Not long after Nebraska director of athletics Bill Moos reiterated his support for Tim Miles and the Husker men's basketball team on his monthly Sports Nightly appearance, NU assistant coach Michael Lewis took to the airwaves to talk about how the Huskers can dig out of their season-altering slump.
"It’s a long season. And being able to manage a whole season I think can be challenging. I think these guys realize they’ve got 10 games left, they’ve got half a Big Ten season left. It should be exciting, it should be fun, and we’ve got to get back to having some success and these guys showing some success," Lewis said on the Husker Sports Radio Network. "With that, you’ve just got to work. When you get in these funks, the only way I know to get out of it is to work.
"I can’t flip a light switch and just all of a sudden give you confidence. But I think we can continue to work, try to help these guys, put them in better positions to be successful on both end of the floor, and then let them soar with it."
Nebraska has lost four games in a row, and just finished up a 2-6 month of January after ending 2018 with an 11-2 mark. The latest loss came Tuesday against Wisconsin, when NU's offense disappeared for long stretches as the Huskers lost for the third consecutive time in Pinnacle Bank Arena.
The Huskers head to Illinois Saturday to begin the second half of Big Ten play. Yes there are still 10 conference games remaining.
"It comes down to being able to grind these games out. And having the mental toughness to, when you get in a back-and-forth game, to trust your teammates and trust each other that you can make the plays on both ends," Lewis said. "Can we develop the mental toughness to stay the course. In the flow of the game, there’s going to be ups and downs. And can you just keep an even keel and have the toughness to overcome that stuff."
More toughness would help, yes. But sometimes a team just needs to start playing better to spark momentum, Lewis said.
"We’ve just got to play well, gain some confidence, and feel good about ourselves for a little bit," Lewis said. "I don’t care if that’s at PBA, or Champaign, or a neutral site. I don’t care if it’s at Hendricks tomorrow. Let’s just come out and play well."