Nebraska rolled to an 87-35 win over Southeastern Louisiana Sunday afternoon for back-to-back wins to open the 2018-19 season. The Huskers were up 52-16 at halftime thanks to 15 first-half points from senior guard James Palmer Jr.
The starters sat down with about eight minutes to play in the second half. The Lions held a 7-4 lead early in the game before going scoreless for the next nine minutes of game clock.
Here are three takeaways from the afternoon.
Not Much… Still
The other team is still very bad.
Like "have as many turnovers as points at halftime" bad.
Like this bad.
it had to be done pic.twitter.com/Yt6KeItsXc
— Derek Peterson (@DrPeteyHV) November 11, 2018
So… the jury is still out on a lot of things for the Huskers.
Length = Good
Nebraska is going to be a nightmare for a lot of teams in transition this season.
The Huskers are long. Like, really long. We knew this, but it's still something to behold when the team fully commits to lockdown defending. Nebraska went with a 1-2-2 full-court press early in the first half and it threw out a 1-3-1 zone midway through the first half. Both coincided with separate 22-2 scoring runs from the Huskers with a good chunk of those points coming on the break.
James Palmer Jr. manned the top of the zone. His length bothered the Lions. Glynn Watson Jr. was active with his hands. Isaiah Roby and Isaac Copeland were their usual defensive stalwart selves.
Nebraska forced 25 turnovers on the day. Southeastern Louisiana had as many turnovers through the first 20 minutes as it had points (16). The Huskers had 33 points off those turnovers and 15 points on the break.
The thing that makes Nebraska's transition game exciting — at least, when the starters are on the floor — is all five guys can run it. Watson can obviously push, Thomas Allen ran the second unit last season as a freshman so ditto for him. Palmer is one of the Big Ten's best in transition. Now both Roby and Copeland can run a break as well.
Both worked on that specific part of their game this offseason. They look comfortable doing it already. Roby doesn't hesitate and Copeland is getting there as well.
3-Point Shooting Still an Adventure
Nebraska shot 56 percent from the floor.
It hit eight of its 25 3s and still shot that high. So, I guess yay for the efficiency inside the arc from head coach Tim Miles' perspective? But that outside shot? It's still very much a work in progress.
Nana Akenten looks like a legitimate threat from downtown, he knocked down all three of his looks Sunday to give him eight 3s on 14 attempts this season. Outside of him, the Huskers' next best shooter is… Watson? Allen?
It's certainly not Palmer. The leading scorer is 1-of-17 overall on his 3s if we include numbers from the team's closed scrimmage against Iowa State and the exhibition against Wayne State College. Palmer went 0-for-4 from downtown Sunday.
Nebraska actually hit 15 triples against Missouri Valley State in the opener, but it took 37 to get those 15. When asked after the game if he felt any better about the shooting, Miles simply said, "No."
This one probably won't make him feel any better.
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.