Wednesday's big home win over Minnesota seemed like the perfect ending to the Bob Devaney Sports Center and a hard-fought season. The problem for Tim Miles' team is that there is still basketball left to be played.
Miles and his team travel to Iowa City to take on the Hawkeyes on Saturday less than two weeks since a dramatic come-from-behind victory in Lincoln.
The Nebraska coaching staff has addressed complacency with its players following Wednesday's win, and Miles said he knows his team will be getting the Hawkeyes' best shot.
“If you don't have that eye of the tiger that hunger to go out and compete, and if you're not thirsting for a little blood, you're not going to win on the road in this league,” Miles said.
The Hawkeyes will be a different looking team from the first meeting. Freshman point guard Mike Gesell is likely unavailable because of a foot injury, and that likely means that Roy Devyn Marble will be handling point guard duties in the contest.
Miles said he's not too concerned with the change because the Huskers do have size on the perimeter as well.
The one thing Nebraska will have to prepare for is a hungry Iowa team. The Hawkeyes dominated the first half in their first meeting with the Huskers, before Nebraska came storming back from a 19-point deficit to win on a last-second shot by Dylan Talley.
Miles said the recent game with the Hawkeyes should help with familiarity and recall, but that his team will need to be ready to play.
“It was a game they feel like they owe us,” Miles said. “I told guys to enjoy the Minnesota game, but when their open their eyes on Thursday, they better be thinking how to beat Iowa. We still have goals, and we still have a chance to reach those goals, but it requires winning immediately. At the end of the game, when we look at Iowa, it's a must-win situation.”
Nebraska and Iowa could potentially meet again in the Big Ten Tournament depending on what happens on the last weekend of conference play.
Miles said he didn't want to introduce negative thoughts into his players' minds, but he wants his team to be sharp Saturday.
“You don't want to always have to use fear, worry and doubt to motivate, but obviously not addressing it be the wrong thing to do,” Miles said.
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