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    Game Day Essentials: Game #23 at Illinois

      Nebraska Cornhuskers (10-12) vs Illinois Fighting Illini (15-6)


      Date: January 10th, 2023
      Time: 6:00 pm
      Arena: State Farm Center

      Broadcast:  BTN

    Illinois Info

    Head Coach: Brad Underwood

    Location: Champaign, IL 
    Conference: B1G
    Nickname: Fightin Illini

    MascotChief Illiniwek They got rid of Chief Illiniwek in 2007

    Line: Illinois by 13.5
    Typical Rotation Depth: 8+

    KenPom rank: 35

    A couple of Famous Alumni: Nick Anderson, Steven Bardo


    • In their first meeting, Illinois blew out Nebraska in Lincoln 76-50. Terrance Shannon led 4 Illini in double figures with 25. Sam Griesel scored 12 for Nebraska with Wilhelm Briedenbach adding 11.
    • Juwan Gary's season ending injury occurred vs Illinois


    KenPom Analysis: The tricky part with the Illini offense is that when they miss 3pt shots they've been very good at grabbing offensive rebounds. They have one of the best defenses in the conference and the country.





    Player to watch: F Coleman Hawkins

    It's not surprising that the mobile post player leads the team in rebounds; it's somewhat surprising that he leads the team in assists. While he can hurt you inside, it's his streaky 3pt shooting you worry about. Hawkins is shooting 33.9% for the year after hitting 6-9 vs Wisconsin


    Player to watch: F Terrence Shannon

    The Texas Tech transfer is a 3 level scorer, leading the Illini in scoring. Shannon draws all sorts of contact going to the rim and is likely to be the catalyst for Illinois trying to suck in the defense to find 3pt shooters


    Player to watch: C Dain Dainja

    Elite shot blocker and a bucket. Likely he's an auto-double when he touches the ball. Foul prone, will be a game of cat-and-mouse between Walker and Dainja about who sits first due to foul problems. Bad FT shooter


    KenPom most used lineup

      PG SG SF PF C Pct
    3 Jayden Epps
    6-2  190  Fr
    0 Terrence Shannon
    6-6  225  Sr
    24 Matthew Mayer
    6-9  225  Sr
    33 Coleman Hawkins
    6-10  225  Jr
    42 Dain Dainja
    6-9  270  So
    3 Jayden Epps
    6-2  190  Fr
    15 RJ Melendez
    6-7  205  So
    0 Terrence Shannon
    6-6  225  Sr
    24 Matthew Mayer
    6-9  225  Sr
    33 Coleman Hawkins
    6-10  225  Jr


    Others to watch

    • Matthew Mayer transferred in from Baylor and is capable of playing anywhere from SF to C
    • Fresham Guard Jayden Epps has established himself as he starting PG


    UNL Game Notes


    Probable starters for Nebraska
    5    Sam Griesel    G    6-7

    30  Keisei Tominaga    G    6-2

    10  Jamarques Lawrence - G  6-3

    32  Wilhelm Breidenbach    F    6-10

    13  Derrick Walker    F    6-9



    0   C.J. Wilcher    G    6-5

    12  Denim Dawson - F  6-6

    33  Oleg Kojenets    F    7-0
    12   Sam Hoiberg    G    6-0

    35  Henry Burt  F  6-6

    24  Jeffrey Grace III  G  6-3



    15   Blaise Keita C   6-11 - Ankle



    3   Quaran McPherson   G   6-3 - Out for the Year

    4   Juwan Gary  F  6-6 - Out for the Year

    25  Emmanuel Bandoumel    G    6-4 - Out for the Year



    2   Ramel Lloyd Jr.  G 6-6

    31  Cale Jacobsen  G  6-4



    The Skinny: 

    Nebraska had one of their best shooting days of the season at Maryland and still lost to the Terrapins by nearly 20 points. At this point the Huskers need to not only play well but need their opponent to not show up when on the road.


    To win this game, Nebraska needs to curb their turnovers and keep this lengthy Illinois team off the offensive glass.  As offensively challenged as the Huskers are, they need to figure out to keep Illinois under 65 or so. Seems improbable on the road.


    Prediction: Illinois 77 - Nebraska 61

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