LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The Nebraska basketball offense is on a roller-coaster ride that the amusement parks at Disney World, SeaWorld and Universal Studios might envy.
In the first half of the first game at the AdvoCare Invitational, Nebraska shot 25 percent from the field, missed 10 straight shots in one stretch and fell behind by 16 points in losing 68-59 to UCF.
In the first half of the second game, NU shot 62 percent from the field, made 11 straight shots in one stretch and led by 16 points in beating Marist 84-59.
Coach Tim Miles said Saturday he hopes the first-half offense from Day 2 shows up Sunday for the whole game when the Huskers (4-2) face Long Beach State (3-3) in the fifth-place game at 1:30 p.m. CST.
“We have a team with a complete split personality,” Miles said. “I’m hoping for the good one.”
Nebraska went from 13 assists by five players vs. UCF to 23 assists — the most in seven years — from nine players against Marist. Miles hopes the “ball movement is the key to happiness” mantra is taking hold.
“This group just has to learn to meld together,” he said, “and understand that ball movement and player movement is the key to us being the kind of offensive team we want to be.”
Miles held individual meetings with players after the UCF loss, which included giving up a 19-0 run in the first half.
“It wasn’t a very pleasant film session,” Miles said. “Guys were really upset, but you have to correct things before they go bad. I like the idea that they are figuring out they need urgency going into a game.
“We’re learning how to prepare ourselves to play every time we go out. And when things go wrong, we’re learning how to self-correct and get back on the right trajectory.”
Sunday’s opponent, Long Beach State, lost its opening AdvoCare Invitational game 95-58 to Missouri, then bounced back to beat Oregon State 74-69.
“We were all embarrassed,” Long Beach coach Dan Monson said of the Missouri game. “I’m really proud our guys didn’t pout. They put it away, and came back and did something about it.”
Long Beach was the preseason pick to finish fourth in the nine-team Big West Conference. Senior forward Gabe Levin was a first-team all-conference pick.
Nebraska vs. Long Beach State
When: 1 p.m. Sunday
Where: HP Field House, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Radio: 1600 AM, 105.5 FM
C, Jordy Tshimanga, 6-11, So., 3.2
F, Isaac Copeland, 6-9, Jr., 12.7
G, James Palmer, 6-6, Jr., 14.7
G, Evan Taylor, 6-5, Sr., 9.7
G, Glynn Watson, 6-0, Jr., 12.3
Long Beach State (3-3)
F, Gabe Levin, 6-7, Sr., 14.0
F, Mason Riggins, 6-8, Jr., 5.7
G, Deishuan Booker, 6-3, Jr., 7.7
G, Barry Ogalue, 6-5, Sr., 11.3
G, Bryan Alberts, 6-5, Jr., 13.5