Nebraska Cornhuskers (2-0) vs Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (1-1)
The 1996 NIT championship team will be honored
Date:Saturday, Nov. 19 Time:7:01 p.m. Arena:Pinnacle Bank Arena
Louisiana Tech Info
Head Coach: Eric Konkol Location: Ruston, LA Conference: C-USA Nickname: Bulldogs Mascots: Champ (Human dressed as a Bulldog) and Tech (Actual Bulldog) Last time out: Beat Alabama St Typical Rotation Depth: 9 deep Line: Nebraska by 7 4 Factors: Aggressively getting to the FT line and causing turnovers Tempo: Baseline to baseline
Style: Fast and aggressive, will press and generate steals
Shirt not to wear: Blue,
How do I know these guys: This is that team that had Troy Edwards in 1998 as he toasted the Nebraska's secondary to the tune of 405 yards on 21 catches. The Huskers went on to win that game 56-27. We also beat them, once again in football, in 2006.
Player to watch: 6'8" 225# Eric McCree (SR)
Named as a member of the pre-season C-USA all-conference second team after racking up 8 double-doubles and ten 20+ point games. Shoots from anywhere on the court, gets to the FT line, rebounds well.
Player to watch: 6'9" 255# Omar Sherman (JR)
Tech runs a small athletic squad but the one exception is Sherman who transferred along with Konkol from Miami. His backup is 7'0" 205# beanpole Joniah White
The Skinny: Welcome to the tune-up game for the Thanksgiving tournament to a team that the Huskers know not to overlook in Louisiana Tech. Former coach Michael White put together this high speed Tech team, parlaying three straight 27+ win seasons into the Florida gig. Jim Larranaga assistant (both at George Mason and Miami) Eric Konkol took over last year and thus far has continued the running and the winning. (Trivia alert: Konkol played for Bo Ryan's University of Wisconsin at Platteville team in 1995)
You might have noticed me using the word "aggressive" a few time already as that is the Bulldog game plan. On offense they'll aggressively shoot when open and impatiently drive towards the basket to the point they went to the FT line 30 times vs. South Carolina. Defensively they generated 14 turnovers on an impressive 11 steals vs the Gamecocks. The name of the game for this younger Nebraska team will be composure. While Tech will swing momentum at times by generating easy baskets on turnovers there should be the inevitable dry spells that come with the territory of a so-so shooting team. If the Huskers can weather the storm, there will be plenty of easy baskets to be had. Take that philosophy to the defensive side where not fouling will force the Bulldogs to run an offense and the Huskers win this running away.
I don't think Nebraska is quite into running away with games just yet and suspect they might slow this one down a bit to mess with Tech's rythym.