Sunday, November 21, 2010

Five pre-game thoughts: Nebraska

1.) Shake it off: Sound familiar? Squandering a 13-point lead in the final four minutes and falling to Western Kentucky is a far tougher loss to absorb than getting blown out of the arena by North Carolina. But the performance Friday was an encouraging sign regarding the Dutchmen’s resiliency and it sounds as if the day off Saturday did the Dutchmen some good.

2.) Get Charles Jenkins some rest: Tough to do with such a lean roster, but the only time Jenkins sat Friday was after he got hit in the eye. He’s durable but even he can’t be playing 40 minutes a night every night.

3.) Dwan McMillan needs to have a better game: The junior point guard had one of the toughest nights in memory Friday. The emergence of Mike Moore and Shemiye McClendon lessens the pressure on McMillan, who just has to get the ball to the Dutchmen’s scorers. Expect Nebraska to test McMillan early and often with the press, though.

4.) The Dutchmen’s bigs will need to be big: Nebraska has three starters 6-foot-6 or taller, so Greg Washington, David Imes and Stephen Nwaukoni have to crash the boards like they did Friday night against smaller Western Kentucky. And Washington and Imes, in particular, have to contribute more offensively for the Dutchmen to excel.

5.) Forget a 1-2 punch, do the Dutchmen have a trio now with McClendon joining Jenkins and Moore? It says a lot for Mo Cassara’s confidence in McClendon that he was the one who took the last shot Friday. McClendon has been the first guy off the bench in all three regular season games and will be the player who profits most if the Dutchmen can find some regular rest for Jenkins.

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