Easley leads Husker hoops to win in final game in Italy; Hoiberg hopes trip builds camaraderie

Easley leads Husker hoops to win in final game in Italy; Hoiberg hopes trip builds camaraderie

Nebraska men's basketball logo 2014

Led by Charlie Easley's 15 points, the Nebraska men's basketball team wrapped up its Italy trip with an 84-62 win over Italian Select Monday in Como, Italy.

Easley, a walk-on from Lincoln Pius X, came off the bench to score all his points, including back-to-back three-pointers in the first quarter to ignite the Huskers after a slow start. He was one of four players in double figures.

Nebraska finished 4-0 on its trip, winning three games by double figures.

"We've been playing well all trip, and it's just good to go out like this and finish 4-0," Easley said. "And it's a good start coming into practices this fall."

Dachon Burke added 12 points for Nebraska while Shamiel Stevenson and Thorir Thorbjarnarson each had 11. Thorbjarnarson scored seven of Nebraska's first 12 points.

The group spent the weekend sightseeing in Como and Switzerland after playing three games in four days to start the trip. While that meant plenty of time for the players to become familiar with each other, there wasn't any room for practice between games.

"I think we saw good, great, bad and ugly just tonight in this one," NU coach Fred Hoiberg told the Husker Sports Radio Network. "It was a good trip for us for the fact that we got to spend a lot of time together. We've got a lot of work to do, there's no doubt about that. And like I told the guys in the locker room, I'm going to play the guys that go out there and do it the right way."

NU is scheduled to arrive back in Lincoln Tuesday evening, and the players will have a couple weeks off before reporting back to campus for the start of the fall semester. 

Hoiberg said his message to his team was to enjoy that time, because the work of building a team from the ground up will begin again at the end of the month.

But if nothing else, the Huskers were able to lay a foundation across the ocean.

"To me that's the most important part of this trip, especially for a group like ours. If we had 10 guys coming back and the core of the team, then maybe it's not quite as important. But for us, not only are we putting in a completely new system to these guys, they're spending a lot of quality time together," Hoiberg said. "And you could see them grow, you could see the chemistry get better as we went along on this trip. It was a very quiet group when we first got them all together, and it's fun to see them come out of their shell a little bit and see their personalities."

The Opening Night for Huskers Hoops event, which is features a live scrimmage, is Sept. 27. Nebraska has an exhibition game against Doane Oct. 30, with the regular-season opener against UC Riverside set for Nov. 5.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7436 or cbasnett@journalstar.com. On Twitter @HuskerExtraCB.


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