Monday, December 20, 2010

Standhardinger/Sadler Separation Not a Surprise, Except For the Explanation

To almost nobody's surprise, forward Christian Standhardinger told Husker basketball coach Doc Sadler that he was leaving Nebraska. The reason Standhardinger gave was lack of playing time, which was cut short by Sadler in response to off-the-court issues regarding academics.  After quitting the team, Standhardinger grabbed a laptop and finished work on a class project, telling the Lincoln Journal-Star that he was getting A's and B's in his classes.

There's a huge disconnect there between what was said and what actually happened. Both Standhardinger and Sadler took the classy way out on this; no need to sully the issue further. Obviously, there was something wrong in the relationship between Standhardinger and the Husker basketball team.  On the court, Standhardinger looked like the best playmaker I've seen in a Husker basketball uniform since glory days of the Danny Nee era at times. At other times, he was either on the bench or no where to be seen. Steven Sipple of the Journal-Star suggests that it was a chemistry issue, which makes about as much sense as anything.

Sipple suggests that Nebraska's recent run of success might be related to the absence of Standhardinger, and there's something to the notion of addition by subtraction. Hard to read too much into where Nebraska basketball is at this point.  Since returning from Puerto Rico, they have two decent wins over TCU and Southern Cal to show on their resume, but even so, those teams don't really match up well against the Big XII.  (Though Kansas's struggle with Southern Cal on Saturday might be a contrary indicator.) The Huskers should be 12-2 going into conference play, which sounds good until you realize that the Huskers were 12-3 going into conference play last season.

Translation: We really won't be able to judge where Husker basketball is until they start conference play, and even then, we might not really know much until late January.  The schedule starts off with Iowa State, Kansas, and Missouri, all of whom are orders of magnitude better than anybody else the Huskers have played to this point.

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