Hey guys and gals, I’m sure most of you recognize me from the comments section. Well, I decided I wanted to give sports “writing” a try so the fine folks here running CN are letting me write a series of previews for the upcoming Nebrasketball season. Hopefully you enjoy a little bit of insight into the opponents for the non-con and eventual break down of conference teams as well. Feel free to give your own thoughts, views, or critiques in the comments! So without further ado, let’s get to breaking down Southern Utah for game 2.
Southern Utah University
When: Saturday, November 9th 2:00 PM ET BTN+
Location: The Vault, Lincoln, NE
2018-2019 Season Record: 17-17
2018-2019 Conference Record: 9-11
Conference: Big Sky Conference
Head Coach: Todd Simon (Entering 4th season and is a fellow Michigander like yours truly and is from near Lansing and graduated from Central MI. Was an associate HC at UNLV for three years before becoming Interim HC in Jan. 2016)
Southern Utah finished last season with one of their best records in decades, finishing 17-17 and 9-11 in conference play, finishing 7th. They did manage to make it to the conference tourney semi-final and won their first round in the CollegeInsider.com post-season tournament. They went 11-4 at home and managed 4-12 on the road while finishing 229th in RPI. They managed to knock off 205th Weber State and 213th Seattle on the road while suffering only a 5 point loss on the road to UNLV (176th).
They return leading scorer and rising redshirt senior guard Cameron Oluyitan who averaged 13.1 points a game on 44.6% shooting from inside the arc but only 36.2% from three. He managed 4.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists while turning the ball over 2.5 times a game averaging a team high 32.4 minutes a game. On the glass, rising sophomore Harrison Butler returns to help with his average 6.5 rebounds a game along with his 10.3 points a game in 25.7 minutes. He was only averaging 49.7% shooting, however. Challenging him will be rising senior Andre Adams who last season average of 22.4 minutes saw 6.3 rebounds a game and 9.8 points on 57.5% shooting.
Coach Simon comes from a pedigree of fast paced offense at UNLV where his runnin rebels ranked first in the country for adjusted tempo during his 17 game interim stretch, and SUU seems to match that style of play coming in at 35th for adjusted tempo per KenPom last season. However, the shots just didn’t fall much for them coming in at 311th in adjusted offensive efficiency. Defense was their strength, coming in at 199th in adjusted efficiency.
Overall they return most of their key pieces with 4 of their 6 players averaging the most minutes and production returning.
While SUU seems to overall be trending up under Coach Simon, don’t expect any career highlight upsets on this Nebraska football free bye week game day. Huskers should roll onto an easy win and should hopefully have some great improvement over game two even as the team starts to come together and learn each other better with real game play. Don’t be surprised if Coach Hoiberg lets the starters stay out long enough that we see the final score for the Huskers flirting with triple digits. GBR!