. We played (Isaac Copeland Jr.) at the three with Brady Heiman and Tanner Borchardt. I wanted (Isaiah Roby) out there too. Not all four of them at the same time, but I wanted three of them on the board at the same time a couple different times. So, we don’t get to practice that, that much, but those are going to be lineups we’re going to have to, in some form, like Tanner and the other two, or Brady and the other two, to kind of protect Brady a little bit. Getting back to Palmer, one, we have to figure out where we’re putting him and we’ll integrate him more often as we run plays and sets. Tonight was strictly motion, so sometimes it feels like he gets caught in the corner and just hanging around and he gets the ball later in the possession, and he’s trying to make a play. We’ll get James going and James will get himself going too.”
Wayne State Coach Jeff Kaminsky
“I just want to say I appreciate the opportunity we had to be here tonight. It was a great honor for our team, our program and our fans. I really want to thank Coach Miles for allowing us to play here tonight. It’s not a guaranteed game to get, so we certainly feel fortunate to have the opportunity.”
On his team’s struggles
“You’d be surprised by me saying that we actually have a pretty good shooting team. That was not the case tonight. That had a lot to do with Nebraska in terms of their length and athleticism. We didn’t make shots when we had opportunities. I do think we mucked the game up the way we wanted to. We tried to game the lane a lot on them. We didn’t do a good enough job in the first half of keeping them off the glass, which helped extend their lead. In these situations you just have to play nearly perfect and they had to be a little more off than they were. I like our team. I think we’re going to have a really good year. I’m just a little bit disappointed we didn’t execute a little bit better offensively, and didn’t do a better job of blocking out in the first half.”
On his team’s opportunity to play Nebraska in Pinnacle Bank Arena
“We’ve had some other scrimmages. So we haven’t really geared up for this until Tuesday, to be honest. We had a scrimmage on Monday. Certainly playing Nebraska is about as good as it gets for our local guys. When it comes to Nebraska and Creighton, those games are about as good as it can get for a kid that grew up in Nebraska. Maybe their dream was of playing here and not to do that, to have a chance to play against them in this arena is special. We have 13 guys on our roster and 10 of them are either from Nebraska or Iowa so we do have a lot of local contingency. Obviously, we have four freshmen, three from Nebraska and one from Glenwood, so basically we count that as Nebraska. It was a really good opportunity, a fun opportunity for them.”
On what he saw from Nebraska
“Their first group in particular is so mobile and those guys are almost just interchangeable. So they can do a lot of stuff that we want to do defensively. They can switch a lot, which is important to the way the game is played today with so much ball screen action and it's just hard to defend. Just their athleticism, their ability to interchange makes them good on both ends. It was hard for us to generate offense on screens and slips because if they switched on us it didn’t really matter. I think that’s going to be a really big advantage for those guys, I really like how they’re able to do that.”