Mascot: Goldie the Gopher
Line: Minnesota by 2.5
Typical Rotation Depth: 9
KenPom rank: 53
Out: Gabe Kalscheur (broken finger)
Questionable : Liam Robbins
Hoiberg talked a bit about being gassed....his wife posted a shot on twitter of the mess his coffee maker made because he forgot to put the cup in before making it. Thor or Kobe using their extra year of eligibility here will be an after the season decision. Derrick Walker is expected to return next year but they're going to honor him during senior night because he will be graduating and the first person in his family to graduate. Talked about not beating up on the guys too much just because they're mentally worn down.
Talked about his role with the team, gaining some momentum to finish out the year, and about him proving to himself that he could play at this level.
Thorir reflected on his time here, at one point noting he thought he had over 40 teammates. (actually 43 or 44 if you count Dedoch Chan)
Players to watch: Liam Robbins
The Drake transfer received a waiver to play this year and has slotted into the starting center spot with Daniel Oturu going pro. Robbins leads the team in block and rebounds and is second on the team in PPG. Oddly he has had success from 3 after being pretty poor his first two years at Drake. Questionable to play tonight with an ankle injury.
Players to watch: Marcus Carr
Carr picked up where he left off last year as one of the best assist men in the conference and leads the team in scoring. The 3 level scorer also leads the team in FT makes and attempts. Nebraska didn't have an answer for him last time as he shredded the Huskers for 21.
- Utah transfer and Minnesota native Both Gach is also a shooter struggling with his shot though he does chip in with rebounds
- Western Michigan transfer Brandon Johnson slots in well as a 4 man with a nice combination of rebounding, shooting and rim protection
- Jamal Mashburn Jr, son of the former NBA small forward, seems like he might be the PG of the future for this team. Currently is the starting SG with Kalscheur out; has an inconsistent outside shot
- 6'9" 240# Eric Curry at one point was the PF/C of the future but injuries have robbed him of 2+ years of playing time and some of that ability. Mostly slots in as Robbins backup but started and played 32 minutes vs Northwestern.
- Tre' Williams is some bulk backing up Both Gach at 6'5" 200#
- Isaiah Ihnen is a stretch 4 from Germany. His lack of aggression and poor shooting this season makes him the poster boy for Nebraska's strategy to pack the paint to the point of daring guys to shoot
Opportunity is knocking for Nebraska tonight at home as they welcome in an inconsistent Minnesota team who is without one starter and with Liam Robbins at less than 100%, assuming he plays. Nebraska has a couple of things they need to take care of to win this game.
First, it's all about trying to contain Marcus Carr and the Huskers' reputation about letting random guys go off leads you to believe this will be the game plan. The other thing Nebraska needs to worry about is turnovers as that's exactly what this poor shooting Minnesota team looks to exploit to score points. If you have to, start throwing up a couple from the Nebraska logo as bad shots can go in whereas you miss all the shots you don't get to take.
Look, Minnesota is currently on the cusp of making the NCAA tournament and absolutely needs this game; they will come out tonight like they were shot out of a cannon. They'll also have one of the best finishers in the conference in Carr on the back end. Nebraska needs to make hay in the middle. I think they do.
Prediction: Nebraska 76 - Minnesota 72