Coach's Nickname: White Magic
Mascot: Herky the Hawk
Line: Iowa by 4.5
Typical Rotation Depth: 10
KenPom rank: 53
- Nebraska is 1-2 in true road games this season
- The last time Nebraska started the season at least 13-3 was 2010-11
- Nebraska is 19-1 over the last 3 years when scoring over 80 points (only loss was 104-100 OT loss at NC State)
- Iowa has not been held under 80 at home
- Both coaches have sons playing in this game (Sam Hoiberg, Patrick McCaffery)
KenPom most used lineups
Player to watch: Ben Krikke
The Valparaiso transfer has been huge for Iowa and he's picked up where he left off as the Missouri Valley conference's leading scorer as he currently leads Iowa at 16.7 per game. Krikke has high level mid-range touch and can draw enough contact inside to get to the FT line. His versatility allows him to slot at the 4 or the 5. He'll be linked with Rienk Mast as both guys played in the MVC and both were rumored to be targets by both Iowa and Nebraska out of the transfer portal. Rienk Mast is 5-1 all-times vs Krikke in head to head matchups.
Player to watch: Payton Sandfort
Iowa doesn't shoot a lot of 3s but Sandfort has already taken 100 while making 40 of them. Sandfort also leads the team in rebounds
Player to watch: Tony Perkins
Perkins is more combo guard that Iowa typically plays at point with most of his scoring coming in the paint. Unless you count Krikke, he's your main threat about driving into the lane.
Others to watch
Freshman Center Owen Freeman brings rim protection and rebounding along with a nice scoring touch; looks to be a 4 year starter for the Hawks. Patrick McCaffery missed last game with illness but should provide glue-guy support to go along with his iffy 3pt shot. 6'2" Soph Dosante Bowen and 6'0" Brock Harding bring depth at the PG position but their shooting is spotty. Soph Josh Dix at 6'5" is another glue guy. Rounding up the bench is 6'8" 250# frosh Ladji Dembele who has an outside shot, Younger Sandfort brother Pryce, and Belmont transfer Even Brauns. Brauns hasn't worked out and rarely plays. Iowa has a lot of piece but the guys at the end of the bench are young and erratic.
UNL Game Notes
Will update if needed when the B1G releases their injury
5 Ahron Ulis 6-3 190 lbs Junior - Likely out for the season
15 Blaise Keita 6-11 257 lbs Junior - Ongoing ankle injury recovery
Possible starters for Nebraska
10 Jamarques Lawrence 6-3 183 lbs Sophomore
30 Keisei Tominaga 6-2 179 lbs Senior
3 Brice Williams 6-7 213 lbs Junior
4 Juwan Gary 6-6 221 lbs Junior
51 Rienk Mast 6-10 248 lbs Junior
53 Josiah Allick 6-8 231 lbs Senior
0 C.J. Wilcher 6-5 214 lbs Junior
9 Jarron Coleman 6-5 213 lbs Senior
1 Sam Hoiberg 6-0 183 lbs Sophomore
11 Eli Rice 6-8 213 lbs Freshman
21 Matar Diop 6-10 213 lbs Freshman
35 Henry Burt 6-7 216 lbs RS Freshman
2 Ramel Lloyd Jr. 6-6 210 lbs RS Freshman
31 Cale Jacobsen 6-4 200 lbs RS Freshman
24 Jeffrey Grace III 6-3 197 lbs Sophomore
It's a great position to be in what is absolutely a hangover game situation. While Nebraska has been basking in the glow of their big win over #1 Purdue, Iowa has had 6 days to prepare to defend their home court. While it's been a rebuilding year for the Hawkeyes, they score a ton at Carver and Nebraska will need to continue their torrid shooting to keep up. Given that the Hawks have been susceptible on the boards, Nebraska is going to have to pick their battles between hitting the offensive boards and trying to slow down the Hawkeye fast break.
Defensively the Hawkeyes have shifted their focus towards guarding the 3pt line. Look for Nebraska to make some hay inside, especially when Freeman steps off the court. Offensively Iowa is likely to take it inside, which is the game Nebraska likes to defend. If Iowa does start taking more outside shots, do the Huskers have the legs and will to contest them?
One thing you might have noticed about Nebraska this year is how anticlimactic Nebraska's games have been this season as the closest they played anyone either way has been a 7 point win over Michigan St. In a game where computers are and point spreads are picking narrow margins, can Nebraska pull out a win if the game is close? Maybe we'll find out tonight.
Prediction: Iowa 81 - Nebraska 78