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Game Day Essentials: Game #32 vs Minnesota


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#11 Nebraska Cornhuskers (16-15) vs #14 Minnesota Golden Gophers (8-21)



Date: March 8th, 2023
Time: 8:00 pm
Arena: United Center

Broadcast:  BTN

Minnesota Info

Head Coach: Ben Johnson
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Conference: B1G
Nickname: Golden Gophers

Mascot: Goldie the Gopher

Shirt Not to Wear: Gold, Maroon

Line: Nebraska by 5.5
Typical Rotation Depth: 7+

KenPom rank: 222

A couple of Famous Alumni: Kevin McHale, Bobby Jackson


  • Blaise Keita is a game time decision 
  • The last time Nebraska defeated the same team three times in the same season was Rutgers in 2016
  • A slight home court advantage for Fred Hoiberg and Nate Lenser who were both part of the Chicago Bulls operation before joining the Huskers
  • Nebraska won the first meeting at the Barn in OT behind 22 from Derrick Walker, 18 from Juwan Gary, and 17 from Sam Griesel.  Jamison Battle paced the Gophers with 20 while Dawson Garcia had 19. Less than two weeks ago, Nebraska won the rematch in Lincoln thanks to a fast start. Sam Griesel led the way with 19 while 6 Huskers finished with double digit scoring.  


KenPom Analysis: It's bad. However like Nebraska they tend to defend without fouling.




Player to watch: C Dawson Garcia

Garcia has two double-doubles this season and they're both against Nebraska as he's been able to dominate the boards. Defending him without fouling will be key for the Huskers


Player to watch: F Jamison Battle

Minnesota's leading returning scorer is a threat from both levels; shooting at a career low percentage from 2 and 3


KenPom most used lineup

55 Ta'Lon Cooper
6-4  195  Jr
24 Jaden Henley
6-7  200  Fr
1 Joshua Ola-Joseph
6-7  215  Fr
10 Jamison Battle
6-7  220  Jr
3 Dawson Garcia
6-11  230  So
55 Ta'Lon Cooper
6-4  195  Jr
4 Braeden Carrington
6-4  195  Fr
10 Jamison Battle
6-7  220  Jr
21 Pharrel Payne
6-9  255  Fr
3 Dawson Garcia
6-11  230  So


Others to watch

  • Morehead St transfer PG Ta'Lon Cooper has struggled with his shot in the B1G; 
  • 6'9" 255# Pharrel Payne is a rim protector, can pass, and is an inside bucket; has become more of scoring threat
  • Joshua Ola-Joseph is a high-energy 3 man; converts at a high percentage inside the arc
  • Freshman Jaden Henley has worked his way into the starting lineup and brings a ton of size at the 2
  • Dartmouth transfer guard Tarus Samuels has fallen out of the rotation
  • Freshman shooter Braeden Carrington has struggled against high level opponents


UNL Game Notes



Probable starters for Nebraska
5    Sam Griesel    G    6-7

30  Keisei Tominaga    G    6-2

10  Jamarques Lawrence - G  6-3

0   C.J. Wilcher    G    6-5

13  Derrick Walker    F    6-9



32  Wilhelm Breidenbach    F    6-10

12  Denim Dawson - F  6-6

15   Blaise Keita C   6-11

12   Sam Hoiberg    G    6-0

33  Oleg Kojenets    F    7-0

35  Henry Burt  F  6-6

24  Jeffrey Grace III  G  6-3



3   Quaran McPherson   G   6-3 - Out for the Year

4   Juwan Gary  F  6-6 - Out for the Year

25  Emmanuel Bandoumel    G    6-4 - Out for the Year



2   Ramel Lloyd Jr.  G 6-6

31  Cale Jacobsen  G  6-4


Hoiberg/Griesel/Walker Presser

Emphasizing that it's one game at a time. Blaise Keita could play and Hoiberg was hoping they could throw him out on the court



The Skinny: 

How much fight does Minnesota have left? Will this be a battle the entire game for the Huskers or will a quick start steer the Gophers towards ending a disappointing season?  Nebraska needs to win this game to try and secure a spot in the NIT but with 4-5 wins necessary to make the NCAA tourney, the Huskers will want to conserve energy as much as possible. Will be real interesting to see how both teams start out.


It'd be nice to have Blaise Keita in this one given the size of the Gophers though despite the size they aren't a strong rebounding team. A few minutes just to get his feet wet for potential future games would be optimal here. Oleg needs to play better than his last game vs Minnesota where he racked up 3 fouls in 6 minutes. 


Look for Nebraska to have space in the paint as Minnesota will have a man following Keisei wherever he goes. As long as the Gophers don't get hot from outside, Nebraska should be able to handle them. Let's keep the good times rolling.


Prediction: Nebraska 79 - Minnesota 68

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