Monday, March 23, 2009

March 23, 2009

Thanks to everyone who's been a bit patient with me as I only blogged two days out of the week, this week we'll have a full slate of information as Husker Football opens spring practice this week on Wednesday. I'll have some practice report info. usually everyday.

The Hot List:
1. Husker Baseball Recap
2. NCAA Tournament
3. Spring Practice: Eye on the Coaches

Taking a turn and going for the gold.....

1. The Husker baseball team rebounded nicely last week splitting a pair of games with #16 Arkansas, then returned home to get a series victory over #11 Oklahoma State. Nebraska beat up OSU's All American pitchers of Andrew Oliver and Tyler Lyons, 11-4 and 12-4 respectively. Nebraska was unable to complete the sweep of OSU on Sunday as Tyler Blandford wiffed 11 K's at the Sker's and OSU escaped with a victory. Either way no matter how you look at it, it was a huge weekend for the Sker's. They showed that they can battle with the best of the Big 12 and slugged them out of two games. I don't think Oliver & Lyons are the best pitchers in the Big 12, but they are good. It'll be interesting to see what Nebraska can do against Kyle Gibson of Missouri, and Chance Ruffin of Texas in the next three weeks (Huskers take on Texas and Missouri after Oklahoma)...these two are the best in the Big 12 so far. Kyle Gibson is clearly pitching to be the Big 12 Pitcher of the Year.....take the confidence of beating a ranked opponent at home, gear up for 2 against Norther Colorado, and take all that confidence to Oklahoma this weekend and get a sweep. Nebraska finds itself in a 5-way tie for 3rd in the conference after KU swept Texas, Missouri took 2 of 3 from A&M, and Baylor took 2 of 3 from Texas Tech. Nebraska will need to sweep OU to begin to distance themselves into the upper half of the conference. Either way, the conference has some good teams from top to bottom. Preview of the series this weekend coming Thursday.

2. The NCAA tournament now has it's Sweet 16. How's your bracket look??? I'm surprised to still be in most of my office pools after the first weekend as I went and astounding 15-1 in the sweet 16. Only Texas not beating Duke was the only game I lost. I still have all my Elite 8 intacked. I'm stoked to possibly be in the running for some of the cash....Either way we have some huge games in store this Thursday as Villanova takes on Duke, Missouri goes to war w/ Memphis, Purdue tangles with UConn, Xavier does battle with Pittsburgh. Picks coming later in the week on Wednesday. The best game on paper is Nova/Duke. It'll be interesting to see how Duke can defend Nova's fast athletic guards who can run the floor and shot from anywhere on the court. Scottie Reynolds is a stud, who can create shots and knock down 3's from anywhere on the floor. If Duke can make timely 3's, as they did against Texas, they'll be tought to beat. All in all it should be a heck of a good game. More Preview tomorrow as we look at Friday's games.

3. Spring Practice starts up this week (Wednesday), and I've decided to spend a few days breaking down key position battles and asking some all important questions about spring practice that I'd like to see answered. Today's focus is on the Coaches. Can Bo Pelini install the next phase of his plan to bring Nebraska back to the top? Can Shawn Watson instill confidence in Cody Green to allow him to become a packaged backup to Zac Lee? How simplified is Marvin Sanders going to make the secondary? I think Bo is heading into one of his biggest spring's at Nebraska....he's bred a monster of excitement into the program, that when spreads gets everyone back on the Husker bandwagon. The real question is can he make strides this spring to continue the excitement he's already generated for the program. I think that'll be important to see as we get closer to the spring game. I think Bo will do a great job of getting his players focusedwhich I can only hope leads to W's this fall. Keep an eye on that. Also, how open is Cody Green going to be in the offense this season? There's no question that this kid has a ton of talent and virtually the sky's the limit with him...but will Shawn get the confidence in himself to package Cody on the field in certain formations. Also I'll be looking at how Green performs in camp and how he grasps the offense....
Marivn Sanders was mentioned early last week stating that this spring he's working extra hard to simplify things for his secondary. He wants them to react faster than they have been. I'll be keeping my eye on that, as I feel that we still have awfully big questions still answer with our secondary if we want to be a successful defense next season. We all know offenses in the Big 12 can throw the ball, I want to see these guys make some big strides to becoming a shut down defense and not just a one time big play defense as we mainly were at times last season.
Can't wait for it to get started....

Tomorrow: We'll preview Friday's games in the NCAA Tournament, take a look at the questions for the Husker Offense heading into spring practice, and the lovely headlines. Till tomorrow.....

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