Head Coach: Rob Jeter
Location: Macomb, IL
Mascot: Colonel Rock (Live Bulldog), Rocky (Costumed Bulldog)
Last time out: Last year went 7-15
Shirt not to wear: Purple, Gold
Opening Line: Nebraska by 17
- Western Illinois is the only non-military institution to officially have its nickname derived from a branch of the military service
- Kobe Webster transferred from Western Illinois after the 2019-20 season
- Nebraska is 6-0 all-time vs the Leathernecks. They played only once before 1994 with Nebraska prevailing 73-72 at the Devaney in 1977
Player to watch: Will Carius
Carius was 2nd team All-Summit last year after scoring 14.7 a game and shooting nearly 40% from 3 including dropping 34 on North Dakota. Prior to starring with the Leathernecks last year Carius scored 1,277 points in 3 years at D-3 Monmouth College in Illinois.
Player to watch: Colton Sandage
The Leathernecks started winning last season when Sandage was promoted to starting pg. Led the team in assists, was third in scoring, and dropped 32 on Oral Roberts.
Probable W. Illinois Starters
#5 Trenton Massner G 6’2” 174 Jr. Wapello, Iowa (Northwestern State)
#15 Colton Sandage G 6’2” 190 Jr. Bloomington, Ill. (Vincennes)
#25 Will Carius F 6’7” 225 Gr. Bettendorf, Iowa (Monmouth College)
#2 Tamell Pearson F 6’10” 223 Jr. Chicago, Ill. (UAB)
#44 Luka Barisic F 6’10” 240 Gr. Osijek, Croatia (UTSA)
#24 George Dixon F 6’5” 230 Sr. Milwaukee, Wis. (Eastern Illinois)
#11 Jadrian Flores G 6’3” 180 Jr. Lake in the Hills, Ill. (Highland)
#22 KJ Lee G 6’8” 170 Fr. O’Fallon, Mo.
#12 Adam Anhold F 6’8” 240 Jr. Janesville, Wis. (Highland)
#13 Braden Lamar G 6’5” 190 Fr. Las Vegas, Nev.
#21 Robert Jeter IV G 6’0” 180 Fr. Woodbury, Minn.
#23 Ramean Hinton F 6’5” 180 Fr. Chicago, Ill.
#40 Matthew Wade G 6’0” 160 Fr. Milwaukee, Wis.
** Questionable to play, would be in the rotation
**#1 Quinlan Bennett G 6’4” 190 Jr. Chicago, Ill.
**#3 Cameron Burrell F 6’7” 175 Jr. Chicago, Ill. (Highland)
The Rest of the Roster
Tamell Pearson anchors the defense, leading the team last year in blocks and rebounds. The second leading returning scorer has so-so touch inside and isn't a threat from outside. Twin tower Luka Barisic is an outside threat but is more like a tall guard so he's not bringing much to the table in rim protection or rebounding. Northwestern St. combo guard Trent Massner rounds out the starting lineup and adds a 3 level scoring punch. Flores is depth at the guard position. George Dixon at 6'5" 230 is an undersized PF. Freshman stretch 4 KJ Lee rounds out the rotation. The Leathernecks will really miss Cameron Burrell's rebounding and inside scoring ability. Bennett would also be backup at guard. If you look deep into the bench, you'll see that W. Illinois is also a team with the coach's son on the roster in Rob Jeter IV.
UNL Game Notes
* Lat Mayen is a game time decision with an ankle injury
** Kobe Webster is a game time decision with a back issue
Probable starters for Nebraska
1 Alonzo Verge G 6-3
2 Trey McGowens G 6-4
5 Bryce McGowens G 6-7
*11 Lat Mayen F 6-9
13 Derrick Walker F 6-9
32 Wilhelm Breidenbach F 6-10
30 Keisei Tominaga G 6-2
23 Keon Edwards G 6-7
0 C.J. Wilcher G 6-5
35 Eduardo Andre F 6-11
**10 Kobe Webster G 6-0
14 Trevor Lakes F 6-8
3 Quaran McPherson G 6-3
33 Oleg Kojenets F 7-0
4 Jackson Cronin G 6-1
12 Sam Hoiberg G 6-0
15 Chris McGraw G 6-0
21 Jace Piatkowski G 6-3
Rob Jeter is a Bo Ryan guy, having played for Ryan at D-III Platteville and then coming on as an assistant under Ryan at Platteville, Milwaukee, and Wisconsin. Jeter set the record for career wins at Milwaukee as a coach over 11 years but ultimately couldn't win like Bruce Pearl did there and was let go. He was an assistant under RIck Pitino before getting the Western Illinois gig 2 years ago which placed him on the bench when the Gophers steamrolled Nebraska in that late season game where Cam Mack and Dachon Burke got sent home.
Like Ryan, Jeter runs a pack-style defense so expect Nebraska to have plenty of 3pt looks tonight. If the Nebraska guards can penetrate into the lane without picking up charges, it's going to be a long night for the Leathernecks. There should be chances for Nebraska to grab easy transition points. If the shots aren't falling, the Leatherneck defenders can be counted on for trips to the FT line. Look for Western Illinois to also fire up a bunch of 3s as Jeter has a couple of shooters and that is often what Nebraska's defense will give.
Expect a fast paced game where Nebraska is just the better team in most areas and a comfortable win. As HCFH says, welcome to Star City.
Prediction: Nebraska 91 - Western Illinois 71