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February 27, 2009

Postin' Up with Cole Salomon

In this week's edition of Postin' Up, we sit down with junior guard Cole Salomon. After working his way to being a regular in the Huskers' rotation earlier this season, Salomon completed a journey that saw him go from Millard North to Nebraska-Kearney to Nebraska and then to Nebraska basketball player. He also claims to be able to beat former Husker defensive end Zach Potter in a game of one-on-one hoops, though a game of football is an entirely different story.

HI: You're another one of those guys that ended up on this team kind of unexpectedly through open tryouts. Talk about your journey to becoming a Husker.
CS: "Well, I first went to the University of Nebraska-Kearney to play basketball out there. Then I decided I'd go to UNL and join a fraternity there and hang out with my high school friends and stuff. I joined Sig Ep, and one of the things was to get to meet the upper class active members was to do little things for them, like clean their house or something like that. Well one day one of them said they'd write down their name if I tried out for the Nebraska basketball team. So I tried out, and I got like three names down. The assistant coaches called me up later that night, and here I am."

HI: Did you ever expect to get a call back from the NU coaches after your tryout?
CS: "I was really rusty going into the tryout so I had no idea. I always thought I could play Division I basketball, but I really didn't practice very hard. It was probably like half a year since I'd last played, so it was kind of a neat experience."

HI: What goes through your head when Doc finally looks down the bench during a game and calls your name?
CS: "It kind of startled me for a second, but I'd been working hard all year and waiting for my chance to help the team. At first, it was like a really big shock and everything, but once I got into the game I felt the energy of the crowd and stuff like that. I was just having a ball. It was a good number."

HI: So, your No. 43 isn't exactly the most common basketball number out there. How does one end up with No. 43?
CS: HI: Does that mean when Paul Velander graduates you're going to make a case for his No. 25?
CS: "(Laughs) No, I don't think so. I think 43 is my number for the long haul."

HI: There are some people around here that say high school basketball in Nebraska is nowhere near as good as it used to be a few years ago. As a former Millard North guy, why do you think that is?
CS: "I would say that kids from Nebraska are definitely team-oriented players. They work well within the team. Like when I played AAU ball back in high school, we weren't the best athletes, but we shared the ball a lot more and we won a lot of games just because we were a good team. I haven't watched much high school basketball lately, but we've had some great players come out lately. Zach Potter would've been a great player if he stuck with basketball. Unfortunately he went the football route."

HI: Speaking of Zach Potter, did you ever try and get him to be a two-sport athlete and come help you guys out in the post?
CS: "Yeah, me and Zach used to be really good friends. We played basketball together in middle school for like two or three years, and we went undefeated. Zach's one of my really good friends. I always joked around with him (about playing basketball at Nebraska), but he was definitely a one-sport guy. It would be nice for him to get in the post, because we could really use his size in there."

HI: So who wins between you two in a game of one-on-one?
CS: "Oh, of course me. I don't know, back in middle school, it was usually even. We'd usually play four games and split it two and two."

HI: What about in a game of football?
CS: "No. No. He'd kill me in football. He's way to big."



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