Date: Saturday, January 2nd
Location of School: Bloomington, IN
Coach: Tom Crean (8th year)
2015-16 Record: 11-3 (1-0 conference)
Here we go! It's full on conference time and there is no looking back. The Hoosiers come in to Lincoln with a decent squad.
2014-15 Season: 20-14 (9-9 conference)
Indiana started the season off fairly well before getting into trouble in conference play. Their defense was spotty at times and kept them out of most games they lost. They made the NCAA Tournament as a #10 seed and had an early exit against #7 Wichita State.
This season has gone much better for the Hoosiers. Their three losses were to Wake Forest, UNLV, and Duke with UNLV being the only bad loss in that span. Their best win so far was a 80-73 win against Notre Dame on December 19th. I will say, they did beat Creighton 86 to 65.
They have also filled their need in the paint which seems to be paying dividends all year. They are currently leading the Big Ten in offensive rebounds at 41.6%, 3 pointers at 44.9%, points per game at 8.4, and field goal percentage at 53.3%. If they stay the course this team should challenge the top 5 in the conference for most of the year.
Players to Watch
Yogi Ferrell : Yogi, you have to love a kid with the name Yogi. He either steals picnic baskets, bends his body into a pretzel, or drops malapropisms like a savant. Whatever he does, Nebraska will have to guard him close as he is averaging 16.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg, and 6.0 apg.
James Blackmon Jr. : James may or not play with a right knee injury but will be making the trip to Lincoln. If he is healthy he will be the other guard Nebraska will have to put pressure on. He is averaging 15.8 ppg and 4.2 rpg and is making almost half of the threes he tosses up at 46.3%.
Thomas Bryant : Bryant is a true freshman who was a McDonald's All American who has added the much needed body under the basket for the Hoosiers. He is averaging 11.3 ppg and is pulling down 4.9 rpg. If the Huskers can't make it to the basket it's because Bryant is having his way in the paint.
What will probably happen
Indiana has been playing some decent ball this year and seem to play best at home. All three losses were on the road and they seem to struggle in their visiting venues. Rutgers came close to beating them in New Jersey and they probably would have if the Scarlet Knights weren't the worst team in the conference.
If Nebraska wants to win they will have to give a strong defensive front and do what they can to keep Indiana from scoring around the perimeter. On the offensive side they need to keep the scoring droughts down to a minimum (yeah, I'm starting to sound like a broken record) and keep Bryant occupied which will be tough. One area that Indiana has been struggling with is turnovers. They have been averaging around 15 a game and had a season high of 23 against Big Ten bottom dweller Rutgers. Nebraska has to take advantage of this weakness if they want to stay in this game.
If the Huskers can play a complete game they can probably pull off this win. Score when they have the opportunities and take advantage of the Hoosiers mistakes, especially turnovers. Indiana has not really played well on the road this year and Pinnacle Bank Arena might just help cause the upset.