Some notable quotes from after the game.
Nebraska head coach Tim Miles on preparing for this game with the outside distractions:
"Practice was really slow yesterday to start with. We always do the same drill where we guard their actions and we play a game, defensive points we call it. Defense lost it, and we haven't lost defensive points in a long time. So, we played it again which doubled the amount of effort we were going to put out, or energy. Then, we played pretty good after that. By the end, I looked at [assistant coaches] Kenya [Hunter] and Michael [Lewis] and I said, 'This looks like a team, right?'
“So, I felt a lot better after practice but until the midway point I was worried. You spend a lot of emotional energy on a week like that and that's what I told the guys. Stay off social media for the night, you can't read everything that's out there so just relax and get ready for an afternoon game. I didn't ask them to follow up on that, but they looked fine to me and played well the first half.”
Rutgers head coach Steve Pikiell on if the Huskers look like a tournament team:
“Oh, absolutely. I’ve watched all their tapes coming in. They’re on a good roll right now. They have good veteran guys. They have matchup problems; they can go big at times, they can go small. They can do a lot of different things, and Coach [Miles] is doing a real good job coaching them up. But they have a lot of answers, and they’ve got a veteran guard, [Glynn] Watson, I think he’s terrific.
“Against us the first time, he kind of won the game at the end. So they have some of those characteristics, which you need. You need your veteran guards to be good down the stretch. They have a few go-to players, they shoot the ball well enough and they’ve got great length.”
Miles on the play of center Duty Okeke (four rebounds, four blocks in six minutes):
"I'm really proud of Duby. It would be easy to sulk and pout, and he hasn't. He's still talking in meetings, he's still talking game plan, his reps are down. We were talking and I said, 'There's still times we're going to need you. Just because you haven't been in the rotation in a couple times, you're going to be reincarnated.' Tonight, I think the first shot he blocked it looked like it was going to be a layup and everybody cheered. When they were chanting his name when he came off, that was a pretty cool moment and well deserved.”
Forward Isaiah Roby on his improved play over the last two games (19 points Tuesday at Minnesota, double-double against Rutgers):
“Just being more aggressive. Just trying to move harder, cut harder, not be so timid out there. My teammates have been finding me really well. That’s just a product of that.”
Guard James Palmer Jr. on Roby’s poster dunk:
“When I knew he got the step I just stood up on the bench. I knew he was going to dunk it. Me and [guard] Nana [Akenten] looked at each other.”
Miles on watching the outside reaction to the Huskers’ activism:
“I’ve only been online a little bit to post a picture of my dog, which is very important to me. My dogs get me through this year. When you’re looking down the long end of a barrel you need a dog right with you. That girl has been pretty good, except she tried to eat my guacamole last night.
“Now, I have not been online so I don’t know how it’s received there. But I do know that the writers that have written things are very pleased with what’s going on because I’ve been contacted by two of them. And I think the crowd was really good to our guys and I’m proud of our guys for the stance they’ve decided to take.”
Derek is a newbie on the Hail Varsity staff covering Husker athletics. In college, he was best known as ‘that guy from Twitter.’ He has covered a Sugar Bowl, a tennis national championship and almost everything in between (except an NCAA men’s basketball tournament game… *tears*). In his spare time, he can be found arguing with literally anyone about sports.