On Saturday afternoon Nebraska will celebrate its past, with numerous former players returning to Lincoln for the Huskers’ game against Northwestern and the Legends Weekend festivities. And the current team will dress the part, wearing throwback uniforms inspired by the 1911-12 team.
That team went 14-1 and won the Missouri Valley Conference title, the program’s first league title. Nebraska also recorded a video with Walter Pitchford, Terran Petteway and Shavon Shields going through some “old school” drills (more than a few of them are still used to this day) in the jerseys. There’s Pitchford executing the timeless “Mikan drill,” and Petteway shooting an underhanded free throw (although we don’t get to see the result of the shot).
Embracing their history is something college teams need to do, because those legends can also impact the rebuilding of a moribund program. Get those players on board and they become great salesmen for the current staff, which can prove to be beneficial in regards to recruiting and alumni donations for new projects.
However even with the Legends Weekend festivities, what’s of greater importance to Tim Miles’ team is to get back on track, with an NCAA tournament berth that seemed improbable a month ago within Nebraska’s reach.
An interesting recruiting development hit on Friday as Josh Gershon of Scout.com reported that four-star center Jayce Johnson is reclassifying to the Class of 2015 and looking to join a program at semester break.
The 7-foot native of California is down to Cal, Colorado and Utah and Johnson is on an official visit to Utah this weekend after transferring to a charter school this week. As Gershon notes, only Cal has a scholarship to offer Johnson this season, but the family is willing to pay a semester at the other programs if it’s the right fit. Johnson would like to redshirt and train with his future college while playing against more mature players.
But if Johnson is persuaded not to redshirt, he could be an intriguing big man off the bench later in the season for a couple of teams looking to make a postseason appearance. As the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson is a talented prospect and he isn’t afraid to score with either hand. With some time to fill out, Johnson can turn into a talented Pac-12 player down the road.
New Utah Valley head coach Mark Pope made quite an impression on fans at the team’s Midnight Madness celebration last night. That’s because Pope did a dance and lip sync routine with his four daughters that turned out to be pretty impressive.
The former BYU assistant looks to be the leader in the clubhouse for best coach dance so far this preseason. We’ll see if any other coaches pull out elaborate routines at madness celebrations the next few weeks.