One of the most accurate kickers in college football history, Alex Henery, and three-time national champion linebacker Jay Foreman headline a class of five players, including four Huskers, and one state college coach to be inducted into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame in September.
Henery, a four-year starter for Nebraska from 2007 to 2010, hit on an NCAA-record 88.9 percent (68-76) of his field goal attempts during his career. He also scored a Nebraska-record 397 points by adding 193-of-194 career PATs. Henery, whose 68 career field goals were also a school record, earned first-team All-America honors for the Big Red as a senior in 2010. The Omaha Burke High School graduate went on to a four-year career in the NFL.
Foreman, who was a Butkus Award semifinalist as a senior at Nebraska in 1998, was a major contributor on Nebraska’s 1997 national championship team. He also helped the Huskers claim the 1995 title as a freshman after redshirting in his first season in Lincoln in 1994. Foreman finished his Nebraska career with 233 tackles, before going on to eight highly productive seasons in the NFL. He starred on defense with the Bills, Texans, Giants and 49ers, finishing his pro career with 527 tackles and five fumble recoveries.
A pair of All-Big Eight offensive linemen from the 1970s and 1980s join Foreman and Henery with a call to the hall. Mark Behning, a three-year contributor at offensive tackle on some of the most prolific offenses in Nebraska history in 1982, 1983 and 1984, earned Hall of Fame induction with his All-Big Eight honors as a senior in 1984. Behning went on to spend three seasons in the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Greg Jorgensen, a starting offensive guard for Coach Tom Osborne’s early Nebraska teams in 1975, 1976 and 1977, was a second-team All-American in 1977 and a two-time All-Big Eight choice.
The four former Huskers will be joined in their inductions into the Hall of Fame by University of Nebraska at Kearney wide receiver Richie Ross.
Ross, a two-time All-American, rewrote the UNK record books with 279 receptions for 4,882 yards and 50 touchdowns for the Lopers from 2002 to 2005. The four-time Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference selection’s record-setting efforts throughout his UNK career included a 317-yard receiving game against Fort Hays State as a sophomore in 2003, when he was named the RMAC Offensive Player of the Year. The Lincoln High graduate also earned a spot in the NFL with the Tennessee Titans.
Former Chadron State coach and athletic director Brad Smith will become the 36th coach and the first since 2012 to be inducted into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame. He spent 18 seasons (1987-2004) as Chadron State’s head coach and was a three-time RMAC Coach of the Year (1996, 1999, 2001). Smith led Chadron State to a 10-0 regular season and a final No. 7 AFCA national ranking in 2001. His 2002 and 2003 teams also finished in the AFCA Top 25, while his 1996, 1998, 2000 and 2001 teams all advanced to the NCAA Division II playoffs. His 1989 and 1990 teams advanced to the NAIA Division II playoffs and finished in the top 10.
The Hall also will recognize Tom and Patty Hastings of Omaha with its Clarence E. Swanson Meritorious Service Award, while long-time Nebraska Athletic Department administrators Butch Hug and Shot Kleen will be honored with Lyell Bremser Special Merit Awards.
The Nebraska Football Hall of Fame is sponsored by the Nebraska Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame. The College Football Hall of Fame opened its headquarters in Atlanta in 2014.
Prior to 2015, players must have been either an All-American or first-team all-conference selection to make the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame ballot. Beginning in 2015, Huskers who earned second-team all-conference honors dating back to the expansion of the Big Eight to the Big 12 (1996) and now the 14-team Big Ten, are eligible. Players are not eligible for the ballot until after a 10-year waiting period from the end of their collegiate careers. Major national award winners earn automatic induction. Active NFL players are not on the ballot.
This year’s Nebraska Football Hall of Fame class will celebrate together with an induction dinner on the University of Nebraska campus on Friday, Sept. 13. The class will be introduced prior to Nebraska’s football game with Northern Illinois at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 14.
2019 Nebraska Football Hall of Fame Inductees
Greg Jorgensen (1975-76-77) - A three-year starter at offensive guard, Greg Jorgensen was a second-team All-American by the Football News as a senior and was a two-time honorable-mention All-American and a two-time All-Big Eight selection in his final two seasons for the Huskers in 1976 and 1977. With Jorgensen helping pave the way for Nebraska’s offense, the Huskers ranked No. 5 nationally in scoring offense at 32.4 points per game in 1976, while ranking 10th in total offense at 407.8 yards per game. The Huskers ranked seventh nationally in rushing offense (302.5 ypg) during his senior season, while ranking 13th nationally in total offense (415.4 ypg). Jorgensen helped the Huskers to 28 total wins and a trio of final top-10 national rankings in his three seasons as a starter. He helped the Huskers to an Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl win over Texas Tech in 1976 and a Liberty Bowl win over North Carolina in 1977. The Minden, Nebraska native was a 10th-round pick of the New York Giants in the 1978 NFL Draft. An agricultural major at Nebraska, Jorgensen is a farmer in Minden. He and his wife, Sharon, have two children, Emily and Scot, and six grandchildren.
