Date: Tuesday, November 5th 9:00mPM ET BTN
Location: The Vault, Lincoln, NE
2018-2019 Season Record: 10-23
2018-2019 Conference Record: 4-12
Conference: Big West
HeadCoach: David Patrick (2nd season after assistant coaching stints at LSU and TCU)
UC Riverside finished 8th in conference and ended their season with a loss in the conference tournament quarterfinal. UC Riverside will be lead by rising senior guard Dikymbe Martin who lead the team in scoring last season with 14.8 points a game, including 44% shooting from behind the arc and 47% inside. He also averaged 2.6 assists.
After Dikymbe, rising sophomore center Callum McRae is the next highest returning scorer on the roster, averaging 7.6 points a game in 18.8 minutes while shooting at 55% from field goal range. UC does respectable on the glass, averaging 31.9 rebounds a game with McRae leading the team last season with 4.8 rebounds a game.
This was all against a rather weak schedule, however. UCR came in at 261st in the country for SOS, and overall RPI of 327th. However, they did pick up a few notable wins in their schedule, punching out of their weight range by beating 227th Elon, 224th Hawaii, 179th Pepperdine, and 110th Loyola Marymount. They traveled poorly, though, as all those wins were at home except Elon which was a neutral tourney site. Road wins came at 288th UC Davis and 341st Cal Poly.
They return all but two players from last year’s roster, but will still only have four total upperclassmen so the roster will skew young overall. They only add one new signee this upcoming season, a PG who ranked 518th in the country, and 79th overall in his position per 24/7.
Perhaps it might be interesting for the first few minutes of the season opener as Hoiberg and company get settled into their new digs in their first regular season game at the vault, but even with the completely new roster and systems in place this shouldn’t be close by the half. UC Riverside returns most of their roster from a weak team and should be easy pickings as a warm up act for the revamped Husker squad. Expect a fairly tight playbook this game and a focus on mastering the basics against easy competition. Let’s call the final score something like 75-52. GBR!