Karhoff key to Mavs’ success on court

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January 17th, 2014

Omaha, NE – The men’s basketball team at the University of Nebraska at Omaha has been making more than a few waves this year.

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After playing several big-time basketball schools like Nevada, Iowa and Minnesota, UNO has shown it’s ready to become a force to be reckoned with in the Summit League. A healthy and mentally-motivated John Karhoff is critical to the Maverick’s success on the basketball court, according to UNO Head Coach Darrin Hansen.

“On the offensive end he has been great for us” Hansen said. “But then even defensively, he is kind of on the back line. He can see everything, he can communicate to our guards and he can communicate to the other bigs. So he has been very efficient and very good for us.”

Karhoff has led the Mavs in scoring for three of the last four games. He has also averaged 17 points per game over the last eight games.

“I feel like I am in a good groove right now,” Karhoff said. “I’m confident getting the ball down there on the low block. I think my teammates are confident in me now. It feels good to be playing well right now, but at the end of the day it’s all about the win.”

John Karhoff (44) has 1,163 career points as a Maverick. (Photo Courtesy UNO Athletics)

John Karhoff (44) has 1,163 career points as a Maverick. (Photo Courtesy UNO Athletics)

UNO lost their last two games to Hawaii and Western Illinois both, in the waning moments of each game. At Hawaii, the Mavs were called for a technical foul with 0:53 seconds remaining in the game. The call added to UNO’s frustration, after leading for most of the second half. They went on to drop the game, 77-73.

Against Western Illinois, UNO wasted a 12 point lead in the second half, allowing the Leathernecks to come back and force the game into overtime. In OT, UNO couldn’t keep pace with Western Illinois and lost, 79-72. Hansen said in both losses, Karhoff rose to the occasion. He said Karhoff brings a leadership to the court the team needs.

“John is number one a great kid and he is a very good student,” Hansen said. “He has a very bright future. If you take all those attributes and then you put his skill and his talent and his communication ability on the basketball floor and all of the sudden you have the complete person and the complete player.”

Karhoff is currently in 14th place all-time at UNO in career scoring, with 1,163 points scored. He is also in ninth place in all-time field goals made and 11th in total rebounds. Karhoff brushes off talk of individual statistics. He said he just wants to win.

“So far it’s been a lot of fun,” Karhoff said. “Obviously with the transition being a part of that here, there have been a couple of years where it has been a little difficult. Just with the adjustment period and things like that. I think this team has a chance to be real special and this is by far the best team I’ve been on. I think if we stay together and keep working hard then a lot of special things can happen for us.”

UNO is currently in the middle of a trip to the Dakotas. The Mavs lost Thursday in Fargo to Summit League leader North Dakota State, 91-69. In the game Karhoff fouled out in 27 minutes of play. He accounted for a block, a steal and six points in the loss to the Bison. UNO 10-6 (0-1 Summit) next travels to Brookings, S.D. for a game against South Dakota State. Tip-off is set for 4pm Saturday at the Sanford-Jackrabbit Athletic Complex.

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