For the eighth time in their last 10 games, the Huskers came up on the wrong side of the scoreboard. Having lost six straight, Nebraska (13-10, 3-9 Big Ten) is in desperate need of a regrouping.
Head coach Tim Miles and junior forward Isaiah Roby met with the media following a 60-45 loss to Maryland Wednesday night to talk about that and more. Here’s the full transcript from that question and answer session.
Head coach Tim Miles
“I said on my radio show that I hope and pray to God this is rock bottom. But, until we get out of our own way on offense… the kids are still competing on defense I think — but until we can get out of our own way and find some rhythm on offense, we’ve got a real problem. I believe it’s mental as much as anything.”
On when he felt the game started to slip away from the team?
“When Tanner [Borchardt] got his second foul, we went a whole four-minute segment without scoring. I really thought we just lost any rhythm or anything like that. When James [Palmer Jr.] got that foul where he stopped and ran into the kid, I thought he wasn’t as aggressive. I thought when Isaiah missed a couple free throws, he turned down his aggressiveness a little bit. Then you end up with 20 points at halftime. That’s not going to get it done in the Big Ten.”
On whether he could put a finger on why Nebraska continues to have poor shooting performances?
“It’s mental. I really believe it’s mental. I don’t see anybody having fun. I see stressed out young guys. We need to get back to the love of the game and be able to relax. This is the time of a lifetime. Some of these seniors only have nine more games and this is it. So, let’s play with a little bit of joy. I know they want to do well but if all you’re worried about is the outcome and the consequence of that, then you’re going to get stressed and you’re going to have problems.
“We’ve been spending individual time with guys, working with guys, but until we get out of our own way, it’s not going to change.
“Now we’re at the point where we pass up too many shots and we take a difficult shot.”
On the reasoning for putting Thorir Thorbjarnarson in the starting five?
“Just looking for a spark, for something good to happen. You sit there after a certain amount of time and you’re like ‘Okay, what’s the definition of insanity?’ There was no issue or anything like that, I was just looking for a spark.”
On what happened after Bruno Fernando dunked and Miles’ technical foul?
“I have no comment.”
On whether that was a point of deflation for the team?
“I thought where we really got in trouble when it was two and then we gave up the Wiggins 3 and it went to five, we came down and took a quick shot in transition with Glynn and then they go down and get the lob dunk. Then later that situation happened. So it was like this minute-and-a-half, 90 seconds, where all of the sudden you’re right there and you’ve felt like you’ve worked hard to get back and get a little rhythm on offense at that time and then, boom, all of the sudden it’s eight or 10.
“I got the technical. I did that on purpose. I haven’t done that in a long time I don’t think. So I cost us two points, too. So now you’re down 10 and if you don’t score easily, it just seems like it’s mental.”
On struggles at home lately?
“If I told you we were 20-4 in our last 24, we’d think that was pretty good. But it stinks. I hate it. I just feel so bad for our fans. I just feel awful. I feel really awful for our players. I told them a long time ago, ‘I’m not going to let you fail.’ It hurts. It’s hard.”
On where to go from here?
“I hope up. I hope this goes up.”
Junior forward Isaiah Roby
On why confidence is dwindling?
“Nobody’s really having fun right now. We all had really big expectations for this season and we know that time just keeps on running out, keeps running out with every game we play. I don’t know. I don’t know if guys are… because we’ve been working extra. Everybody’s getting extra shots up. It’s not like we’re not putting in the work.
“Once we get in the game, we’re passing up too many good shots. It hurts us.
“We lost Copeland but we’ve still got a lot of talent on this team. We’ve just got to find our spots.”
On how the mental state got this bad?
“I would say it’s just… I don’t know. It’s just kind of been a compound of everything. You lose a few, lose a guy like Cope and then in the Big Ten nothing’s easy. It’s not like we’re playing bad defense. We’re keeping teams to 60 and then we’ll start fouling and it might get to 70, we’re playing good enough defense. It’s just, offensively, our flow is not there. When you’re playing really hard defense and you’re working hard and you’re fighting and then the result’s not good, it’s just compounding on top of everything.”
On his effectiveness and aggressiveness early and whether that was a part of the gameplan?
“I wouldn’t say it was a part of the gameplan, it was just me being aggressive and finding my spots. I think early on they were playing me soft. I hit my first three and that opened up the court a little bit for me until later in the game when they started to pack the paint a little bit more. I was just being aggressive to start.”
On the Bruno Fernando-Tanner Borchardt exchange?
“The ref said he flopped. Usually the rule, usually they say you can’t him [the defender] twice and he hit him twice and then [Borchardt] fell. So I don’t know. [The referee] said he flopped.”
On whether the team is capable of digging out of this hole?
“One hundred percent. I’ve got confidence in my teammates for sure, and myself. This game ended non-competitive but every game that we’ve lost has been pretty competitive. No team is going to blow us out. So, I’m definitely 100 percent confident.”