June 17, 2024

Nebraska quarterback Chubba Purdy (12) hugs head coach Matt Rhule during warmups before playing against Northern Illinois in an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023, in Lincoln, Neb. (AP Photo/Rebecca S. Gratz)

Going to the Locker Room: Discussing Nebraska with Corn Country

After trailing by 14 points in the second half and defeating guard Caitlin Clark and the Iowa Hawkeyes, the Nebraska Cornhuskers stunned both the basketball community and the Hawkeyes on Sunday. Three days from now, the Cornhuskers will visit Columbus to play the women’s basketball team from Ohio State.

To find out more about Land-Grant and Big Red Holy Land made contact with Corn Nation’s Jill Heemstra. Heemstra talks about the reason the Conrhuskers defeated the Hawkeyes, who were ranked second at the time, the development of center Alexis Markowski, and the necessity for the Buckeyes to consider Nebraska’s whole roster rather than just the starting five to eight players.

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Corn Nation: Amy Williams, the head coach, plays every player on the roster, which is something you quickly notice. She doesn’t create an eight-person rotation and give the other people sympathy time. Every player on the roster has come up big at different points this season, even if their stints in the spotlight were brief—a quarter or a few minutes.

At times, that trust in the depth has been evident. Guard Kendall Moriarty was essential in protecting Clark, even though guard Jaz Shelley (rightfully) receives a lot of praise for his spectacular comeback in the fourth quarter. For a significant portion of the quarter, Moriarty harassed Clark as Nebraska went to a box and one. She also produced a few effective offensive plays.

LGHL: Shelley and Markowski are passed by the Cornhuskers. Has the strategy employed by the teams that have defeated Nebraska this season involved slowing them down or making sure that no one else can play a supporting role in the games?

CN: Markowski typically achieves a double-double in victories and defeats. It’s hard to fully shut her down. Shelley might be a bit temperamental at times, but that’s to be expected given that she’s been dealing with some lingering problems. It appears that the offensive end of the court is the cause of the defeats.

The other side may play strong defense at times, but the Huskers appear to be shooting cold most of the time. If shots miss or the game plan collapses, Nebraska creates a large hole that their excellent defense is unable to fully cover. In those defeats, there has been a propensity to stage a spectacular comeback. That comeback against Iowa was successful.

CN: Markowski appeared to be a different player when she took the court this season, having spent time working with the nutritionist and strength and conditioning specialists. She is leaner and more resilient than in previous years, and she closes out games even better than in previous years. She has always been strong and mobile. She is also becoming more assertive when requesting the ball, and instead of going directly at the defender to attempt a shoot, she is becoming more adept at using her footwork to get around them.

Throughout her time as a freshman and sophomore, I observed that she almost never committed the same error twice after receiving instruction or making a mistake. She picks things up quickly and

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