Idaho State Bengals
Head Coach: Ryan Looney
Location: Pocatello, ID
Conference: Big Sky
Mascot: Benny the Bengal
Last time out: Lost to Seattle 77-51
Shirt not to wear: Orange, Tiger
Opening Line: Nebraska by 12
- This is the second ever meeting between the two schools. Nebraska thumped IDSU 98-72 back at the Devaney in 1994.
- Idaho St hasn't beaten a Power 5 team since Oregon in 1986. They've gone 0-49 since then.
- Head coach Ryan Looney worked his way up to the Bengals after 15 years as head coach in the NAIA and Div II
- Trey McGowens is likely out until mid-January
Player to watch: Robert Ford
The Bengals' starting PG also happens to be one of the best rebounders in the conference. Last year Ford averaged 7.2 rebounds to go with 11.4 points and 3.1 assists. Has an inconsistent shot and is turnover prone.
Player to watch: Brayden Parker
Beefy 6'8" F/C Parker gets the most touches in the paint for a team that posts up as much as anyone. Parker is active on the offensive boards and will fire up 1-2 threes a game.
Probable ISU Starters
20 Robert Ford III G Jr. 6-0 185 Portland, Ore. Clackamas Community College
2 Tarik Cool G Sr. 6-4 180 Chandler, Ariz. Lane Community College
3 Malik Porter F Sr. 6-5 215 Phoenix, Ariz. CSI
13 Daxton Carr F So. 6-7 215 Pocatello, Idaho Cal Poly
32 Zach Visentin C Fr. 6-9 260 Springville, Utah Springville HS
22 Jared Rodriguez F Jr. 6-8 215 Glendale, Ariz. San Diego
25 Brayden Parker C So. 6-8 250 Preston, Idaho CSI
5 Austin Smellie G Jr. 6-5 195 Preston, Idaho Preston High School
1 Liam Sorensen G Fr. 6-4 205 Haldum, Denmark Get Better Academy
0 AJ Burgin G Fr. 6-4 200 San Diego, Calif. San Diego High School
4 Emmit Taylor III G Jr. 6-4 195 Lapwai, Idaho North Idaho
10 Tommy Ball G Fr. 6-0 175 El Dorado Hills, Calif. Oak Ridge HS
12 James Carlson F Jr. 6-9 215 Coeur D’Alene, Idaho North Idaho
14 Kyle Karstetter F Fr. 6-7 210 Moses Lake, Wash. Moses Lake HS
24 Pablo Tamba G Fr. 6-6 200 Malaga Spain Unicaja-Andalucia
34 Gedeon Buzangu C Jr. 6-8 230 Kinsasha, Congo Miles Community College
44 Louis Stormark F Fr. 6-8 240 Alleroed, Denmark Get Better Academy
The Rest of the Roster
Leading scorer Tarik Cool can be streaky at points, especially when willing himself to the FT line. 2nd year Zach Visentin is getting the starts and has a nice touch inside but is foul prone. Malik Porter starts but is an undersized traditional PF who seems to be losing minutes to guys with an outside shot this year. Austin Smellie isn't a volume scorer but seems to be breaking out of his shooting slump from last year. Daxton Carr and Jared Rodriguez are stretch 4s that doesn't make enough 3s. Liam Sorensen is Danish and sometimes provides guard depth.
UNL Game Notes
Probable starters for Nebraska
1 Alonzo Verge G 6-3
5 Bryce McGowens G 6-7
23 Keon Edwards G 6-7
11 Lat Mayen F 6-9
13 Derrick Walker F 6-9
32 Wilhelm Breidenbach F 6-10
30 Keisei Tominaga G 6-2
0 C.J. Wilcher G 6-5
35 Eduardo Andre F 6-11
10 Kobe Webster G 6-0
14 Trevor Lakes F 6-8
3 Quaran McPherson G 6-3
33 Oleg Kojenets F 7-0
4 Jackson Cronin G 6-1
12 Sam Hoiberg G 6-0
15 Chris McGraw G 6-0
21 Jace Piatkowski G 6-3
Tonight begins a gauntlet of 3 home games in 5 days as Nebraska tries to rebound from a 1-2 start and the loss of program cornerstone Trey McGowens. Reportedly Keon Edwards will get the start after playing just 12 minutes in 3 games and will be looked upon to contribute in terms of rebounding and defense. Rebounding ability will certainly be needed tonight as it's the specialty of the Bengals.
Idaho St brings in an experienced squad that returned all of its rotation pieces from last year. However, it's a team that couldn't hit much from outside, turned the ball over a lot, and put people on the FT line. Speed this team up a little and Nebraska could have it put away by half time. However, this Bengal squad plays slow, runs teams off the 3pt line, and rebounds quite well. If Idaho St makes a few shots tonight and hangs around until the end, the Huskers will be in danger. Look for Nebraska to make hay at the FT line tonight and turn Idaho St turnovers into a lead that the Bengals don't have the firepower to overcome.
Prediction: Nebraska 80 - Idaho St. 62