Published Saturday, Apr 12 at 6:34 pm
Tom’s Takes: Nebraska’s spring game
By / World-Herald Columnist

1. I don’t know where this Bo Pelini has been the last six years, but he’s a welcome sight. Actually, Pelini can be good to talk to and flashes a sense of humor — when he’s not sticking his jaw out to defy the world. Fans and media, including national media — are taking to this “fun” Bo. The cat entrance was brilliant fun. Not very many college coaches would parody themselves like that. What does it mean? Pelini’s popularity will still come down to wins and losses, turnovers and playmakers. But this is how Nebraskans want to see their coach. They want a guy they can like.

2. Nothing really jumped out at me on Saturday, other than Nebraska has a lot of …

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Published Thursday, Apr 10 at 6:16 pm
Shatel: NCAA’s future looks like the ‘Wild West’
By / World-Herald Columnist

World-Herald columnist Tom Shatel joined “The Bottom Line” with Mike’l Severe on Thursday to discuss award season for Creighton forward Doug McDermott, the Masters, Husker football and the tumultuous NCAA landscape with discussions of player unions, added benefits for athletes, conference realignment, pay-for-play and more.

“I believe that the future is going to be the Wild West. I believe it’s going to be wide open,” Shatel said of the NCAA. “I believe there are going to be things going on that you never dreamed of. I believe college athletics is going to look a lot different in the next 10 or 20 years.”

Check out the video below for the full discussion, or download the new TBL app in the App Store and on Google

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Published Friday, Apr 4 at 5:54 pm
The Doug Room
By / World-Herald Columnist

ARLINGTON, Texas — People have joked that Doug McDermott is going to have to have a house built just to have a place to put all of his national player of the year trophies.

McDermott has picked up three so far in two days here, and is expected to get the Naismith Trophy on Sunday night. He found out Friday he won the John Wooden Award, so that’s at least five.

No joke: Doug says he’s going to let Creighton keep them on display.

“I actually already talked to my dad, the other coaches and Ras (Athletic Director Bruce Rasmussen), and I think I’m going to put these in the new facility (championship center),” McDermott said after winning the Oscar Robertson Award.

“I think that …

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Published Friday, Apr 4 at 12:27 pm
Doug, the Basketball Heisman Tour. Day 2.
By / World-Herald Columnist

It’s only noon here in DFW, and Doug McDermott has already picked up two more national player of the year awards. With a third waiting later this afternoon.

The first was the Oscar Robertson Award, the player of the year honor from the United States Basketball Writers Association. The news conference took place at the Final Four media center at AT&T Stadium. Doug, his father, Greg, and family were on hand.

Also, the guy they called the Big O.

Robertson’s presence gives the award some extra shine and he was complimentary of Doug’s game and predicted he would only get better — “He has no idea how much he’ll improve” — once he gets to the NBA.

The Oscar trophy is a replica of …

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Published Thursday, Apr 3 at 5:06 pm
Get off my blog! (Dougie Heisman edition)
By / World-Herald Columnist

Greetings from Jerry World in Arlington, Texas, site of the Final Four and the Doug McDermott Basketball Heisman tour:

1. I haven’t covered the Final Four since 2008, when it was in San Antonio. Back when there weren’t San Antonio’s finest pigeons walking around the press room.

2. I pitched the idea to come here a couple months ago, because I knew Doug McDermott would be down here collecting a bunch of player of the year awards — if not playing.

3. The Final Four is a little like the Super Bowl, in that it’s a series of events around a big event. Several of those events are national player of the year announcements.

4. Our sports editor, Thad Livingston, agreed that this was the …

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Published Thursday, Mar 27 at 2:25 pm
Get off my blog! Unions, postgame with Greg, Tom’s bracket burns out
By / World-Herald Columnist

1. I’m not going to pretend to know what’s going to happen with this Northwestern union story. I’m not a lawyer and I don’t play one in the paper.