Mark Behning (1982-83-84) - An All-Big Eight offensive tackle on dominant Nebraska teams in the early 1980s, Mark Behning helped pave the way for some of the most prolific Husker rushing attacks in history. As a junior, Behning helped an offense, powered by Heisman Trophy-winning running back Mike Rozier, lead the nation with 401.7 rushing yards per game. The Huskers also led the nation in scoring offense with 52.0 points while racking up 546.7 total yards per game, the second-best total in the country. Behning earned his first letter as a sophomore tackle for the Huskers in 1982, when Nebraska led the nation in rushing offense (394.3 ypg), total offense (518.6 ypg) and scoring offense (41.1 ppg). He earned All-Big Eight honors on and off the field as a senior in 1984, while helping the Huskers rank third with 311.1 rushing yards and 12th nationally with 427.5 total yards per game. Nebraska’s 32.6 points per game ranked sixth in the country. He started every game as a senior despite battling an ankle injury and competed in the 1985 Senior Bowl. In his three years as a letterman on the O-line, Nebraska finished No. 3 (1982), No. 2 (1983) and No. 4 (1984) in the final Associated Press rankings. He helped the Huskers to New Year’s Day bowl wins over LSU in the Orange and Sugar bowls and was a starter in the 1983 national championship game against Miami in the Orange Bowl. The 6-6, 290-pounder out of Denton, Texas, went on to be a second-round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1985 NFL Draft. He spent the 1985, 1986 and 1987 seasons with the Steelers in the NFL. Behning, who returned to Nebraska to complete his engineering degree following his NFL career, spent 11 years as a teacher and coach at Denton High School. He is currently a senior project manager with Golden Sands General Contractors in Dallas. He and his wife have two daughters, two sons and four grandchildren.
Jay Foreman (1995-96-97-98) - A member of three national championship teams during his outstanding Husker career, Jay Foreman earned All-Big 12 honors as a junior and senior, while contributing for four straight seasons on the field. The linebacker from Eden Prairie, Minnesota, was a Butkus Award semifinalist as a senior in 1998, when he recorded a career-high 97 tackles, including seven tackles for loss and three sacks. In 12 games as a starter for the 1997 national champion Huskers, Foreman added 61 stops, including five TFLs and 1.5 sacks. He finished with 233 career tackles, including 15 TFLs and five sacks to go along with 19 quarterback hurries and six pass breakups. He also forced two fumbles and recovered another, while pulling down a pair of interceptions, including one that he returned 21 yards for a touchdown against Colorado in 1996. He majored in business administration at Nebraska and graduated in December of 1998. Following graduation, Foreman was a fifth-round pick of the Buffalo Bills in the 1999 NFL Draft. He played eight seasons in the NFL with the Bills, Houston Texans, New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers. He finished his NFL career with 527 tackles, 4.5 sacks and five fumble recoveries. During his NFL offseasons, he completed his MBA at Harvard. He is the president of The Foreman Foundation and continues to work as a commentator, professional speaker and author. Jay and his wife, Allison, live in Lincoln with their four children, daughters Soleil and Ciel, and sons, Logan and Grant.
