I mentioned in my evaluation of the conference race that tonight's game in Lincoln was far from a lock for KSU and that it should begin a slide of three losses over their next six for the Wildcats as they work down the conference stretch.
It's final from flyover country. Nebraska - 71 KSU - 64.
KSU shot 8 of 26 from three point land and turned it over 14 times. Beasley had a double-double, but it was of human dimensions, 17 and 10.
The key was defending Beasley. No shit, you just thought.
However, when I say defend Beasley, I mean play three on their other four. That's what Nebraska did and that's why a team of circus freaks: an Australian post, Whoopi Goldberg at SG, and Bushwick Bill of Geto Boys fame at point guard, beat KSU by 7.
We won't go into Manhattan and win if we play anything like honest defensive basketball. Beasley is too physical for Atchley and too big and skilled for Gary Johnson. He'd foul out Damion James in a half.
My modest proposal:
Put our longest big (Atchley, spelled by Chapman and Pittman when we zone) behind him refusing an inch and another defender - any defender - fronting him. When I say fronting him, I mean standing with his ass touching Beasley's thighs. When Beasley camps out at the three point line, trap him and get the ball out his hands. This arrangement also eliminates him from the offensive boards which is a crucial part of his game.
We should zone and man. In fact, we should switch it around constantly so KSU has trouble running set plays to address our Beasley gang bang. Morphing from a token zone press into our junk defense to burn their shot clock would be cute as well.
KSU will be jacked at home and their team will play with great confidence if Beasley scores 10 of their first 15. Completely eliminating their best option is a quick way to give them a gut check and if they struggle early to adjust that home crowd momentum can quickly turn to negative tension.
There's an offensive piece to this, obviously, and the Huskers were very efficient in getting high percentage shots, but Nebraska won this game by denying the Wildcats their preferred gameplan for victory.
I'd like your thoughts...