2. But it seems to me this is a crusade that may have a hard time keeping legs. Unless Kain Colter plans to pursue this for the next several years, which is how long it might be tied up in courts, it’s hard to see current college players picking up the ball and running.

3. Why? Because college players turn over every four years. Sometimes they leave college earlier. They pick up other priorities in their life, other interests.

4. Who’s that Marvin Miller of college athletes? There’s no leader of the pack. Once upon …

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Published Sunday, Mar 23 at 11:29 pm
Tom’s Takes: Baylor 85, Creighton 55
By / World-Herald Columnist

1. Scott Drew takes a lot of guff from us hoop experts, but give the Baylor coach credit. That was a nice wrinkle he came up with. I think a triangle-and-two is more effective when you have Baylor length. But I also think this underscored just how dependent CU was on Doug McDermott and Ethan Wragge to start the engine. When that happens, Jahenns Manigat needs to hit some shots. I thought CU should have driven the ball at the hoop more, like Nebraska was able to. That’s not the Jays’ game. But challenge the Baylor big guys. Get to the free-throw line. Anything.

2. The emails started pouring in late in the game about how assistant Patrick Sellers needs to go out and get …

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Published Sunday, Mar 23 at 4:48 pm
Pregame buffet: Creighton vs. Baylor
By / World-Herald Columnist

Some thoughts before Creighton’s latest biggest game of the year:

1. My adrenaline’s up after watching that Wichita State-Kentucky game. Wow. I wondered what the Shox would do in a tight game at the end. Would they make plays? They hadn’t exactly been in a lot of those situations. They held up more than well. Both teams did. What a high-level game. Game of the tournament so far.

2. I was a little surprised to see VanVleet get the last shot. Not that he couldn’t hit it, he could. But I was expecting Baker or Early to get the look. Obviously, so was UK.

3. No way was Wichita’s season a bust, but as a Missouri Valley team, how many chances do you have to …

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Published Friday, Mar 21 at 5:45 pm
Tom’s Takes: Creighton 76, Louisiana 66
By / World-Herald Columnist

1. This was a great win for Creighton, tougher than the wins over Alabama and Cincinnati the last two years. As a No. 3 seed, the Jays are the hunted, not the mid-major underdog. When Louisiana made its move, Creighton got tough and made some big shots. Kind of win that might not be appreciated, but should, and one of its best this season.

2. I wouldn’t call Austin Chatman unsung, but he’s my player of the game. The junior point guard kept Creighton in its quick pace, but along with six assists and driving duty, his 16 points were so, so big. In a game where Doug McDermott didn’t get many easy shots, and few of the other Jays were stepping up, Chatman hit …

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Published Friday, Mar 21 at 3:46 pm
Tom’s Takes: Baylor 74, Nebraska 60
By / World-Herald Columnist

1. Where have I seen this game before? UConn in 1992? New Mexico State at the Carrier Dome in 1993? The Big Eight hangover loss to Penn in 1994? Yes, yes and yes. The Huskers’ history is that they show up late for the dance, or don’t show up at all. And on Friday, that was the case again. Call it nerves. Call it inexperience. It was surreal to see shot after shot miss. The Huskers have needed their offense to feed off the defense, but I think in this case the reverse happened. Their defense suffered because of the frustration on offense. The refs weren’t good. But NU had some unnecessary fouls, too. Just a bad, bad day. Again.

2. I’ll give Tim Miles

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I always wanted to have my own sports bar. Let's face it, that's not going to happen. Too much work. So here's the next best thing: my own Omaha.com hangout, right on the corner of Sports St. and Opinion Ave. It's got a football theme, but you can come here to read about hoops, hockey, baseball, volleyball, even soccer (the bartender will act like he knows what he's talking about). Pull up a stool.

Latest Columns

Tom's Takes: Nebraska's spring game

Published Saturday, Apr 12

The Doug Room

Published Friday, Apr 04

Get off my blog! (Dougie Heisman edition)

Published Thursday, Apr 03