Mississippi Valley State
Head Coach: Andre Payne
Location: Itta Bena, MS
Nickname: Delta Devils
Last time out: Beat NAIA Wiley College (Exhibition)
Shirt not to wear: Green, Slayer
Notable Former MVSU Athlete: Jerry Rice
Did you literally copy and paste the information above from the MSVU essentials from 2015?: Yup
Players to watch: Dante Scott and Jordan Evans
Everything with this team is a mixed bag. Scott, a Memphis transfer and Evans, a JUCO transfer are the returning double digit scorers for a MVSU team that brings back a lot of firepower from a team that went 4-28. Scott and Evans are capable 3pt shooters who Nebraska should turn into poor shooting mid range shooters if their defense is on point.
Rotation Talk: Your starting 5 was easy to guess this year with Palmer, Roby, Copeland, and Watson all starting last season plus Thomas Allen as the player with the 5th most minutes from last year. Miles typically starts with an 8-10 man rotation which currently looks like it's at 9 with Borchardt, Akenten, Harris, and Heiman in and Thorir on the bench. With only 10 available scholarship players health and depth development will be two major focuses this season so let's talk about the non big 4.
How consistent will Thomas Allen be this year? Miles noted that his best two games were against two of Nebraska's best opponents so will he show up vs SWAC teams? Will his and Watson's lack of height keep him off the court at times? Will he take over the Gill role as the 3pt specialist? It's been noted that Harris isn't much of a shooter but how are his handles? When Watson isn't on the court will it be Allen or Harris who brings up the ball? Borchardt is barely recognizable from his freshman year as he's dropped weight and added muscle. Last year the defensive quickness still didn't seem to be there. Can he keep up with other centers in the conference? Nana brings a needed shooting skill set to this Husker team but where does he fit in on the court? Is he going to be an undersized 4 or play in the 3 spot that James Palmer will occupy most of the the time. When he's on the court that means either Palmer, Roby, or Copeland isn't. How much and where will Brady play? Is he fast enough to cover 3s in the conference or strong enough to cover 4s? Will his body hold up in the paint? Will he at some point pass Tanner and/or Nana on the depth chart? Thorir might be on the outside is it his defense or his shooting holding him back and will he be up to the challenge when called upon?
The Skinny: I spent a lot of time listening to and reading the now abundant amount of Nebrasketball media this week that has us somewhere between Sweet 16 caliber and DON'T PANIC ABOUT THE 3 POINT SHOOTING after a couple of exhibition games...somewhere Lee B is smiling before he goes back to tweeting about the state of the country. People bring up the Nebraska team after the NCAA tourney in 2014 but really it's that Minnesota team from last year that should be your worry template. This talented Nebraska team is one or two injuries from turning a tourney team into a disaster. Tonight's game vs team-assigned-to-us-because-we-are-in-that-KC-tourney Mississippi Valley State isn't going to answer many questions so have a good time and try not to overthink tonight. You will be able to tell how seriously Miles is taking this team by how fast players enter this game. As long as the Huskers win by 10 or more we should be ok with the computers that help to determine whether or not we make the tourney.
Miles teams really aren't ever that sharp to start the season so this should be an entertaining but probably sloppy blowout against a team that likes to run and just gambles on turnovers for defense.
Prediction: Nebraska 94 Mississippi Valley St 70
with a 100% chance of Runza ( I guess we are going to now yell for Runzas)