Western Illinois Leathernecks Preview
Date: Saturday, November 24th
Time: 1:00pm CST
Location: Lincoln, NE
2017-18 Record: 12-16 (3-11 Summit League)
2018-19 Record: 2-3 (0-0 Summit League)
Head Coach: Billy Wright (5th Season)
Western Illinois was last in the Summit League Conference in 2017-18. One place behind the University of Nebraska Omaha for those of you keeping track at home. South Dakota State won it. Jill, you are the Corn Nation writer with the best FCS university. My hat is off.
Well, if they’ve improved from last year their record doesn’t show it. Both of their wins, North Park and Dominican, are both Division III schools. However, their loss to Eastern Illinois was by two points in overtime and UT Martin was also only done in by two.
They played Creighton back on November 6th. While they lost by 9 points they did lead at one point in the game by 8. Creighton is down this year but they are still a formidable opponent.
The biggest threat to the Huskers would be sophomore Kobe Webster. The 6’ guard is averaging 19 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 4 assists. The assists are really nothing to sneeze at considering his height and position on the floor.
Next to Kobe at guard is Jeremiah Usiosefe. The 6’5” junoir is also averaging 19 points per game and 6 rebounds. He missed the first four games but was beneficial to the Leathernecks in their close loss to UT Martin.
Their big man is Brandon Gilbeck. The 7’ center should give the Huskers some problems in the paint as the game goes on. He is averaging 9.2 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. He is second in the nation in blocked shots and blocked shots per game. Brandon was the Summit League defensive player of the year last season.
The record doesn’t show it but this is an improved team from last year. The Leathernecks fight to the end and should be another scrappy opponent the Huskers have to play. They have pushed every team they have played this year and I would expect them to try and do the same in Lincoln
I’m not sure how the Huskers will respond to the loss against Texas Tech and this will be a good indicator to that loss. Face value, it should be a more competitive game than most of us would like but Nebraska will prevail in the end.
University of Nebraska 73 Western Illinois University 65