Alex Henery (2007-08-09-10) - One of the most accurate kickers in college football history, Alex Henery earned first-team All-America honors as a senior at Nebraska in 2010. The 6-2 place-kicker/punter out of Omaha Burke High School was a Rudy Award finalist and a two-time Lou Groza Award semifinalist. An All-Big 12 selection as both a place-kicker and punter in 2009 and 2010, Henery connected on 193-of-194 PATs in his career, while converting on an NCAA-record 88.9 percent (68-76) of his career field goals. From inside 50 yards, Henery hit 63-of-65 career field goal attempts. As a senior in 2010, Henery went a perfect 54-for-54 on PATs and hit 18-of-19 fields. He finished his Husker career with a school-record 397 points. His 68 career field goals were a school record, including a season-record 24 field goals as a junior in 2009. He also set the school and Memorial Stadium record with his 57-yard field goal against Colorado in 2008. While he rewrote the Husker record books as a place-kicker, he was also Nebraska’s starting punter his final two seasons in Lincoln. He averaged 43.2 yards per punt as a senior. He pinned opponents inside their own 20 on 26 of his 69 punts. As a junior, he buried the opposition inside its own 20 of 30 occasions and boomed a career-long 76-yard punt against Virginia Tech. In the same game against the Hokies, Henery hit on a career-high five field goals. The Omaha native was chosen with the 120th overall pick in the fourth round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. In 2011, Henery set the NFL record for field goal accuracy by a rookie kicker (.889, 24-27) while also hitting all 46 of his PATs. In 2012, he connected on a franchise-record 22 consecutive field goals, while finishing 27-of-31 (.871) on the season. He spent the 2013 season with the Eagles, hitting 23-of-28 field goals (.821) while hitting all 45 of his PATs. He was also a member of the Detroit Lions in 2014. He and his wife, Johna, have a son, Landen, and the couple lives in Omaha, where he works for Tetrad Property Group as a project manager. Henery was a construction management major at Nebraska.
2019 Hall of Famers from the State College Ranks
Richie Ross (Nebraska-Kearney, 2002-03-04-05) - The most prolific wide receiver in the history of the University of Nebraska at Kearney, two-time NCAA Division II All-American Richie Ross caught 279 passes for 4,882 yards and 50 touchdowns for the Lopers from 2002 to 2005. In addition to his school-record receiving totals, Ross also threw three touchdown passes and ran for another score during his UNK career. The four-time All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference selection was the 2003 RMAC Offensive Player of the Year as a sophomore, after amassing a school-record 1,482 receiving yards. His top performance that season included 16 receptions for a school-record 317 yards against Fort Hays State. As a senior, he covered 1,360 yards on 87 receptions with 19 touchdowns. He added two more receiving touchdowns with 131 yards in the Division II All-Star Game at the conclusion of his senior year. After beginning his collegiate career with a basketball scholarship to South Dakota, Ross transferred to UNK to play football. In 2002, he was the RMAC Freshman of the Year, leading the Lopers to the RMAC title and their first-ever NCAA Division II playoff berth. One of only two athletes in the history of the state of Nebraska to be named both the Lincoln Journal Star Prep Boys Athlete of the Year (2000, Lincoln High) and the Journal Star State College Male Athlete of the Year (2006, UNK), Ross was a first-team Super-Stater in both football and basketball as a senior for the Links, while adding a gold medal in the triple jump. The 6-4, 200-pounder signed with the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent in 2006. He was a practice squad member for the Tennessee Titans in 2006 and made the Titans’ active roster in 2007. Ross was inducted into the University of Nebraska at Kearney Athletic Hall of Fame in 2018. He was also inducted into the Nebraska Black Sports Hall of Fame in 2017. Ross will be inducted into the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame on Sept. 22, 2019. He lives in Lincoln where he works for the Lincoln Public Schools. He has three children, Richard Jr., Quincy and Adrienne.
2019 Hall of Fame Coach
Brad Smith (Chadron State, 1987-2004) - Former Chadron State coach and athletic director Brad Smith becomes the 36th coach and the first since 2012 to be inducted into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame. Smith spent 18 seasons (1987-2004) leading the Eagles and was a three-time Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Coach of the Year (1996, 1999, 2001). Smith led Chadron State to a 10-0 regular season and a final No. 7 AFCA national ranking in 2001. His 2002 and 2003 teams also finished in the AFCA Top 25, while his 1996, 1998, 2000 and 2001 teams all advanced to the NCAA Division II playoffs. His 1989 and 1990 teams advanced to the NAIA Division II playoffs and finished in the top 10, after he built the program from a 1-8 record in his first season in 1987. At the conference level, Smith’s Chadron State teams won the 1996 and 2001 RMAC titles and shared the crowns in 1998, 1999 and 2002. As part of the RMAC’s 100th anniversary celebration in 2009, Smith was named the RMAC’s all-time football coach. Although Smith retired from coaching in 2004, he continued as Chadron State Athletic Director until 2013. Smith got his start in coaching at Chadron State in 1972, after completing his college career as a cornerback at Western Illinois. He earned his master’s degree from Chadron State in 1973. After a brief stint as the secondary coach at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Smith spent three seasons as the head coach at Alliance High School. After four seasons as a high school coach in Wisconsin and six seasons as an assistant at Western Illinois, he returned to Chadron State in 1987. Brad and his wife, Pam, have three children.
