#17 Nebraska Women's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Nebraska Cornhuskers

Overall Rank: #17
Conference Rank: #4 Big Ten
#17 Nebraska Women's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview
Nebraska Team Page


It was a very good season for Nebraska’s women’s basketball team, which parlayed a third-place regular-season finish into a Big Ten tournament title and an NCAA tournament bid. With 26 victories, the Cornhuskers made the most of their season and got to the second round of the tournament before falling in a close battle against BYU. With the return of several standout players, including junior guard Rachel Theriot, it promises to be another strong season in Lincoln. The only question is how much the rest of the Big Ten has improved along with Nebraska.

2013-14 Record: 26-7, 12-4
2013-14 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Connie Yori
Coach Record: 241-142 at Nebraska, 436-282 overall

Nebraska inaugurated its new Pinnacle Bank Arena last season with a 16-2 record at home, so there is no question Cornhusker players feed off of home-court advantage. They will also feed heavily off of Theriot, who averaged 14 points and seven assists per game. Theriot becomes the go-to player on the Husker squad, but she will have plenty of help in Emily Cady (12.7 points) and Tear’a Laudermill (11.8). This means over 38 points of scoring will return to the team this season. Cady also provides rebounding skills (9.2) that will be needed with the loss of other players on the roster. Nebraska’s defense will be first-rate once again as the Huskers return their steal leader and their blocked shot leader, so there will be plenty of reason to enjoy this team on both sides of the ball. Opponents averaged just 63.4 points per game, 12 points less than what Nebraska put on the board. It is no surprise that the Huskers did so well given these stats.

Even though only three players graduated from this team, one of them is Jordan Hooper (20.4 points, 9.1 rebounds per game). That will be a big loss for Nebraska, as her scoring power and ability to battle for the boards will be sorely missed. She was also adept at steals and saw action in all 33 games last season. That will be a big blow for Nebraska. If you can count this as a weakness, Nebraska was also 6-4 away from Pinnacle Bank Arena. It’s hard to quibble much about weaknesses when this team still wins 60 percent of its games on the road.

Final Projection:
The loss of Hooper will be muted somewhat by the return of the other four starters, but there is no doubt Hooper’s absence and her 20 points a game will be felt. Still, not only do four starters return but the team nabbed three top prospects in Natalie Romeo, Kaylee Page and Chandler Smith. These three are part of the top 100 freshmen in the nation, and that will help the Huskers to overcome her loss. Nebraska will be among the top teams to watch in the Big Ten once again, but the question is how much ground it will lose in the Big Ten as other teams improve. Still, the Huskers should be among the teams to watch in the conference, even if other teams could vault ahead of Nebraska in the conference picture.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA Tournament

Projected Starting Five:
Rachel Theriot, Junior, Guard, 14.1 points
Tear’a Laudermill, Senior, Guard, 11.8 points
Brandi Jeffery, Senior, Guard, 3.7 points
Emily Cady, Senior, Forward, 12.7 points
Hailie Sample, Senior, Forward, 6.2 points

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 75.6 (39th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 63.4 (75, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.0 (37, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.7 (140, 6)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.0 (60, 2)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.8 (32, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 79.8 (3, 1)
Rebound Margin: 5.5 (46, 4)
Assists Per Game: 17.0 (13, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.9 (24, 1)

Madness 2015 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#24 Tear'a Laudermill

Madness 2014 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#47 Natalie Romeo
#50 Kaylee Page
#62 Chandler Smith


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