Date: Wednesday, December 28th - 5:30 pm - Assembly Hall - Bloomington, IN
2015-16 Record: 27-8 (15-3 Big Ten)
2016-17 Record: 10-2 (0-0 Big Ten)
Head Coach: Tom Crean (9th Year)
Nebraska sneaks in a game with the Hoosiers of Indiana before the New Year in Bloomington. They will be facing a very talented squad that will most likely fight for the Big Ten crown this season. While they did lose a good amount of talent from last years Sweet Sixteen squad they do bring back some quality talent across the board that will give the Huskers problems.
Indiana has had a fairly good run so far this season. They started off early by beating then #3 Kansas in the Armed Forces Classic 103 to 99 in overtime. A huge win over a perennial top ten opponent. Something Nebraska failed to do when they ventured down to Lawrence earlier this month.
They then had their first loss against.....The Indiana University - Purdue University Fort Wayne Mastodons 71 to 68. You might remember the game from this kid drinking bleach at the end. It was a crazy way to end a crazy game. At least the it gave us something to ponder at the end. Like, did my mom have it wrong when she told me not to drink bleach when I was a kid?
They then went on to beat then #3 North Carolina 76-67 in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge which has given them the nickname “The #3 Killer”. No, they really didn’t get that nickname but lets pretend they did for this articles sake. The North Carolina win was huge for them moving forward.
The only other major loss was to #18 Butler 78-83 in the Crossroads Classic on December 10th. Out side of that they have pretty much dominated all other teams they have played. Mainly a bunch of mid majors for the taking.
Indiana is deep, really deep and will rotate the bench fairly well. They lead the conference in scoring (88.8 ppg), field goal percentage (0.519), rebounding margin (+14.7) and 3 pointers per game (9.8 pg).
They are lead by James Blackmon Jr. who is averaging 18.5 ppg and 5.4 rpg. The junior guard is their number one scoring threat and will give the Huskers headaches of he is not contained. He was one of their top players last year before being sidelined right before conference play started with a knee injury. Be ready to hear his name a lot this season.
Following Blackmon is guard Robert Johnson. Robert is averaging 13.8 ppg and 4.3 rpg. He is a threat not only on offense but also on defense for the Hoosiers. If Blackmon isn’t doing anything with the ball then it’s probably Johnson who is.
OG Anunoby (yeah, the kid’s name is really OG) is a sophomore who is putting up 12 ppg, and 6.3 rpg. He will push the Huskers in the paint and won’t let up. His style is a lot like what we will see in upcoming conference play.
Nebraska will have their hands full in Indiana. They are a very talented team that has proven they can play with almost anyone in the country. The Huskers on the other hand are still a team looking for an identity. Nebraska will win games in the Big Ten this year but it will be tough if they make it their first one against the Hoosiers.
While Nebraska had early success against Indiana when they first joined the Big Ten the Hoosiers have taken the last three games. Will they make it number 4 come Wednesday night?