The seventh-annual Nebraska Football Road Race will take place on Sunday, July 14. The one-mile fun run begins at 8 a.m. and the 5K run will follow, with an estimated start time of 8:30 a.m. Both races will start and finish on Stadium Drive just outside the west side of Memorial Stadium.
The history of the Nebraska Football Road Race is directly tied to the inspirational relationship created in 2012 between former Nebraska running back Rex Burkhead and Jack Hoffman. Because of this relationship, the Nebraska football team has been committed to raising awareness and funds for pediatric brain cancer research. In the six previous road races, a total of just over $230,000 has been raised.
Fans can register for the races by going to www.huskers.com/roadrace. Online registration is open until July 10 at 5:59 p.m. The cost until July 10 is $25 for the one-mile fun run and $30 for the 5K. Runners will also receive a commemorative race-day shirt and bracelet. All proceeds will benefit the Buffet Cancer Center at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and its pediatric brain cancer research efforts.
Runners can still register after July 10 by going to the Lincoln Running Company (1213 Q St.) and paying a $40 late-registration fee for the 5K and $30 late-registration fee for the one-mile fun run. Registration at the Lincoln Running Company closes at 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 13. Runners can also sign up on race day for either the 5K or the one-mile fun run for $40 at the check-in table located near the start/finish line, but will not be listed in the results due to chip timing. Shirt sizes for late registrants are not guaranteed. Additionally, the first 1,000 registrants will be invited to watch a preseason Nebraska football scrimmage in Memorial Stadium in August. A date has not been finalized. Each registrant will receive an email with more details about the scrimmage as the date approaches.
The Nebraska Football Road Race is also a great way for fans to meet the team prior to the season. Select players will participate in the one-mile fun run and registrants will have opportunities to interact with the members of the Nebraska football team at the event.
Lincoln –A new era for Nebraska basketball begins on Friday, Sept. 27, as the Huskers will usher in the Fred Hoiberg era at Pinnacle Bank Arena with Opening Night with Husker Hoops.
The event, which is free to the public, will feature a musical act which will be announced at a later date. The night includes introductions of the 2019-20 Huskers, a live scrimmage on the brand new PBA court, remarks from Coach Hoiberg, fan contests, giveaways and more.
“We wanted to kickoff basketball season with an event that allows our fans to have a good time and get an early preview of our team as we start practice,” Hoiberg said. “We hope this event is not only the start of a new tradition for our program, but also the start of festive weekend with the Husker football team hosting Ohio State the following day.”
Pinnacle Bank Arena doors will open at 6 p.m. with the event beginning at 7 p.m.
Fans can start registering for lower bowl tickets on Huskers.com/Tickets beginning on Monday, July 15, at 10 a.m. with a limit of four reserved tickets per person. Upper bowl seats will be opened as needed. A limited number of student seats will be held for RedZone season-ticket holders, and information on how to reserve tickets for the event will be communicated directly to student season ticket holders.
Opening Night with Husker Hoops begins a busy weekend on the Nebraska campus, as the Husker football team hosts Ohio State the following day.
It was a battle of the best of the best Saturday at the Peter and Dolores Graff Events Center in McCook. When it was all over and the dust had cleared, it was ultimately the West Side’s skills and determination that came out on top.
This year marked the third annual Wild West All-Star Volleyball Classic hosted by the McCook Community College Volleyball Team. Players came from all over Southwest Nebraska to compete.
They were nominated by high school coaches, then, through process of elimination, placed on either the East Side Team, coached by Athena Messinger and Nick Nothnagel, or the West Side Team coached by MCC alum Dylann Bylund.
In the end, the West Side swept the East Side in a 3-0 win with match scores of 25-15, 25-11, and 25-21. The MVPS were the East Side’s Jennifer Nava, of Lexington, with one kill and 10 digs and the West Side’s Madison Mendoza, of Ogallala, who had two kills, seven digs and 21 assists.
Other West Side Team members included: Mackenzie Anderson, Emma Krab and Lilly Fair of Ogallala; Monique Gooden, of Wauneta-Palisade; Amanda Horinek and Kyleigh Scott, of Hitchcock County; Abbie Hedgecock and Peyton Negley of North Platte High School; Emily Barr, Channing Holm and Ashley Hassett, of Hershey; Grace Frederick and Adalene Krutsinger, of Dundy County-Stratton and Allison Owings, of Chase County.
In addition to Nava, the East Side Team consisted of Baylee Diefenbaugh, of Elwood; Lindsay Schutz, of Bertrand; Nicole Dewey, of Southwest; Alex Ellermeier, of Medicine Valley; Joslyn North and Chloe Carlson of Arapahoe; Calli Groseth, Hayley Homan and Kaleigh Kummer of North Platte St. Pat’s; Jayceea Hanson and Robin Grigg of McCook and Amaya Ackerman, Kendal Wahlgren, Ainsley Rickertson and Lauren Johnson of Gothenburg.
