The Huskers moved to 16-8 on the season, 7-4 in Big Ten play, with a 98-84 win over Iowa (11-12, 2-8) on Saturday night, using an explosive offensive performance and a few standout individual games to seal things.
Here are some notable quotes from both Nebraska and Iowa following the game.
Nebraska head coach Tim Miles on his overall feeling before the game:
"I was talking in the pregame with some different media guys too, Kent Pavelka one of them, and I said the one thing about Iowa is they can lead you right down the path of a shootout. They play quick. If they see an open shot, it’s going up. You can have a lot of quick possessions, and I just didn’t know if we could keep up that way really. I didn’t like the matchup with [Iowa forward Tyler] Cook. It felt like that was going to be difficult and I think that proved correct, although I thought [center] Jordy Tshimanga came in and did his best job of the year. He got some extended minutes because he earned them and ended up with 11 points, eight rebounds. That was badly needed."
Tshimanga on his season-high 11-point performance:
"My coaches and my teammates just told me to stay positive. But I believe in myself and when I have guys around me that believe in myself as well it makes my job easy.”
Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery on cutting the deficit to two in the second half and then fading down the stretch:
"I think it was a little bit of fatigue. I thought they got a couple buckets, sometimes all they needed was a bucket to settle down and then they started making some shots. I thought [forward Isaac] Copeland and [guard James] Palmer [Jr.] made some really tough shots.
"Could we have been closer? Whatever. I thought [forward Nicholas] Baer was kind of pretty much in Palmer’s face, and he’s got a knack because he can pull right in your face or he can get to the rim, he’s so long. So then you’ve got to put a taller guy on him. But both of those guys were really good tonight."
Miles on Palmer's 28-point performance:
"James can make so many plays. I think the first half he had four assists right away. He’s willing to share the ball, too. He also knows when to take over. He’s been a very pleasant surprise for me in terms of how bought-in he is to the gameplan, how bought-in he is to focus, concentration and all of those things that go along with it.
"Then when you put his talent together with his ability to score and take over a game was really good."
McCaffery on what he expected to see of Palmer heading into the season and how Palmer has performed of late:
"I didn’t really know what to expect. I know their staff really well. I know they really liked him, and were really high on him. I know they had high expectations for him. There’s going to be opportunity there for him.
"He’s a veteran guy, but you know he has been a go-to guy in our league, and it’s hard to be that guy when you’re marked. And he is marked, and he’s still doing it. You’ve got to give that kid credit. And let’s face it, he’s a hard cover. He dribbles it, he shoots it, he drives it, he gives it up, he’s not a selfish guy like I’ve said before. He handles it like a guard, he posts like a big, he’s got a 3-point shot, but his length is what makes him so hard, because sometimes you think you’re there but he gets his shot off anyway, whether it be going to the basket or shooting a three. I’m right there, I got him, nope, he still was able to make it."
Miles on guard Gylnn Watson Jr. doing other things besides scoring to help the team:
“Glynn, after [Iowa guard Jordan] Bohannon got those first couple 3s, really did an excellent job. He just bought in, he changed the game defensively. He allowed us to stretch a lead out. His ability to guard the ball and pressure the ball in areas made it a little harder for them to get inside, took away his 3s and when you get ball pressure like that out of a guy that was picking up full court, getting over screens, getting over ball screens, getting over the hit man, that’s not easily done and he just did it and he did it with a smile on his face. He was only focused on helping the team.
"I like the demeanor of this team. I like the buy in. They understand if I just do this job tonight, we’re going to be in good shape."
Palmer on heading back onto the road for the next two games:
"Defense travels. We just had two tough road games [at Ohio State and Rutgers], so it’s nothing new."
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.