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    Game Day Essentials: Game #30 vs Rutgers

      Nebraska Cornhuskers (20-9) vs Rutgers Scarlet Knights (15-13)


      Date: Sunday March 3rd,  2024
      Time: 5:30 pm
      Arena: PBA

      Broadcast:  BTN

    Rutgers Info


    Head Coach: Steve Pikiell
    Location: Piscataway, NJ
    Conference: B1G
    Nickname: Scarlet Knights

    Last time out: Beat Michigan

    Point Spread: Huskers by 8.5

    Typical Rotation Depth: 10+

    KenPom rank: 90

    Nota bene:  

    • It's senior day. Jarron Coleman, Josiah Allick and Keisei Tominaga, as well as C.J. Wilcher will be honored before the game. Wilcher, who received his degree in December, has another year of eligibility left.
    • With a win today, Nebraska would have 18 home win which would set a school record for home wins
    • With a win today, this would be the 8th time in school history that a Nebraska team has won 21 or more games.
    • At 37.8% bench usage per KenPom, Rutgers has the highest bench usage in the B1G and 48th most overall in D-1
    • Rutgers scored a season high 89 points in a OT win over the Huskers back in January with Nebraska coughing up a 10+ point lead in the second half.


    KenPom most used lineups

      PG SG SF PF C Pct
    0 Derek Simpson
    6-3  165  So
    1 Jamichael Davis
    6-2  175  Fr
    25 Jeremiah Williams
    6-4  177  Jr
    5 Aundre Hyatt
    6-6  235  Sr
    11 Clifford Omoruyi
    6-11  240  Sr


    Player to watch: Jeremiah Williams

    This will be a new face for the Huskers. Williams overcame transferring twice plus also being one of the former Iowa St players nabbed for underaged gambling to gain eligibility 8 games ago. Rutgers has gone 5-3 with Williams, who had spent his last two seasons at Temple. (He never played at Iowa St due to a season ending injury as a freshman). Williams has essentially become the go-to guy for Rutgers, his 12.9 points and 3.4 assists per game are team highs. Like most everyone else on this Rutgers team he is a poor 3pt shooter


    Player to watch: Clifford Omoruyi

    The Senior Center anchors one of the best defenses in the country as he's a rim protector in addition to a high level rebounder on both ends of the court. His scoring is down a little this year simply because this team isn't as good at feeding the big man.


    Player to watch:    Aundre Hyatt

    The Senior Forward is Rutgers most called upon 3pt shooter, leading the team in makes and takes. Unfortunately for Rutgers, his 31.9% 3pt shooting percentage is near the best for the team. 


    Player to watch: Derek Simpson

    Simpson is still the starting PG for the Knights and leads the team in steals.  Simpson is a remarkably poor shooter despite being an above average FT shooter.


    Others to watch

    Mawot Mag has returned from his ACL tear last year and likely isn't 100% yet. He's still scoring 9+ per game in addition to 4+ rebounds. Hartford transfer guard Austin Williams hasn't really figured it out and Jeremiah Williams, no relation, has taken most of his minutes. UMass transfer guard Noah Fernandes playing time has been sporadic but has been Rutgers' most accurate 3pt shooter when able to find shots . 6'8" freshman Gavin Griffiths is a shooter with the second most 3pt shots for the team though hasn't been a maker as he's at 25.6% from 3. Posts Oskar Palmquist and Antwone Woolfolk are reliable post depth.


    UNL Game Notes


    Roster/infirmary report

    Will update if needed when the B1G releases their injury 


    Out indefinitely 

    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

    2    Ramel Lloyd Jr.             6-6    210 lbs    RS Freshman


    Possible starters for Nebraska

    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



    10    Jamarques Lawrence  6-3    183 lbs    Sophomore

    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

    31    Cale Jacobsen            6-4    200 lbs    RS Freshman

    24    Jeffrey Grace III         6-3    197 lbs    Sophomore 


    Hoiberg/Allick/Tominaga presser


    Hoiberg praised the entire group and specifically talked about seniors Allick, Tominaga, and Coleman. Noted that he didn't think we had a single guy show up late to a practice.  You'll have to fast-forward to hear from Jo and Keisei as they were coming from practice


    The Skinny: 

    Like most teams coming off a loss, Nebraska will be at full attention for their final home game of the season. Between this, senior night, and the importance of trying to grab a double bye for the conference tournament, it's possible that Nebraska might come out too hyped. Typically the biggest key to defeating Rutgers is beating yourself.


    Rutgers has the worst offense in the conference and one of the worst in the country, fueled by their inability to make baskets. The Scarlett Knights can be turnover prone as well. Like many poor offensive teams, they pressure you for points off turnovers and crash the offensive boards.  Sometimes it seems they are wildly missing on one side of the rim to set up an easier shot for post player on the opposite side.


    Defensively, it's another story as Rutgers' length and speed gives them one of the best defenses in the conference and in D-1. Typically teams beat Rutgers from the outside which does play to the strength of this Nebraska offense.  There is hay to be made against this Rutgers teams that can rack them up as part of their pressure. 


    If Nebraska has an uncharacteristically cold night from outside, this is a game that Rutgers can take as they're well coached and motivated to stay out of the bottom 4 playoff. They beat Nebraska at the RAC in part because the Huskers gave up 25 offensive rebounds.  If Nebraska can keep the rebound and turnover margins at bay, they're very likely to win this one.


    A loss today would be Nebraska's worst of the season. Look for Nebraska to cement a tournament lock tonight.


    Prediction: Nebraska 72 - Rutgers 63

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