“This was our third year of running this all-star match, which was previously known as the Sertoma,” said Hayley Kobza, MCC head volleyball coach. “We try to change it up every year and hope we can continue to make it better for the players and the fans. The MCC Lady Indians and I would like to thank all of the sponsors of the all-star players that made this event possible. We also owe a huge thank-you to everyone who volunteered their time to make this event run smoothly.”
After reviewing 2018 Nebraska Football Fan Day, the Athletic Department recognized the need to change the process of managing Coach Frost’s autograph line. Because of the incredible demand last year, more than half of the people in Coach Frost’s line were not able to get his autograph in the two-hour window.
Subsequently, the decision was made to limit Coach Frost’s line to kids only for 2019 Fan Day. The athletic department staff members in charge of organizing Fan Day made the decision to limit access to Coach Frost’s line to children who were members of the Nebraska JV Team.
After further consideration, the Fan Day organizers recognize this was a mistake. Limiting access to JV Team members could prevent some children from having the opportunity to be a part of Coach Frost’s line.
It is important to Coach Frost that all children have an equal opportunity to receive his autograph on Fan Day. To that end, the Athletic Department has determined that JV Team membership will now be free.
Parents are encouraged to sign their children (eighth grade or younger) up for the JV Team in order to have a chance to be selected for Coach Frost’s autograph line. Registration for the JV Team will begin on July 8 at 10 a.m. Approximately 250 JV team members will be randomly selected in advance for a spot in Coach Frost’s line.
Coach Frost also plans to autograph 8x10 photos that will be distributed to the first 1,000 kids at Fan Day that are not a part of his autograph line.
Nebraska Football Fan Day presented by U.S. Cellular is set for Thursday, Aug. 1 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Vanderbilt swept the Southeastern Conference regular-season and tournament titles, set the league record for wins, tied the record with 13 draft picks and lost back-to-back games just twice.
Now the Commodores are national champions.
Mason Hickman and Jake Eder combined for 14 strikeouts, Michigan ace Karl Kauffmann was knocked out in the fourth inning, and the Commodores won the College World Series with an 8-2 victory in Game 3 of the finals Wednesday night.
Vandy (59-12) won its second title in its four CWS appearances, all since 2011. The other one came in 2014.
"I felt we were going to hit well, I felt we were going to play well. I thought this was going to be a nice night for the kids," coach Tim Corbin said.
Freshman Kumar Rocker, who was dominant in two CWS starts, was selected the Most Outstanding Player.
Hickman struck out 10 in six innings and limited the Wolverines (50-22) to one hit after he gave up three in a row to start the game. Kauffmann, making his third start in the CWS, struggled with his control, and Vandy broke open the game with three runs in the third inning and two in the fourth.
When Ako Thomas flew out to center to end the game, the Vandy dugout and bullpen emptied and catcher Philip Clarke sprinted to the mound to embrace Eder.
During the postgame celebration, Vandy players invited Teddy and Susan Everett to join them on the stage set up behind home plate. Their son, Donny Everett, was a star freshman pitcher on the 2016 team and drowned before the start of that year's NCAA Tournament. The seniors on this year's team were his teammate.
"Those two mean so much to this program and all the players and the seniors," shortstop Ethan Paul said. "To this day, every time I look at Teddy I think of Donny, and just being able to share that moment with them was something we all really wanted to do."
The loss ended a surprising postseason for Michigan, which went from being one of the last four teams picked for the 64-team NCAA Tournament to becoming the first Big Ten team to play in the finals since Ohio State in 1966. It was Michigan's first CWS since 1984.
"They have inspired future generations of Michigan baseball players with the belief that winning a national championship is possible," coach Erik Bakich said. "The only way you can have an Omaha program is to have an Omaha team. This is very much a tipping point for us."
Michigan staved off elimination in the first two rounds of the national tournament after squandering leads. The Wolverines knocked off No. 1 national seed UCLA to reach the CWS.
"We were hoping it would end in a better way," first baseman Jimmy Kerr said. "We'll look back — maybe not in a week or in a month — but down the road it will be fond memories."
Bakich was an assistant to Corbin from 2003-09 at Vanderbilt, and the two remain close friends.
"He's put together a remarkable year with those guys," Corbin said. "Where they came from ... they gave us everything we wanted and more."
