#39 Nebraska Women's Basketball 2015-2016 Preview

Nebraska Cornhuskers

Overall Rank: #39
Conference Rank: #7 Big Ten
#39 Nebraska Women's Basketball 2015-2016 Preview
Nebraska Team Page


Nebraska reached their fourth straight NCAA Tournament. The stay was short, with the Cornhuskers falling to Syracuse in the first round, but it was a good season for a team that was without Rachel Theriot for much of Big Ten play. Theriot missed 11 games and the Cornhuskers were not the same without their point guard and leading scorer. Last season, in 21 games, she averaged 16.5 points and 5.2 assists. Her health is still a concern, so Nebraska will need her to be at 100 percent sooner or later.

2014-15 Record: 21-11, 10-8
2014-15 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Connie Yori
Coach Record: 262-153 at Nebraska, 457-293 overall

Coach Connie Yori brought in a lot of talent for this season. Kyndal Clark, a graduate transfer from Drake, is a huge addition. She missed nearly all of the 2014-2015 campaign, but the previous season she was the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year. During that season she averaged 19.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.9 steals. She also knocked down an impressive 41.1 percent of her 282 attempts from beyond the arc. That fills a huge need for Nebraska. Like Theriot, Clark did not participate in the team’s summer trip to Australia. Neither did one of the best recruits in the country, Jessica Shepard. She too is recovering from an injury. But when healthy, the 6-4 forward is a dominating interior force, but she can beat players off of the dribble too. That is a rare ability for a player of her size and she will make a huge impact for Nebraska right away. Fellow freshman forward Rachel Blackburn is overshadowed by Shepard, but she is widely regarded as a top 100 recruit in this class.

Nebraska does need to replace Tear’a Laudermill, Emily Cady, Brandi Jeffery and Hallie Sample. Those four started nearly every game last season and leave behind a lot of production. You cannot easily replace that talent with newcomers. Thus, the Cornhuskers will need leadership from some returning role-players. Natalie Romeo is a good place to start. She is a solid outside shooter and showed plenty of promise during her freshman campaign. The only other returning player who was part of the regular rotation last season is Allie Havers. The 6-5 center averaged 4.9 points and 3.0 rebounds in 14.8 minutes per game as a sophomore. Jasmine Cincore is a promising sophomore as well. She did not play much at all as a freshman, but did have some good showings during the summer tour.

Final Projection:
Losing four starters from a team that finished just 10-8 in conference play does not sound promising. However, Coach Yori did a superb job getting new players into the system that can make an immediate impact. Theriot on her own can win Big Ten games for Nebraska, but that promising talent around her must step up quickly and become viable scoring options. There will be some growing pains, yet by the time conference play rolls around, Nebraska will be a tough team to beat. That is assuming everybody can get healthy.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Rachel Theriot, Senior, Guard, 16.5 points per game
Kyndal Clark, Senior, Guard, DNP last season
Natalie Romeo, Sophomore, Guard, 9.0 points per game
Jessica Shepard, Freshman, Forward, DNP last season
Allie Havers, Junior, Center, 4.9 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 67.1 (114th in nation, 10th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 60.9 (96, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 40.7 (126, 10)
Field-Goal Defense: 37.7 (67, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.4 (151, 10)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 29.6 (225, 12)
Free-Throw Percentage: 74.2 (31, 4)
Rebound Margin: 2.4 (103, 6)
Assists Per Game: 14.8 (66, 10)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.7 (36, 2)

Madness 2016 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#16 Rachel Theriot

Madness 2015 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#3 Jessica Shepard
#92 Rachel Blackburn


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