LINCOLN — There are two players on the Nebraska basketball roster whom Doc Sadler tried to talk out of joining the team.
It's not because he didn't want them.
Drake Beranek from the University of Nebraska at Kearney and Mitch Albers from the University of Nebraska at Omaha were honors winners, and each would have been the top returning scorer at his school.
Is there a coach who wouldn't want help from high-character, in-state players — Beranek is from Ravenna, Albers from Papillion — without using a scholarship?
"But I told both of them I wasn't sure it was in their best interests to come here,'' Sadler said.
"Because both had scholarships and successful careers at good programs,'' he said. "But I think both had already made their decision to come here if I would give them the chance to be a part of this.
"I told both of their mothers that you're making a huge sacrifice. But if that's what you want to do, you're welcome to try.''
Upon switching teams this summer, Beranek and Albers talked about their love for Nebraska athletics.
Beranek told how he got home from UNK games and would stay up late to watch the "Doc Sadler Show" on television. Albers said, "I'm a huge Husker fan, and always have been.''
Sadler said he feels honored that Beranek and Albers, who can practice this season but must sit out of games as transfers, wanted to come to NU.
"It speaks highly of the kids we've had here the past three years,'' Sadler said. "With the effort they have put in, people around the state are noticing our program. And that's a credit to our kids.''
Since arriving at Nebraska, Sadler has tried to immerse himself in the school's athletic history.
"I was reading about the football walk-on program,'' he said. "Given an opportunity, a kid who grows up in the state of Nebraska wants to play at Nebraska.
"I've always said a kid from Nebraska on your team brings something special to it. They understand the pride and the tradition much more than somebody from out of state.''
Now that Beranek and Albers are on campus, what does Sadler know about them?
"I have not seen either one of them play before,'' he said. "And I didn't know either one of them until they came to see us this summer.
"So I'm looking forward to when workouts start ...to see what we've got.''
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