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    Game Day Essentials: Game #24 at Northwestern

      Nebraska Cornhuskers (16-7) at Northwestern Wildcats (15-7)

       

      Date: Wednesday Feb 7,  2024
      Time: 8:00 pm
      Arena: Welsh-Ryan Arena

      Broadcast:  BTN

    Northwestern Info

    2889.gif
    Head Coach: Chris Collins
    Location: Evansville, IL
    Conference: B1G
    Nickname: Wildcats

    Mascot: Willie the Wildcat

    Last time out: Lose to Minnesota

    Point Spread: Northwestern by 5.5

    Typical Rotation Depth: 7

    KenPom rank: 51

    Nota bene:  

    • Nebraska recently broke their 7 game losing streak to the Wildcats. Tonight they look for their first win in Evanston since 2018
    • Northwestern ranks 342nd in bench minutes as they have 4 starters who average over 30+ minutes per game
    • Both Nebraska and Northwestern come into this one having played consecutive OT games

     

    KenPom most used lineups

      PG SG SF PF C Pct
    1
    0 Boo Buie
    6-2  180  Sr
    3 Ty Berry
    6-3  185  Sr
    5 Ryan Langborg
    6-4  195  Sr
    13 Brooks Barnhizer
    6-6  215  Jr
    34 Matthew Nicholson
    7-0  280  Sr
    35.1
     

     

    Player to watch: Boo Buie

    5th year starting PG Boo Buie was one of the main catalyst behind Northwestern's surprising run to the NCAA tournament last season and continues to play at a high level, leading the 'Cats in scoring and assists. If Nebraska finds themselves in a close game at the end, NW will be at the advantage simply because they have arguably the best PG in the conference.

     

    Player to watch:    Ty Berry

    Northwestern isn't quite the defensive team they rolled out last season with Chase Audige graduating but have increased their offensive output in part due to Berry finding his shooting stroke back. After a 38.3% 3pt success two years ago, Berry struggle last season, shooting 29.1% from 3.  This season he's hitting a career high 43.1% from 3 and 50.0% from 2. 

     

    Player to watch: Brooks Barnhizer

    Barnhizer is Northwestern's glue guy where his most important contribution is grabbing rebounds for a Northwestern team that is one of the worst in the conference at this statistic. Barnhizer will add some rim protection along with competent shooting ability. Scored a career and game high 24 points vs Nebraska in Lincoln.

     

    Player to watch: Ryan Langborg

    The Princeton transfer is another high level 3pt shooter for the Wildcats and is currently shooting 40.7% from 3. Went 4-10 from 3 in Lincoln vs Nebraska

     

    Others to watch

    Matthew Nicholson might be the most noticeable player on the court due to his unmissable stature. He's NW's best rim protector and he almost always makes the right plays. For the last few games 6'10" 255# Luke Hunger has been getting the start over Nicholson, presumably because he allows the 'Cats to play 5 out. Both centers tend to be foul prone. 6'7" forward Nick Martinelli averages 20 minutes of the bench where he brings rebounding and inside scoring.

     

    UNL Game Notes

     

    Out indefinitely 

    5   Ahron Ulis     6-3    190 lbs    Junior - Likely out for the season

     

    Questionable

    15  Blaise Keita     6-11    257 lbs    Junior - Ongoing ankle injury recovery

    11    Eli Rice                         6-8    213 lbs    Freshman - Ankle injury

     

    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

    53   Josiah Allick                 6-8    231 lbs    Senior

    51    Rienk Mast                 6-10    248 lbs    Junior

     

    Bench

    4   Juwan Gary                   6-6    221 lbs    Junior

    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
    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 

     

    The Skinny: 

    Nebraska and Northwestern both come into this one with NCAA tournament hopes. With this much season left, this game is more of a 'winner is in better shape' than a 'loser is out' sort of game.  Northwestern at home has turned itself from punchline to the type of inhospitable environment where Purdue loses.  Does their crowd get as amped for a team like Nebraska? 