Vandy is the sixth national champion from the SEC since 2009 and 12th overall, second only to the 18 won by the Pac-12 and its previous iterations. At No. 2, Vandy became the highest national seed to win it all since Miami in 2001.
Hickman gave up three straight singles to start the game, leading to Michigan's first run. He retired nine of the next 10, striking out six, and got out of trouble when the Wolverines loaded the bases in the fourth. He retired the last six he faced before turning the game over to Eder.
Hickman fanned nine or more in five of his final six starts and allowed one or fewer runs in nine of his last 13.
Though the Commodores brought to Omaha an offense ranked in the top five nationally in the major categories, it was pitching that carried them for most of their stay.
Vandy had eight runs on nine hits Wednesday, but its .221 average in six CWS games was the lowest for a national champion in the aluminum bat era that started in 1974.
Vandy got hits when it needed them in Game 3. Pat DeMarco sent Kauffmann's hanging slider 407 feet into the left-field bleachers — his seventh homer of the season and 100th for the Commodores — to tie it at 1 in the second.
The Commodores scored three runs with two outs in the third. Two walks and a single loaded the bases, and Kauffmann walked in the go-ahead run. Stephen Scott singled in two more.
Kauffmann tied a career high with five walks, and Jeff Criswell relieved him after Kauffman walked Ty Duval leading off the fourth, and JJ Bleday's single and Ethan Paul's sacrifice fly stretched the lead to 6-1.
Vandy pitchers combined for a 2.50 ERA over six CWS games. Hickman allowed one earned run and struck out 13 in 12 innings. Rocker, who threw the no-hitter in super regionals that already is part of college baseball lore, gave up two earned runs and fanned 17 in 12 1/3 innings. The staff averaged 10.1 strikeouts per nine innings.
"I know our offense was celebrated for a long period of time, but you look at what happened in this tournament, and it was pitching and defense, and certainly starting pitching," Corbin said. "We won this in 2014, it was relief pitching. In this tournament it was starting pitching."
Lincoln – The Big Red heads to Europe later this summer, as the Husker basketball team will travel to Italy from Aug. 3-13.
The Huskers will spend nine days in Italy, visiting Rome, Florence and Como while balancing sightseeing and basketball on the trip. Nebraska will play four games on the trip, facing Stella Azzurra Academy (Aug. 5) and Italian Select (Aug. 12), as well as two games against Silute BC, a club based out of Lithuania (Aug. 7-8).
For Nebraska Coach Fred Hoiberg, the trip has numerous benefits for the Huskers, who will be taking their first foreign trip since 2015.
“We are fortunate to have a foreign trip this year with the number of new faces we have in our program,” Hoiberg said. “It will be a valuable experience for our players because it helps to build chemistry both on and off the court. We will have a lot of team activities where they will have time to be together and learn more about each other. For our staff, the 10 practices before we leave will give us a head start on installing our system, and the chance to play four games provides an opportunity to experiment with different lineups and combinations.”
The trip begins with three days in Rome, where team will visit many of the main attractions, including Vatican City and the Colosseum before heading to Florence. While in Florence, the Huskers will visit the Accademia Gallery, which features sculptures of Michelangelo and other famous Italian artists, and other sights in the Tuscany region, including the cities of Lucca and Pisa. The trip concludes with a visit to the Ferrari Museum and three days in Como, including a boat tour of Lake Como and a guided tour of Lugano, Switzerland.
To prepare for the trip, the Huskers will begin practice the week of July 15, and will have 10 practices prior to departing for Italy. The only member of the team that won’t be at practice will be incoming freshman Yvan Ouedraogo, who will be playing with the French U-18 team this summer at the European Championships.
The Huskers will look to replace all five starters, including All-Big Ten performer James Palmer Jr. and second-round NBA draft pick Isaiah Roby, from last year’s team that reached the second round of the NIT. In all, 12 of the 13 scholarship players have not played a game at Nebraska. The only returnee who saw playing time a year ago is junior Thorir Thorbjarnarson, who played in 25 games and made seven starts. The summer trip will also mark the Husker debut of Dachon Burke, who earned all-conference honors at Robert Morris in 2017-18 by averaging 17.6 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game before sitting out last season.
Most of Hoiberg’s first recruiting class will make their debut on the Huskers’ Italian Tour. The group, which was NU’s second-highest recruiting class in the Big Ten era by 247Sports, features junior college guards Cam Mack and Jervay Green, who both were rated among the top 10 junior college players in the country by JUCOrecruiting.com, and senior grad transfers Haanif Cheatham and Matej Kavas. The incoming freshmen are led by Samari Curtis, who was Mr. Basketball in Ohio last year after averaging 34 points per game, Akol Arop, who was the Gatorade Player of the Year in Nebraska last season, and Kevin Cross, who was a two-time all-state performer in Arkansas.
