Head Coach: Chris Markwood
Location: Orono, ME
Conference: American East
Nickname: Black Bears
Mascot: Bananas T. Bear
Last time out: Last year went 6-23
Shirt not to wear: Creighton colors
Opening Line: Nebraska by 20
- Derrick Walker's availability is unknown and expect him not to play tonight
- Nebraska is 1-2 in home openers during the Fred Hoiberg era; 1-0 vs sub-300 KenPom teams
- This is the first ever game between Nebraska and Maine
- 1st time head coach and Maine native Chris Markwood is a former Black Bear, playing 2 years at Notre Dame before ending his career at Maine. He is married to former Maine women's basketball player, Miss Maine, and Survivor contestant Ashley Underwood.
- Oleg Kojenets and Canadian Milos Nenadic were teammates at Western Reserve Academy
Player to watch: Gedi Juozapaitis
Look for Georgia Southern transfer Juozapaitis to be one the guys Maine tries to get going at the 3pt line this year. The 6'4" guard led Georgia Southern in 3pt attempts last year and knocked down 35% of them
Others to watch
- Kristians Feierbergs - 6'8" stretch 4 who shot 36.4% from 3 and was named to the American East All-Freshman Team
- LeChaun Duhart - 5'10" guard who spent most of last year injured but shot 38.5% from three 2 years ago
- Ata Turgut - Another stretch F/C who can shoot from outside
- Adefolalrin Adetogun - At 6'1" this guard is Maine's top returning rebounder and known as an elite defender; can't shoot a lick. Same scout for Montana St transfer guard Kellen Tynes
- Ja'Shonte Wright-McLeish - the 6'4" guard has been a glue guy thus far; hasn't shot much
- Milos Nenadic/Keelan Steele - Young posts that perhaps can provide some rim protection
UNL Game Notes
Probable starters for Nebraska
5 Sam Griesel G 6-7
25 Emmanuel Bandoumel G 6-4
0 C.J. Wilcher G 6-5
32 Wilhelm Breidenbach F 6-10
15 Blaise Keita C 6-11
30 Keisei Tominaga G 6-2
2 Ramel Lloyd G 6-6
4 Juwan Gary F 6-6
10 Jamarques Lawrence - G 6-3
12 Denim Dawson - F 6-6
33 Oleg Kojenets F 7-0
12 Sam Hoiberg G 6-0
31 Cale Jacobsen G 6-4
35 Henry Burt F 6-6
24 Jeffrey Grace III G 6-3
* 13 Derrick Walker F 6-9
3 Quaran McPherson G 6-3 - Out for the Year
Hoiberg and Bandemeal presser
Welcome to year 4 of the Hoiberg era where fan apathy is mounting to the point that people wonder if he'll make it through the season. Per usual the Huskers have a bunch of new faces and looks to roll out up to 3 starters new to the team in Griesel, Bandoumel, and Keita along with Gary and Lloyd coming off the bench. Redshirt Freshman Denim Dawson should make his first appearance on the court but has been at Nebraska since December after graduating early from HS. One big change in addition to the usual roster flipping is that Fred has 2 completely new assistants in Adam Howard and Ernie Zeigler. If part of the problem was the coaching staff, that too has been completely flipped.
Maine returns quite a few players on what has been one of the worst D-1 teams in the last decade. New coach Chris Markwood will reportedly look to build around a defense-first physical backcourt that will try and run Nebraska off the 3pt line. Look for a bigger and physical Nebraska to try and withstand the temptation to jack up bad 3s and instead run the ball towards the rim most of the night. Offensively the Black Bears are likely in for a futile night but their roster of lanky stretch shooters could get hot if they're patient enough to move the ball against a Nebraska defense that has seem suspect in the exhibition season.
With all due respect to Maine, they're not a particularly talented team and this particular Nebraska squad at least has the ability to go and grab rebounds in case shots aren't falling. The high mark for offensive rebounds by a Fred Hoiberg team at Nebraska is 17; this team has the potential to best it out of the gate.
Unless Nebraska turns this into a 3pt and FT missing competition, expect Nebraska to win this one comfortably.
Prediction: Nebraska 83 - Maine 64
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