Head Coach: Greg McDermott
Location: Omaha, NE
Conference: Big East
Nickname: Blue Jays
Mascot: Billy Blue Jay
Last time out: Lost to Texas Opening Line: Creighton by 14.5
Famous Alumni: Bob Gibson, Porter Moser
Assistant coach Ernie Zeigler's son Trey is a grad assistant for the Jays
KenPom Analysis: Don't expect the Husker to shoot many FTs. Jays aren't pressuring on defense. Will they change strategy against Nebraska?
Player to watch: Arthur Kaluma
The Soph. forward is talented but he tends to dominate the shots while on the court while being the least efficient starter for the Jays.
Player to watch: Baylor Scheierman
The Aurora native and South Dakota St transfer is known for his shooting range and accuracy, shooting 46.2% from 3 last year. What might surprise you though is that he leads Creighton in rebounds
KenPom most used lineup
2 Ryan Nembhard 6-0 170 So
23 Trey Alexander 6-4 190 So
24 Arthur Kaluma 6-7 225 So
55 Baylor Scheierman 6-7 205 Sr
11 Ryan Kalkbrenner 7-1 260 Jr
Others to watch
Ryan Kalkbrenner is fairly unstoppable when he gets the ball in the paint. Currently shooting 81.5% from 2
Former Big East Freshman of the year Ryan Nembhard has been putting up elite ass/to numbers
Alexander is a situation shooter hitting over 40% from 3 and one of the Jays' better individual defenders
TCU transfer Francisco Farabello has struggled this season from the outside though the veteran is the Jays' most used sub
Shereef Mitchell is the backup pg, long ranger shooter Mason Miller is backup at the 4, and Fredrick King is backup at the 5
UNL Game Notes
Probable starters for Nebraska
5 Sam Griesel G 6-7
25 Emmanuel Bandoumel G 6-4
0 C.J. Wilcher G 6-5
4 Juwan Gary F 6-6
13 Derrick Walker F 6-9
15 Blaise Keita C 6-11
30 Keisei Tominaga G 6-2
32 Wilhelm Breidenbach F 6-10
10 Jamarques Lawrence - G 6-3
12 Denim Dawson - F 6-6
33 Oleg Kojenets F 7-0
12 Sam Hoiberg G 6-0
31 Cale Jacobsen G 6-4
35 Henry Burt F 6-6
24 Jeffrey Grace III G 6-3
3 Quaran McPherson G 6-3 - Out for the Year
The Blue Jays have quite the starting 5 this year that came together after landing Baylor Scheierman. There is a drop-off when they get into the bench but between the Jays' reasonable pace and their ability to play without fouling, their starters seldom leave the court. Fouls happen sometime so things could get interesting with the right ref crew.
While the home court will certainly goad Nebraska into speeding up at points, the defense of Creighton hasn't been geared to do so. The Jays tend to focus on running teams off the 3 towards shot blockers. They also have been known to change things up when they play Nebraska. Can the Huskers exploit Kalkbrenner's lack of mobility with Derrick Walker? Creighton's offense will be problematic for a Nebraska team that will overcommit to drivers at the expense of giving up wide open 3s. Nebraska is playing with fire if the Jays get open looks at home.
It would be one hell of a win if the Huskers could figure out how to knock off the Jays in Omaha but this might be a little tighter than recent years just because Nebraska has been playing remarkably slow this season under Hoiberg. Prior to this year Nebraska consistently had an adjusted tempo of over 70 which is good for at least top 35. This season as they patiently bring the ball up the court and swing through the offense, Nebraska currently ranks #309 at an adjusted tempo of 64.7. It becomes harder for either team to run up the score when you limit the shots.
Nebraska with Derrick Walker has steadied themselves against a couple of low end P5 schools. How does this newfound poise hole up in Omaha?
Breienbach clocks in at 6'9" 210# and his combination of height, high motor, and ability to stretch the floor on offense via outside shooting is specifically what Nebraska is looking for in the post. This in-person review from one of our members spells out in detail what we might expect in the future at Nebraska from Breienbach:
Nebraska currently has all of their scholarships for 2021 filled though they're continuing to actively recruit that class with the foregone conclusion that player attrition is inevitable.