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October 17, 2007

Doc Sadler


PETER IRWIN: As we get back to basketball, we now have Doc Sadler from Nebraska up here. Coach, make a comment or two, please.
DOC SADLER: Thanks, first of all, for having me come in here and visit with you a little bit about basketball. It's always good to talk about basketball when you're from Nebraska (laughter).
It's been a short year. A year ago in August when we took over the program we didn't have a lot of time, and thankfully we had a group of guys that really bought into what we tried to do. And it made last season go by pretty quick, and at the same time I thought we got a lot of things done, probably not as much in wins and losses as we did, maybe just trying to build a program. We brought in a lot of new guys for this next season. We've got eight new players that you know, anybody that's followed college basketball, especially at this level, knows that that's going to be a challenge in itself.
But I couldn't be more pleased with the effort and for the most part the talent that these guys have brought into the program. The good news about having eight new players is they haven't been messed up yet. They don't understand that I'm trying to mess them up. So that's a plus.
But the one thing that we have is the big guy Aleks. When you have a chance to coach someone like this, you better enjoy it, because you won't get that opportunity very many times in your coaching career. He's not just a great basketball player, but as hard a worker as we've got in our program. He's put in a tremendous amount of time this summer to be the best that he can be. When your best player is a guy that is your hardest worker, then I think you have a chance to have some success, and I think that's what we've got in Aleks, and hopefully that's what we've got in our basketball team.

Q. Do you think that you've got the guys now to play the way that you like to play?
DOC SADLER: Yeah, I think we're getting closer. Obviously athletically we're much better on the wings, so we can defend a little bit more like we'd like to defend. And I don't think we've sacrificed our shooting ability, because I'm one that believes you've got to be able to shoot the basketball, I don't think you can put anyone out there. So.
Defensively, a little more, and offensively, also. We're going to play more 94 feet than maybe we have before. I think we've talked about it, I think we've got to find a niche at Nebraska that may be a little different and hopefully that will be the case.

Q. Last year it was a rush, you getting hired in August and that. How much has having the whole year to get ready for this season helped out as far as getting the program and everything stabilized?
DOC SADLER: Again, I think it helps a lot because even though we've got eight new players we still have some guys that went through the program last year that kind of now have it figured out what I want. And they're able to help those young guys and then the new guys. So even though we've got a lot of new guys, we do have some guys returning, and I think that helps.

Q. The early part of your schedule, can you give us some inclination about your thought process there, and also about the Big 12? You spent time at Arizona State. Talk about that as how it stands nationally as a great season?
DOC SADLER: I think first of all, as far as the Pac-10 Big 12 match-up, that's what you're seeing more of in the BCS schools. And you're getting leagues together that understand that come March, scheduling is going to be important. So it gives us an opportunity to have good opponents come to Lincoln. At the same time we're going to have return games.
Scheduling, as we all know, is probably -- next to the biggest key to recruiting of a program's success. So you can look at different people's schedule and say, well, they're playing this amount of teams that are so-called named schools or this amount of teams or whatever. I think you've got to look at your program individually, see where it's at, see what you're trying to deal with and go from there. I can't talk about someone else's schedule, I'm not concerned about it. But I think our schedule is one that we have some very good teams in preseason to help us get ready for conference play. At the same time I think we've got some teams coming in that hopefully we'll be able to compete with and get some confidence with the young team and get ready. I think all of those things come into factor when you're building a schedule. But overall I'm very pleased with it.

Q. What do you mean when you say you've got to find your niche, and what could that niche be?
DOC SADLER: I don't think we're going to be able to line up man for man and just say we're going to play man to man defense for 40 minutes and see who's got the best team with teams like Kansas, Texas, even A&M this year. I think we've got to maybe do something a little bit differently. I think we've found a couple of things last year if in some of the defenses that we tried to put in. But I'm not confused to think that we're going to line up with 13 players that is as good as some of the other teams. The three-point shot, the shot clock, some things like that, and next year when that thing moves back some more, I think it's going to help people like ourselves, maybe, do some things different that's not the traditional way or what some people may think is the traditional way. So we're going to press, and we're going to gamble a little bit more, try to get some easy baskets. That's the thing I learned last year in this league is it's so difficult to score. If I think we're just going to come down there and pound, it's not going to happen.
PETER IRWIN: Thank you very much.

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