Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
Date: Saturday, November 19, 2016 – Time: 7:00 PM – Pinnacle Bank Arena
2015-16 Record: 23-10 (12-6 Conference USA)
2016-17 Record: 1-1
Record against Nebraska: 0-1 (59-56 in 2005)
Head Coach: Eric Konkol (2nd year)
Check it out, it’s Nebraska’s first real contest of the season. Louisiana Tech will bring a team with experience into Lincoln to take on the Huskers.
The 2015-16 season for the Bulldogs was a fairly successful one under first year head coach Eric Konkol. During the season he lead the dogs to a third place finish in the C-USA, the quarterfinals in the conference tournament, and the quarterfinals in the post season Vegas-16 tournament. These are all huge accomplishments for a first year head coach in any conference or division.
However, this year’s Bulldog team might have a bit of a drop off. Most of the good that was brought to the team was due the fact that they had senior guard Alex Hamilton to lead the way. If you are unfamiliar with him he was 2016 Conference USA Player of the Year, AP Honorable Mention All American, and First Team All Conference USA. While he was not taken in the NBA Draft he was picked up by their D-Leage and is currently playing with Santa Cruze and hoping to work his way up.
This year will be a tougher tow without Alex at the helm but the Bulldogs should have some fight left in them for a decent run in the conference. The media picked them 7th in their preseason poll and there is plenty of room to work with in a fairly decent conference.
The Bulldogs will come into Lincoln with a 1-1 record with their lone loss was 76-85 against South Carolina. Louisiana Tech lead once early in the game but couldn’t keep up with the Gamecocks to pull off the win. They did, however, outscore South Carolina 45-43 in the second period. Showing that these players won’t give up if they are getting beat early on. They are resilient and the Huskers should take note going into the game.
Jacobi Boykins leads the team with 16 ppg and 2 spg. He’s a quick guard who can become problematic if his shooting becomes hot. The Huskers will need to put pressure on him early and make sure his shots are limited.
Jean Derric is second points per game with 14 and is pulling down 5 rpg so far this season. His ability to come in and rebound has helped the Bulldogs out when they’ve gotten into trouble in the past two contests.
Omar Sherman is their 6’9” forward who brings down 5.5 rpg and 12 ppg. Expect him to throw his weight around in the paint and try to cause problems. He’s probably the most solid guy under the basket that Nebraska will have seen so far this season.
Also of note is freshman DaQuan Bracey who has made an immediate impact on the team. He came off the bench against Arkansas in the first game of the season and scored 12 points. For this he was awarded the C-USA Freshman of the Week award. Expect to see him more at point as the game goes on.
Louisiana Tech will be the first major test for Nebraska this season and could give the Huskers fits. If the Huskers start out flat then it could lead to a tough night. However,Louisiana Tech can also start out slow scoring and if Nebraska’s defense proves to be as salty as it has been the last couple of games it could be enough to keep the lead.
In the end I see Nebraska’s athleticism taking over and pulling off the win.