Husker Basketball Italy Trip Game ScheduleDate Opponent
Mon., Aug. 5 Stella Azzurra Academy Rome (Arena Altero Felici)
Wed., Aug. 7 Silute BC (Lithuania) Ponte Buggianese (Palazzetto Sandro Pertini) 8 p.m. 1 p.m.
Thurs., Aug. 8 Silute BC (Lithuania) Ponte Buggianese (Palazzetto Sandro Pertini) 6 p.m. 11 a.m.
Mon, Aug. 12 Italian Select
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Vanderbilt's go-to guy throughout the postseason once again delivered a dominant performance.
Freshman Kumar Rocker struck out 11 while pitching 6 1/3 innings of three-hit ball, and Vanderbilt got to Michigan's shaky bullpen in a 4-1 win in Game 2 of the College World Series finals Tuesday night.
The Commodores (58-12), who set the Southeastern Conference single-season wins record, forced a winner-take-all Game 3 on Wednesday night at TD Ameritrade Park.
"We had the right guy on the mound," Vandy coach Tim Corbin said. "I haven't been around him that long, but I know the fibers of the kid. I know how he's directed. I know how he thinks. I know how he attacks."
Rocker (12-5), who pitched a no-hitter against Duke in the super regionals the last time the Commodores faced elimination, set the tone in another in a line of strong performances. Ten of the 6-foot-4, 255-pound Rocker's first 11 pitches were strikes.
Michigan (50-21) failed to score in the opening inning for the first time in its five CWS games, and five of its first six batters struck out.
"He's as advertised," Michigan coach Erik Bakich said. "He's got a special breaking ball that's tough to see. You try to sit on a fastball, and he throws enough of those breaking balls for strikes. You try to sit on the breaking ball, and he gets you with a 95-mph fastball."
Redshirt freshman Isaiah Paige (4-1), pitching for the first time since June 8 in regionals, drew the start for Michigan and worked four-plus innings.
The problems for the Wolverines started after Paige departed. The Commodores picked up an unearned run in the fifth and then Jack Weisenberger, who relieved Benjamin Keizer with two runners on in the sixth, let in two runs on wild pitches to back-to-back batters.
Philip Clarke's ninth homer, against Angelo Smith, made it 4-0.
Other than Jeff Criswell, a starter until the postseason, Michigan's bullpen hadn't been tested until Tuesday. The Wolverines used only three pitchers in winning their first four CWS games.
"I thought early we were squeezing it," Corbin said. "We settled in a little bit better as the game went along, and we took the runs that were given to us. But at the same time, I thought we hit the ball better from the fifth inning and on, after Clarkey hit that home run actually."
Rocker worked around two singles, two walks and two errors through six shutout innings. Jack Blomgren singled against him leading off the seventh and a balk put him on second. Rocker struck out Joe Donovan and then left to an ovation from the fans behind the Vanderbilt dugout.
"It's comforting as a team to have a freshman that can do what he does on a daily basis, on a weekly basis," said Clarke, Vandy's catcher. "It gives us the energy we need, especially on a day like today."
Michigan scored its only run when Ako Thomas greeted closer Tyler Brown with a base hit.
Rocker is 10-1 in his last 11 starts, and he's 4-0 in the NCAA Tournament with a 0.96 ERA, 44 strikeouts, five walks in 28 innings.
The Wolverines had two runners on base against him in three innings, including the fourth, when they stranded men at second and third.
"That was a big moment for me," Rocker said.
Michigan lost leadoff man and designated hitter Jordan Nwogu to a pulled left quad in the third inning. He was hurt running to first on a grounder and had to be helped off the field.
Dominic Clemente, a .200 hitter who hasn't had a hit since May 4, took Nwogu's place and struck out looking in his two at-bats. Bakich said Nwogu probably is out for Game 3 and that Riley Bertram, Miles Lewis or Clemente would be in the lineup.
Michigan is playing for its first national title since 1962, and Vanderbilt is trying for its first since 2014. The Wolverines will send Karl Kauffmann (12-6) to the mound against Mason Hickman (8-0) in Game 3.
Bakich said he isn't worried about how his team will react. The Wolverines have thrived in high-pressure situations. They avoided going 0-2 in the Big Ten Tournament with a walk-off win over Illinois that helped them secure one of the final four at-large bids in the NCAA Tournament. They also fought off elimination in the regionals and super regionals.
