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Nebraska Cornhuskers: Team Is Not Ready To Compete With Elite Competition

The Nebraska Cornhuskers showed in their loss to Villanova that they are not very close to competing with some of the better teams in college basketball.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Nebraska Cornhuskers started their season on a high note after handling Mississippi Valley State easily in their first game. The team then moved on to a matchup with Villanova, but Nebraska failed to show that they are on the same level as an elite team like the Wildcats.

In the first half, the Cornhuskers started off the game by hanging tight with the 11th ranked Wildcats, but the Cornhuskers struggled towards the end of the first half. Nebraska had a little bit of a cushion in the first half, but after Villanova went on a 22-0 run, it was all downhill from there for the Cornhuskers.

Nebraska ended up losing 87-63 and their shooting woes were clearly existent. Nebraska shot 37.7 percent from the field as a team and shot 30.4 percent from deep. Andrew White III did shine bright again for the Cornhuskers by scoring 18 points and going 3-5 from deep, but other than White, not many of the other Nebraska players came to play.

The bench depth for Nebraska could be a reason why they cannot compete against elite teams. Nebraska is relying heavily on their three freshmen off the bench in Ed Morrow Jr., Glynn Watson Jr., and Jack McVeigh, who struggled against Villanova. Watson did post 12 points, but he went 5-15 from the field, and he also could not buy a basket in his first game as a freshmen against Mississippi Valley State. He must step up for the Cornhuskers in the future, and start hitting outside shots, along with McVeigh because the Huskers need consistent three-point shooting.

Good Signs

One big positive sign for the Huskers is that Andrew White III has not struggled at all while adjusting to a new team. He transferred from Kansas, and he has not been rusty, White is averaging 18.0 PPG, and he is shooting 63.6 percent from deep, which is very impressive. White has been great for Nebraska, and he is definitely the go-to scorer on the team. He can hopefully become a leader for coach Tim Miles and Nebraska in the future because it is Shavon Shields' last season in Lincoln. White showed against Villanova that it does not matter who he is playing, White is still going to get his points and shots off.

The freshmen struggled against Villanova, but Jack McVeigh has been a breathe of fresh air off the bench. No one really thought that he would make that big of an impact off the bench, but he has showed that he can shoot the ball from deep this season. He is shooting 71.4 percent from deep this season in two games, yes it is a small sample size, but the Huskers need shooting, and McVeigh has provided that off the bench early.

Overall

The Cornhuskers could have really put last season in the rearview right away if they beat Villanova, but this team still has ways to go if they want to compete with some of the better teams in the Big Ten that are just as skilled or better than Villanova. White has been great, but the team is going to need another reliable shooting option, and it might take a little time to find out who that is going to be.

Shooting still needs to be consistent for the Huskers down the stretch, or they might get blown out in other games like they did against Villanova. Hopefully Nebraska's little taste of being in control against Villanova will make the team work harder and show that they do have the ability to compete with good teams, it just might take a little time to reach their full potential.