Head Coach: Paul Sather
Location: Grand Forks, ND
Conference: Big Sky
Nickname: Fighting Hawks
Line: Nebraska by 10
Typical Rotation Depth: 8+
KenPom rank: 253
Previous history: Nebraska is 3-1 all time vs North Dakota. Were beat down by in Grand Forks by the North Dakota Fighting Sioux in 1933. The Huskers would win at home in 1934 and the two teams wouldn't meet again until 2011.
Shirt not to wear: Green, Philadelphia Eagles
Offensive Style: Slow
Defensive Style: Guard the 3
Key Injuries: Backup shooting guard Aanen Moody
Key Suspensions: None. Jervay Green is back
The two takeaways here are Jervay Green being active again and Nebraska staying locked into this game and not looking ahead to leaving for the holidays.
Players to watch: Marlon Stewart
The former Creighton point guard leads the team in scoring and assists. Currently is hitting at 42% from 3. Stewart was the starting PG two years ago and scored 20 points at the PBA in a 22 point loss.
Players to watch: Filip Rebraca
The 6'9" sophomore center is the 2nd leading scorer on the team and the leading rebounder. He doesn't shoot from outside but is a high end FT shooter and can knock down mid range shots.
Though not a lot of bulk, the Fighting Hawks do throw length at you
- Allen-Eikens is an aggressive inside scorer with an outside shot that hasn't fallen this year
- Walter is a stretch four
- Brown is a lock down defender though an unaggressive shooter
- 6'4 Fr Brady Danielson has been pretty bad offensively though has carved out a large role off the bench
- 6'7" Fr Gertautas Urbonavicius has been aggressive with his shot but is foul prone and only plays spot minutes
- 6'1" So guard Davids Atelbauers is just depth
First year coach Paul Sather comes to North Dakota from Div II Northern St where he led the Wolves to the championship game. Sather plays a little slower on offense than former long time coach Brian Jones though like his predecessor he is still trying to run opponents of the 3pt line. At this point the Hawks aren't a particularly good team, racking up 3 of their 5 wins thus far vs non-Div 1 opponents. Nebraska coming in as only a 10 point favorite shows that the Huskers haven't quite yet proven to be consistently good.
Offensively, the Huskers should be able to shred the Hawks in transition and in the paint though Rebraca is an above average shot blocker. On defense Nebraska matches up well though you have to wonder how much Cam Mack will guard Stewart given his laissez-faire style defense. It's possible that North Dakota will slow roll their way to a close game or even a win. It's also possible that the Huskers will aid them by going through the motions. The return of Jervay Green should add enough spice to keep Nebraska locked in. Look for them to win easily.
Prediction: Nebraska 87 - North Dakota 70