Hail Varsity Mailbag
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Mailbag: Nebraska Women’s Basketball, Husker-Themed Hypotheticals and Handshake Lines

February 23, 2022

 The readers brought the heat for this edition of the mailbag.

This week we touch on what the departure of guard Ashley Scoggin means for the Huskers on the basketball court, as well as a few fun Nebraska-themed hypotheticals. Oh, and how could we not talk handshake lines after what went down between Juwan Howard and Greg Gard?

Without further ado, let’s get to it.

Do you feel that Ashley Scoggin’s absence will help team development overall? I think more minutes for Allison Weidner, Mi’Cole Cayton and the Kendalls (Coley and Moriarty) is a good thing. (@GeneralChaoz01) 

Mike Babcock: Weidner has excelled as a starter, a definite plus, and the others you mentioned have stepped up. Even so, I’m not sure the loss of Scoggin is a positive, that the Huskers are better by subtraction; she shot 42% from 3-point range. Maybe beyond this season it could be considered a positive. 

Jacob Padilla: Yeah, Scoggin was the only consistent threat on a team of otherwise streaky 3-point shooters, so she’s a significant loss. She had two more seasons of eligibility remaining as well, so it’s not like she was a senior (even though she’s 23 years old). Weidner is probably the biggest beneficiary of Scoggin’s absence and she certainly stepped up against Minnesota. We’ll have to see if any of the others can take advantage of the extra playing time they might get moving forward. 

Steve Marik: Without a doubt, Scoggin’s absence hurts the offense on the court. She was the most consistent 3-point shooter, making 40% of her triples against conference opponents. Among players with more than 30 attempts in Big Ten play, none are shooting over 29%. Out of everyone, Scoggin was the one player (Jaz Shelley might be another, as her 3-point shot is started to fall more than it was) I’d pick who had a chance to get hot from behind the arc and really hurt defenses that want to come down and double in the post. But, as you said, Allison Weidner will now get more minutes, and that’s a great thing because the former St. Francis Flyer has shown she can play at the Big Ten level. Weidner takes the fight to the defense when she has the ball, and it’s fun to watch. There’s no settling for difficult jumpers with Weidner—she knows what she’s good at and doesn’t try to be something she’s not. Her perimeter shooting has even gotten better, too, which I didn’t expect. As for Cayton and the Kendalls, more minutes can only help, especially, I think, for the Kendalls.

LeBron/Bronny hoping for a Ken Griffey/Ken Griffey Jr pairing is dominating Twitter. Which Husker parent/child pairing would dominate Hail Varsity’s attention? (@Simbasker) 

Jacob: I’d love to see a Nebraska Drill (Nebraska’s modified Oklahoma Drill) featuring Damon Benning carrying the ball and his son Caleb, a 2024 Huskers defensive back target, on defense. 

Can you think of another unheralded Husker recruit who had such an impact in their first year as Alexis Markowski? (@dmhusker1) 

Greg Smith: It’s not an apples-to-apples comparison, but the first Husker to come to mind is Garrett Nelson. He wasn’t a huge recruit. Partly because he was a bit of a tweener, he was out in western Nebraska and he committed early. Nelson became a fixture on the Husker defense right away.  

Steve: Sticking with football, maybe Taylor Martinez? I’m not sure many people saw the three-star athlete from California becoming the Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year in 2010. Maybe Martinez doesn’t fit this question because his first season in Lincoln was 2009, which he redshirted. Alexis is doing what she’s doing right after stepping off the high school courts. 

Should Nick Sehnert get a shot or beer for his first legal drink? (@NicoleGriff1011) 

Greg: Two shots then dive into the beer. Makes the beer go down easier.  

Steve: Who are we kidding, the shots definitely need to be taken first. Unrelated, but Greg’s second sentence sounds like a country music lyric from the mid-2000s.

Erin Sorensen: The sentence actually sounds like the adult version of “Spoonful of Sugar.”

Whether or not you think Fred Hoiberg will be back next season, let’s say hypothetically he isn’t. If you’re Trev Alberts, who are you going after to be his replacement? (@BetsBruce) 

Jacob: Niko Medved is a name I’d expect to get some run whenever the next coaching search happens for Nebraska. He built Furman up into a conference champion, took Drake from seven wins to 17 in his only season in Des Moines and now he has one of the better mid-major teams in the country in his fourth season at Colorado State. Eric Henderson has done a terrific job succeeding TJ Otzelberger at South Dakota State as well; the Jackrabbits are 25-4 this season and led by a native Nebraskan in Aurora’s Baylor Scheierman.

Steve: I wonder where Mark Turgeon pops up next.

What’s your take on the hottest topic in sports — handshake lines. Do you think they should stay or go? (@Steve_Marik) 

Mike: Nothing wrong with a show of sportsmanship, which is becoming in short supply it seems. For that reason, maybe it should go. Or those who want to can, those who don’t want to need not. 

Jacob: I wrote about that in my latest column. 

Greg: I vote stay. 

Steve: I get that handshake lines are a thing for sportsmanship, and I agree they should absolutely be used when kids are first learning the game. But once we start talking about the college level — where these are not grade-school kids anymore and the competition rises and the stakes are raised — I don’t see the need for handshake lines because it’s my opinion that, for the most part, it’s not genuine in the moment. It’s just something the players are told to do, so they do it.

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