Hey folks, along with this being Nebraska's first home game in 10 days, it is also #AveryStrong day at The Vault. This is the third straight year that Nebraska has done the bone marrow donor drive to help support Avery Harriman and his fight against Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Avery is the son of former Husker assistant coach Chris Harriman. It's great to see the university and athletic department supporting this family even after they have moved on from the area.
From the the athletic department press release:
Several activities are taking place to help fight cancer and support Avery Harriman, the 8-year-old son of former NU assistant coach Chris Harriman and his wife Cheryl. Avery has been battling Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia since he was 2-years old.
To honor the fight that Avery has gone through, the first 500 students at Saturday’s game will receive an #AveryStrong shirt provided by Husker IMG Sports Marketing, turning the Red Zone gold on Saturday. The gold shirt symbolizes pediatric cancer, while the orange is the color for leukemia, symbolizing Avery’s battle.
Fans between the ages of 18 and 44 can sign up on Saturday to join the national bone marrow registry, as volunteers will be on hand to swab the cheeks of potential bone marrow donors. Any fan who signs up for the Bone Marrow Registry on Saturday will receive a free #AveryStrong T-shirt. In addition, information will be available to fans about the National Marrow Donor Program.
This is a great cause and we encourage all who attend to support and use #AveryStrong in reference on social media.
Date: Saturday, January 23rd
Location of School: Ann Arbor, MI
Coach: John Beilein (9th year)
2015-16 Record: 16-16 (8-10 conference)
Time to play the second school from Michigan this week. These guys are playing a little bit better right now than the Spartans so the game should be a bit more challenging.
It was a down season for the Wolverine basketball team. Three stars; Nik Stauskas, Glenn Robinson III, and Mitch McGary all left for the NBA. They also lost starters Caris LeVart and Derrick Walton during the season to injuries. The talent loss was too much by the time the conference slate kicked in and they never quite lived up to the past seasons. They missed the NCAA tournament for the first time in five years.
The season has been an improvement for the Wolverines. While they have been bitten by the injury bug it is not near what it was last year and they have some incoming talent that has helped out.
The Wolverines are coming into Lincoln with four of their five losses coming to top 25 talent. That is including Big Ten members Purdue and Iowa. Both of which are going to make the NCAA Tournament unless some unforeseen problems occur. Recently they defeated #3 Maryland 70-67 on January 13th which had the national press buzzing before being soundly defeated by Iowa 82-71 and squeaking by Big Ten bottom dweller Minnesota 74-69.
Michigan is most likely going to be without without their star guard, Caris LeVart when the play Nebraska. He injured his left leg against Illinois and it is unknown when he will return. This bodes well for the Huskers as he was averaging 17 ppg and 5 rpg before he went on injury reserve.
Players to Watch:
Top players to watch are Duncan Robinson, Zak Irvin, and Derrick Walton Jr. I would go into more detail but Drew Hallet did such a good job during our Q&A that I'm going to let you read his comments on these three power players for the Wolverines.
What will probably happen
Michigan is a good team who seems to be doing well without their top player in the lineup. They have had great leadership from the upperclassmen and help from a few of the younger guys off the bench. They play lights out on offense and tend to struggle on defense.
It is kind of hard to tell who is good and not good in the conference this year with a couple of exceptions. One day you can beat the top team and next get taken to the wire by one of the bottom dwellers. Just like Michigan did with #3 Maryland and Minnesota within a span of a week.
Right off the bat I would say Nebraska should have the advantage with a healthy roster, home court advantage, and a four game win streak. However, I think Michigan has more talent and experience that could pull this game out for them. If Nebraska gets hot it will be a high scoring game no matter who wins. The Huskers will need to play disiplined and accurate game if they want the keep the W in Lincoln.