Nebraska Men’s and Women’s Basketball Hosts Opening Night Festivities | Sports
The atmosphere inside the Pinnacle Bank Arena could not have been more striking compared to the rows of empty seats the venue had experienced in the previous months.
As women’s basketball head coach Amy Williams and men’s basketball head coach Fred Hoiberg addressed the crowd, the audience responded similarly. Inflections in their voices hit the crowd like a wave rippling from the center of the arena.
The evening involved presentations and speeches, with both teams also playing in front of a home audience for the first time since March 2020, although the highlight of the evening for many may have been the concert with G. Herbo by the following.
Williams and his team are looking to bounce back this season, and after the scrum performance the coach has some great pieces to work on.
Although the Husker women’s basketball team lost center Kate Cain, Nebraska’s all-time blocks leader, she retained the services of junior goalie Sam Haiby. Haiby showed his abilities during the melee and will likely be a talismanic figure for the Huskers in Cain’s absence.
Additionally, an aspiring first-year forward Alexis Markowski star has shown an ability to replicate some of Cain’s offensive production. Markowski is shorter than Cain and likely won’t have the same post presence as Cain, but has shown an aptitude for the basket nonetheless.
Markowski entered Nebraska the 76th best player in her recruiting class according to World exhibition, and if she manages to turn her talent into real effect, the Nebraska women’s basketball team could fill a gap in their roster.
Overall, the Nebraska women’s basketball team have many areas of their game to improve considering how late last season is, but with a few new additions and with some players taking the next step in their development. , the team could reach new heights over the year.
As first-year goalie Bryce McGowens, Nebraska’s first five-star rookie in history, made his way to the presentation stage, the energy in the arena exploded.
That being said, the audience reserved their loudest cheers for second-year goaltender Keisei Tominaga of Japan.
“It is one of the most beautiful sites I have ever seen,” Hoiberg told the PBA crowd. “I can promise you this: you will love this team … we have great skills.”
Tominaga’s roar didn’t die off, as it showed what made him so valuable in the melee. Tominaga hit a 3 point pointer behind the arc at one point, which caused some fun when he entered. Tominaga was one of the most notable performers in the melee, showing off his incredible perimeter shooting ability.
McGowens, too, rose to the crowd. As the way opened, perhaps on purpose, the five-star rookie bounced the ball off the back panel for an auto-alley-oop, which was also warmly greeted by the crowd.
Freshman center Wilhelm Breidenbach had a good time when he hit a 3-pointer on a quick release, but was later embarrassed by senior guard Kobe Webster, who crossed the center around the right wing.
Webster was not safe, however. Arizona State transfer and senior goalie Alonzo Verge repaid the favor later by breaking the goalie’s ankles, both sharing a laugh about it after Verge drained the shot.
McGowens also became supplier to his brother, junior guard Trey McGowens, at one point in the scrimmage with a nasty reverse aisle that got the crowd excited. Trey McGowens also later hit a windmill dunk during the procedure. Unsurprisingly, the McGowens brothers appear to have some chemistry on the pitch that will only come in handy when the season begins.
While of course it was just a fun night out, Verge showed off his incredible grips during the melee. It is this ability that could make him the first starting ball player this season for Nebraska.
Junior forward Derrick Walker, who was an important piece for the Huskers last season, has also tried his own 3-point shot on occasion. This represents an important start for the striker. Walker has only attempted one 3-point score so far his entire career.
Walker diversifying his arsenal can be fun, or it can be out of necessity with Breidenbach’s multi-tool set on the outskirts of the Husker range.
Overall, Husker Basketball’s opening night served its purpose. As the first event of the season, the Huskers thrilled fans with their potential while showing off the most spectacular benefits of their game.
There was also G. Herbo, which is also a plus.