Head Coach: Greg McDermott
Location: Omaha, NE
Conference: Big East
Nickname: Blue Jays
Mascot: Billy Blue Jay
Last time out: Defeated Oklahoma St
Clothes not to wear: ONLY WEAR RED
KenPom Ranking: 11
Opening Line: Creighton by 3.5
KenPom most used lineup
Player to watch: Trey Alexander
Arguably the Blue Jay's best player is a lock down defender as well as a dynamic combo guard. Has struggled from 3 this season but has been hot from mid-range. First on the team in assists and steals, 2nd in rebounds and points.
Player to watch: Baylor Schierman
The Aurora, NE native leads the Jays in scoring and rebounding. Known for his shooting range and love of Nebraska Volleyball.
Others to watch
Two-time Big East defensive player of the year Ryan Kalkbrenner is still manning the center position for the Jays. Starting PG Steven Ashworth is hitting a blistering 47.1% from 3 though as a secondary scorer. Francisco Farabello comes of the bench as a scoring guard and is a 40% 3pt shooter. The 4 spot is a rotation mainly of Mason Miller and Isaac Traudt. Both are shooting about 47% from 3 with Traudt playing more at the moment as Miller is coming off an illness. Backup center Fredrick King at 6'10" 250 is a nice piece for the Jays but an obvious drop-off from Kalkbrenner.
UNL Game Notes
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
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
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
2 Ramel Lloyd Jr. 6-6 210 lbs RS Freshman
11 Eli Rice 6-8 213 lbs Freshman
21 Matar Diop 6-10 213 lbs Freshman
31 Cale Jacobsen 6-4 200 lbs RS Freshman
35 Henry Burt 6-7 216 lbs RS Freshman
24 Jeffrey Grace III 6-3 197 lbs Sophomore
Fred Hoiberg/Reink Mast/Brice Williams presser
At one point it seemed that Sunday's annual rivalry matchup would be a battle of undefeated teams. In a slight twist, Nebraska is the squad who's yet to stumble. The Jays had a clunker down in Kansas City vs Colorado St but otherwise have been firing on all cylinders including commanding wins over Iowa and Oklahoma St. With their ability to score in bunches, the Jays should be a tough out.
Offensively the Huskers have been scoring from 3 and the FT line, a challenge against a Creighton team that runs you off the 3pt line and is often one of the best teams in D-1 at not putting teams on the FT line. Last season the Huskers took the fight directly at Kalkbrenner and we'll see if Reink Mast is used in a similar method. Defensively, the Huskers are likely to double down on Kalkbrenner and scramble to cover 3pt shooters. Will that work again this year? Speaking of last year, the Huskers completely bailed on offensive rebounds to stop the break. Will they be more aggressive this year?
One thing to track in this game is turnovers as both teams are trying to force tough shots as opposed to generating turnovers. Thus, turnovers will likely be a sign of carelessness or lack of poise. Will either team crack under the pressure of what should be a ruckus atmosphere in Lincoln?
Both teams probably like their chances in a close one.
Prediction: Nebraska 72 - Creighton 70