UC RIverside Info
Head Coach: David Patrick
Location: Riverside, CA
Conference: Big West
Mascot: Scotty Highlander
Last season: 10-23
Line: Nebraska by 15
Style: Throw it in to the big man when he's on the court
Things to note
- This is the first matchup between UC Riverside and Nebraska. The Highlanders made the move to Div 1 in 2001 and have had one season where they finished above .500 (2009-10)
- This is the 2nd year for head coach David Patrick who previously was at TCU under Jamie Dixon. He's most famous though for being Ben Simmons' godfather and was an assistant at LSU where the former #1 overall pick put in his time before the draft. Patrick grew up in Australia and you can see his connections into the that region as the Highlanders have 3 Australians and 2 New Zealanders on the roster.
UC Riverside Roster
(Crossed out guys are redshirting).
Nebraska's Shemiel Stevenson will be redshirting until December unless he receives a waiver from the NCAA
Once you get past McRae and eliminate the redshirts, there isn't much girth on this team. 6'9" Daniel Mading clocks in at a thin 200#. Nebraska with Ouedraogo and Cross has two eligible guys who clock in at 240+
Player to watch: Callum McRae
The sophomore big man clocks in at 7'1" 275 lbs and last season was one of the focal points of the Highlander offense while on the court, which was about 19 minutes a game. Though young McRae sports a soft touch around the rim and is a dominant rebounder. McRae and his lack of speed doesn't offer much in terms of shot blocking and look for Nebraska to push even on made baskets if the big man isn't back on his own side. Look for Nebraska to try and have Yvan check in and out when McRae does.
Player to watch: Dikymbe Martin
The 6'1" combo guard and UCR's returning leading scorer was one of the best 3pt shooters in the country last year, knocking down 44.9% of his attempts.. Martin is known for his range and he's a threat to knock down a shot from well behind the 3pt line. He's also known for his lack of defense so the Huskers will be wise to try and exploit him when he's on the court.
Hoiberg on Sports Nightly
These are some good listens if you're trying to catch up with the brand new team but otherwise you've probably know a lot of this stuff.
You got sort of a feel of the capabilities of this team during the exhibition when the Huskers put up 91 points despite a sluggish start and a subpar night from the line and from 3. This will be the fastest paced team in Nebraska Men's history as Fred Hoiberg and his undersized roster attempt to run teams off the court. This probably not very good Riverside team will be a nice test as they will attempt to slow down the pace and have a traditional center. UCR also has viable 3pt shooters so simply collapsing into the paint isn't the end-all solution. The Highlanders might not be that good but they should put up more fight than Doane.
There are lots of questions to be answered about this basketball team. Here are some key ones I have that I'm looking for answers to in this first game.
- Who guards Dikymbe Martin, arguably their most dynamic scorer, when we run a strict man to man defense? Do we put our best defender on him or match up with relative height? Who do we consider our best defender?
- Can Nebraska win the turnover battle and will that make a difference in games this year? Assuming we're going to lose a lot of the rebounding battles, you need to gain those extra possessions taking care of the ball. There were a lot of unforced turnovers vs Doane. Is that a sign of things to come?
- Are there any elite contact drawers and who are they? From their stats it would seem that Burke and eventually Stevenson can get to the line. Who else on the team has the willingness and ability to draw fouls?
Back to the pressing question: who is going to win this game? At some point the amount of speed and talent on this Nebraska team will be too much to handle for UCR and the Huskers should take control of this game. Even if the Highlanders have sped up their game relative to last year, there is no way this team will want to run with the Nebraska. (still seems odd to say) Look for UCR's slow pace and offensive rebounds to keep the overall score a little lower and closer than might be desired.
Prediction: Nebraska 82 - UCR 70 with a 73% chance of Runza