Southwest Minnesota State University Preview
Date: Saturday, December 29th
Time: 1:00pm CST
Location: Lincoln, NE
2017-18 Record: 25-9 (17-5 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Athletic Conference)
2018-19 Record: 7-4 (2-3 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Athletic Conference)
Coach: Brad Bigler (13th year)
The Mustangs had a banner year last season going 25-9 and were the southern division of the Northern Sun Athletic Conference champs. They made it to the championship of the NSIC tournament where they lost to Northern State. They went on to the Division II tournament and lost in the second round to Minnesota State. Overall a very good year for the team.
Southwest Minnesota State was picked to finish 6th this year in the NSIC by the conference coaches. They currently have a 7-4 record. This is their first game against a Division 1 opponent this season.
The Mustangs have been rotating a lot this season and get fairly decent production from their bench. There are seven players who are averaging over 23 minutes a game. I would expect to see a lot of new faces on the court as the game moves along.
They are lead by Ryan Bruggerman at guard. He is a 6’ senior and was picked as a first team preseason all conference member voted on by the league coaches. Ryan is averaging 23.2 point, 42. rebounds, and 6.1 assists per game.
There is a bit of a drop off in terms of scoring after Ryan. Taylor Schafer comes in behind him with 12.1 points and 2.4 rebounds per game. Another strong player that might give the Huskers fits if they let him.
Southwest Minnesota State gave Nebraska coach Tim Miles his first job as a head coach from 1997-2001. I am guessing that this connection is why we are playing them. They are a good Division II school that is going to get a nice paycheck for playing in Lincoln. Coach Bigler also played under Miles at SWMS before Tim left for North Dakota State in 2001.
Here is where this game gets a little interesting. Nebraska is recording this as a regular season game while SWMS is recording this as an exhibition. Why, you may ask? I have no clue. Maybe there are different rules in Division II or maybe the Mustangs don’t want this to show against their record. Why one team can treat this like a real game and another can call it an exhibition is also beyond my pay grade. Maybe the OWH or Journal Star will have the answer.
Believe it or not, his is also the second time these two teams have met. If you can remember, the last meeting was back on November 6th, 2014. Nebraska won that game 83-61.
I should now probably wax poetic about how they have some strong areas that will challenge the Huskers but I doubt they do. This should be a fairly large mismatch game. Expect to see a lot of the bench get some quality time on the court before conference season starts.
University of Nebraska 92 Southwest Minnesota State 53