"I think it only seems fitting that our team would go to three games," Bakich said. "That's just kind of been our M.O. here in all these rounds. Just seems like we're very comfortable in that spot. After the game, just sensed a calmness of our team, and they're excited to play tomorrow."
The Nebraska women's basketball team will take on Creighton in the annual meeting between the two schools on Sunday, Nov. 24 at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln.
The traditional clash with the Jays becomes the second announced game on Nebraska's 2019-20 season schedule, joining the Huskers' home game with Duke at Pinnacle Bank Arena in the B1G/ACC Challenge on Wednesday, Dec. 4, which was announced last week.
Nebraska returns all but one player from its 2019-20 roster, including four freshmen who combined for 893 points last season. It was the most points scored by a Husker freshman class since 1981-82, while the quartet (Leigha Brown, Sam Haiby, Kayla Mershon, Ashtyn Veerbeek) played the third-most minutes (2,222) of any freshman class in Nebraska women's basketball history.
The Huskers also return two-time All-Big Ten guard Hannah Whitish. The senior from Barneveld, Wis., needs just 34 points to become the 33rd 1,000-point scorer in Nebraska history. Fellow senior and three-year starter Nicea Eliely will add more experience for the Big Red, along with seniors Grace Mitchell and Kristian Hudson and juniors Taylor Kissinger and Kate Cain. Kissinger (Minden, Neb.) finished fourth in the nation by knocking down 45.6 percent (62-136) of her three-point attempts last season.
Incoming freshmen Isabelle Bourne, Trinity Brady and Makenzie Helms are also set to help the Huskers in 2019-20.
Creighton finished with a 15-16 overall record in 2018-19 that included an 8-10 BIG EAST Conference mark. The Jays will lose two-time first-team All-BIG EAST forward Audrey Faber to graduation. A four-year starter, Faber led the Jays in scoring (16.4 ppg), assists (86), blocks (55), three-pointers (65), free throws made and attempted (74-95) while ranking second on the team with 5.0 rebounds per game.
Creighton also loses senior Jade Owens (4.4 ppg, 3.8 rpg) and Brooke Kissinger, the older sister of Husker junior-to-be Taylor Kissinger. Brooke Kissinger (15) and Owens (19) combined for 34 starts last season.
Despite the losses of three seniors, Creighton will feature talented returners in senior Jaylyn Agnew (11.8 ppg, 6.6 rpg) and junior Temi Carda (10.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg), who both averaged double-figure points in 2018-19. Agnew earned a spot on the BIG EAST All-Tournament team as a junior, after earning second-team All-BIG EAST honors as a sophomore in 2017-18. She was the 2016-17 BIG EAST Freshman of the Year.
Senior Olivia Elger (7.3 ppg, 2.9 rpg) and junior Tatum Rembao (5.5 ppg, 2.6 rpg) add experience and production for the Jays.
Nebraska leads the all-time series with Creighton 30-14, dating back to the first meeting between the two teams on Jan. 31, 1975 - one of the first games in Husker history.
Nebraska fans can mark Thursday, Aug. 1 on their calendar as the date to meet their favorite Huskers at Nebraska Football Fan Day presented by U.S. Cellular.
The annual event will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Memorial Stadium. Fan Day is annually the best opportunity to meet and greet the Nebraska football players, coaches and staff before the start of the football season.
Fans should be aware of a couple changes to this year’s Fan Day. In order to manage the intense demand for Head Coach Scott Frost’s autograph line, only Nebraska JV Team members will be allowed in the Frost autograph line. The Nebraska JV team is the official kids’ club of the Huskers and is open to all kids in the eighth grade and below.
Those interested in joining the Nebraska JV team can do so beginning on July 1, by visiting Huskers.com/JVTeam.
The Coach Frost autograph line will be limited to a pre-determined number of Nebraska JV Team members on a first-come, first-served basis. The JV team members will check in at 4:30 p.m. at the Hawks Championship Center entrance.
Each JV team member may be accompanied in the line by one adult and can have one item signed. The JV team member will also be able to take a picture with Coach Frost, who will be stationed inside the Osborne Athletic Complex similar to last year’s setup. More information on Fan Day will be sent to JV Team members as Fan Day nears.
All Nebraska players and assistant coaches will be on the Memorial Stadium field, seated in similar locations as last year near the West sideline. All Husker fans are welcome to access any of the position group lines on the field, and are asked to limit their autograph requests to one item per player or coach.
More information on fan entrances and exits, parking, concessions, restrooms and other Fan Day details will be forthcoming.