     

    Northwestern completely sold out to stop the 3 vs Nebraska in Lincoln to the point that Nebraska spent most of the first half running a layup drill. On the flipside, Northwestern was able to generate 18 turnovers in part due to intercepting some of these passes. It will be a balancing act for both teams as Northwestern wins because its shooting and turnovers overcome its lack of production on the boards and at the FT line.  If the Huskers can minimize the number of mindless turnovers, they have a great chance in this one.

     

    Nebraska can potentially get away with playing 3 bigs a little easier in this one than in other games given that the NW frontcourt doesn't force many fouls. The rebounding game is very winnable against this NW team even just playing two bigs.

     

     

    Does either team have more juice here than the other?  Northwestern has had an extra day of rest but Nebraska's bench runs deeper.  Could decide what should be a close game.

     

    Prediction: Northwestern 82 - Nebraska 78




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    Recommended Comments

    3 minutes ago, Huskerpapa said:

    Anybody hear a rumor regarding starting line up?  Heard JLaw may not start???

    Who replaces him? CJ with Brice running point? 

    Edited by cornfed24-7

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    5 minutes ago, cornfed24-7 said:

    Who replaces him? CJ with Brice running point? 


    Didn’t Fred say he liked the big lineup with all three of Gary, Jo, and Mast?  Idk if the rumor is true, but maybe we try and go big and dominate the glass right away.

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    Wouldn't surprise me if Gary starts instead of Allick. I think he matches up better defensively on Barnhizer. We definitely didn't have an answer for him the first time around when Gary didn't play.

     

    Lawrence was so good on Buie early defensively in the first match, I'm not sure we'd want to make that swap for this game. Of course, Hoiberg & Williams took turns on Buie too, so who knows.

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    18 minutes ago, throwback said:

    Wouldn't surprise me if Gary starts instead of Allick. I think he matches up better defensively on Barnhizer. We definitely didn't have an answer for him the first time around when Gary didn't play.

     

    Lawrence was so good on Buie early defensively in the first match, I'm not sure we'd want to make that swap for this game. Of course, Hoiberg & Williams took turns on Buie too, so who knows.

    NW doesn't play big really, as they rotate 2, maybe 3 bigs in with Brooks and 3 guards. It makes a lot more sense to start Gary to matchup with Brooks, since he was the one who killed us last time. 

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    We've had 4 different starting lineups this season and all of them have been availability related.

     

    Keisei missed the first 2 games so CJ started.

    Mast, Allick, and Gary have all missed time so we've had 3 combinations there.

     

     

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    2 hours ago, cornfed24-7 said:

    Who replaces him? CJ with Brice running point? 

     

    Yeah, I personally do not think it makes sense to start both Keisei and Wilcher.  CJ has found his role and would hate to mess that up at this point in the season.  Plus, CJ and Keisei have similar strengths and weaknesses (on-ball defense or defense in general) so if this is true, let's go big and with a better defensive lineup.  You can then stagger the big guy substitution patterns with Jlaw and Wilcher and Sam.  It would also be interesting to start Gary and Sam in lieu of Allick and Jlaw.  I don't think we see anything that radical though but it would make the substitutions easier to manage.

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    35 minutes ago, hhcmatt said:

    FWIW

     

    To me rolling out Rice or Jacobsen on the road at the expense of Lawrences minutes seems unlikely.

     

     

    Yeah I can't get behind playing Cale before Lawrence, even through his struggles. Cale has maybe a handful of minutes of meaningful in game pt, and rolling him out in rotation minutes in a road game that you almost must win seems like a disaster waiting to happen.

     

    I don't love the idea of the lineup change, but I'll concede if that's what they end up doing. 

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    2 hours ago, thrasher31 said:

    Yeah I can't get behind playing Cale before Lawrence, even through his struggles. Cale has maybe a handful of minutes of meaningful in game pt, and rolling him out in rotation minutes in a road game that you almost must win seems like a disaster waiting to happen.

     

    I don't love the idea of the lineup change, but I'll concede if that's what they end up doing. 

    I think Lawrence would have to be dinged up or hurt if Calevtakes any of his minutes.

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    1 hour ago, Art Vandalay said:

    I think Lawrence would have to be dinged up or hurt if Calevtakes any of his minutes.

     

    I didn't retweet that because i didn't buy that aspect 

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