Tipoff: 1:00pm CST Location: "The Bob" - Lincoln, NE
Television: Big Ten Network | Live Stats and Internet Radio: Huskers.com
Radio: IMG Husker Sports Network | KLIN 1400 in Lincoln - KFAB 1110 in Omaha - KRVN 880 in Lexington
Play by play - Kent Pavelka Color - Matt Davison
SCORE UPDATE: Final Score- Nebraska 83 Rhode Island 63
After yesterday's letdown in Ann Arbor, I'm really pissed. Losing to Michigan in the "Big House" is fine, er...understandable. But to lose they way we did, well...I"m looking for something positive to drive me from this Sunday funk. Today, a Husker win on the court would be a nice start..
-Nebraska comes into the game today with another defensive stalwart of a team under Doc Sadler. Nebraska is allowing just 54.5 ppg so far in their two wins. The Huskers are scoring around 64 ppg on their own.
-Rhode Island has scored 90 points in each of their two losses this season, which makes the average easy. Major output, but they've also been allowing around 96 ppg so far.
-The Rams lose about 70% of their playing minutes from last season, their highest percentage since 1999-2000. Players lost include Marquis Jones (34 min per game), and Delroy James (34 min per game).
-Nebraska has averaged 18.5 turnovers so far this season. Gamebreaker - Excessive turnovers today could lead to the Rams running and playing their brand of basketball. This is BAD for Nebraska.
-Nebraska has been shooting 47% from the three point line this season, compared to just 30% for the Rams of Rhode Island.
-The Rams ended with a 17-10 record last season, and missed the NCAAs despite a 9-7 winning record in the A-10 conference.
-Nebraska has never played the Rhode Island Rams. (Welcome to Lincoln!)
- The leading scorer for the Rams is Jamal Wilson, who is averaging a whopping 31 ppg this season. Nebraska's leading scorer has been senior Bo Spencer at 14 ppg.
Summary: We know the Rams can score, and we know they have a weak defense. Usually this makes predictions tough, but with Nebraska playing the style of defense it does...we can probably suspect that this game will be a close one.Turnovers will be key, and Nebraska needs to get much better at that. (Side note: What is going on in Lincoln where everyone drops balls made of leather??)
I look for Doc to sic Toney McCray on the 6'5" Jamal Wilson to try and shut him down. McCray with his long reach will limit the size advantage Wilson has on the perimeter.
Rhode Island will look to run, score a lot, and get the Huskers out of their game plan. This would normally worry me, but if we look at the Rams' two opponents this season, Texas and George Mason, we see two teams that aren't making anyone earn their points. Texas is allowing 78 ppg and GM is allowing around 72. Suddenly the 90 point efforts from the Rams doesn't seem so intimidating. Couple that with a stingy Husker defense at home today, and I think Nebraska will win this one.
Thank you Big Ten Network! Here's to a 3-0 start. Go Big Red!