Nebraska’s 2009-10 Sweet Sixteen squad and the 2012-13 team share some similarities (they’re the only two teams in school history to go this far in the NCAA tournament, and they both have Lindsey Moore) as well as some differences (the ’10 group didn’t lose until the game before the NCAAs, the ’13 group lost to South Dakota State just four games into the season and had eight strikes on its record before tourney time).
But despite their differences, the two teams — two of Connie Yori’s last four, mind you — top the school’s charts for wins in a season. The 2010 team has the top spot locked up (even a national championship wouldn’t put the 2013 Huskers in the lead), but this year’s group moved into the No. 2 spot with their win over Texas A&M on Monday:
In 2009-10, Moore, a freshman point guard, started the full season and had 33 games under her belt heading into NU’s Sweet Sixteen appearance. But what about the game experience of the other four 2010 players?
2010′s total combined game started without Moore? 389.
By Selection Monday 2013, Moore had 129 games of experience as a starter (and 131 through Saturday’s win over the Aggies), but she’s surrounded by a much less-experienced group. Here’s the starts by the other four players on the floor through their Round-of-32 game:
That’s just 256 combined starts!
That relative inexperience — 133 fewer starts — might help explain why the Huskers had a few more bumps in the road en route to matching the 2010 team’s Sweet Sixteen appearance.
Of course, excluding Moore as a freshman is not the same as excluding Moore as a senior. When you do count Moore, both teams have approximately the same number of combined starts (389 in 2010; 386 in 2013). In other words, her relative inexperience as a freshman helped lower the team’s games-started stats in 2010, while her role as a four-year starter helps boost the 2013 numbers.
But if you took note that the possible first-round WNBA pick is the common factor in NU’s two Sweet Sixteen teams, it’s worth noting that she’s made it there with a vastly different group of teammates around her.