Mascot: Willie the Wildcat
Typical Rotation Depth: 7-8
Line: Northwestern by 5.5
KenPom rank: 100
Offensive Style: Passing into the paint
Defensive Style: Zone/non-aggressive
- SG Anthony Gaines - Out for season with shoulder injury
- PG Boo Buie - Out indefinitely with a foot injury
Players to watch: Pat Spencer
If you don't know who Pat Spencer is you'd probably be a great candidate for jury duty. Spencer is a graduate transfer from Loyola where he was one of the best lacrosse players in Div-1, winning the Tewaaraton Award last year. Instead of moving on to a professional lacrosse career, Spencer decided he wanted to play college ball and chose Northwestern. Up until recently he was splitting time at the point with frosh Boo Buie but now finds himself playing the majority of the game with Buie injured. While he struggles with his shot, he's an excellent FT shooter and leads the team in assists.
Players to watch: Miller Kopp
The 6'7" Soph F is currently playing at SG due to injuries. Kopp is the team's best 3pt shooter and leading scorer.
Yet another shorthanded team. The Purple came in with just 10 scholarship players and are down to 8. They're also young, starting 2 sophomores and 2 freshmen
- Forward Pete Nance comes from a NBA family where his father played for 13 seasons and his brother is currently playing. Nance is a 3 and D guy except he can't hit 3s.
- Robbie Beran is the highest rated recruit in NU history and finds himself in the starting lineup with the injuries. He's capable of shooting 3s, driving, and blocking shots. He's doing none of that particularly well right now. Also not aggressive with his shot.
- Young leads the team in rebounding and shoots at a high percentage in the paint when he gets the ball.
- 6'7" Boston College grad transfer F can play point and did so at BC. Can't buy a bucket this year but plays a lot of minutes off the bench.
- 6'10" freshman center Jared Jones is just depth
- Soph G Ryan Greer is guard depth with limited offensive game
This young Northwestern team has been just as inconsistent as Nebraska, losing pay a couple of pay games to start the season and dropping another one during the winter break. Injuries have also hurt, especially losing promising freshman PG Boo Buie. Chris Collins has built up recruiting after winning the Wildcat's first NCAA tournament game. This has not translated into winning.
I expect Northwestern to try and grind this thing and for the most part be successful. Defensively they'll most likely throw out a lot of zone and see if Nebraska can jack up 3s over their length. While there are offensive rebounds to be found against Nebraska, expect Northwestern to retreat to limit the Huskers transition. The Wildcats are going to make the Huskers most of their points on Saturday.
Nebraska will try to push the pace but it will be difficult with Northwestern selling out and what should be your typical dead Ryan-Welsh crowd. The Huskers tend to let off the gas after wins and this Northwestern team is hungry for a win.
In what will probably be a close game, here are a couple of Northwestern stats for you
- Northwestern shoots 76.3% from the FT line, 31st in Div-1
- Northwestern is 1-12 in their last 13 games decided by 10 or less
Prediction: Northwestern 71 - Nebraska 67