Last season was clearly a disappointment for coach Tim Miles and Nebraska, especially since the team had such high expectations going into last season. Nebraska managed to reach the NCAA tournament during the 2013-2014 season, but last season the team was not even close to snagging an at-large bid for the tournament.
Although the Huskers are losing some key players from last season, the team could still win their first-ever NCAA tournament game next season, and here are five reasons why.
#1. Shavon Shields
Shavon Shields is going to be the best player on the Cornhuskers next season by far. His leadership and scoring ability can take Nebraska a long way through the season. Count on Shields to post big numbers in every game he plays this season because he will be the most reliable player on the team. It will be his senior season in Lincoln and he definitely wants to go out on a good note.
#2. Andrew White
Andrew White should be able to step in right away for coach Tim Miles and Nebraska as a transfer from Kansas. He has great size, and he has the ability to shoot from long range. White has loads of potential, and he did not really get a chance to show his game at Kansas, but in Lincoln, coach Miles will need White to be a big-time player if the Cornhuskers want to make a run for the NCAA tournament.
#3. Playing with an "underdog" mentality
The Cornhuskers are not going to be the best team in the Big Ten next season, and no one is going to expect the Cornhuskers to win their first-ever NCAA tournament game without some of there best players from last year. The Huskers need to play with a chip on their shoulder next season so no one can say there tourney run during the 2013-2014 season was a fluke. Playing as an "underdog" in many games is very dangerous and should help Nebraska achieve their goal of winning an NCAA tournament game.
#4. It is not easy to win in Lincoln
The Cornhuskers had the best home record in the Big Ten during the 2013-2014 season, and last season it was never an easy road victory for opposing teams at the Pinnacle Bank Arena. The arena is always filled and certainly very loud, which helps Nebraska win some games against teams that might be better than them. Nebraska should win a majority of their home games this season, which will take a little pressure of the team on the road.
#5. Coach Tim Miles
Coach Miles has a gritty and talented bunch of players on his roster that can make the dream possible of making the NCAA tourney and win a game. The team has bought in to Miles' program, which shows how committed Miles and the team is to achieving their goal. Miles has brought in enough talent for Nebraska to make a name for themselves this season.
The Huskers should have what it takes next season to make some noise during the season. The team will try and achieve their goal of winning a NCAA tournament game with their talented roster, great coach, home-court advantage, and "underdog" mentality.