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Nebraska Men’s Basketball Opponent Preview: Creighton Bluejays

NCAA Basketball: Creighton at Oklahoma State William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

Want to find out if Nebraska basketball is for real? Well we are going to get a great read on this team on Sunday when they welcome the Creighton Bluejays to a sold out Pinnacle Bank Arena.

The Bluejays are ranked #15 in the country and were a top 10 team until they lost to Colorado State last week.

Under Greg McDermott, Creighton has always been able to score. This year is not an exception as they are averaging 83.3 points per game.

Defensively they are lead by Ryan Kalkbrenner who is a 7’1” gifted rim protector and finisher.

Fred Hoiberg as of late has not been impressed with Nebraska’s toughness on the court and has probably spent the week trying to pull out all the toughness they can muster as they are going to need all of it in order to find a way to a win.

Last year Nebraska beat Creighton by 10 but the Huskers got two big games from Derrick Walker and Sam Griesel (combined 40 points and 20 rebounds). Creighton could not guard Walker as they started running the ball through him and that’s when they found something there. Unfortunately neither Walker nor Griesel will be playing on Sunday.

Nebraska may not win but it is an opportunity to see what kind of damage they will be able to do when it comes to conference play and hopefully looking to get a sniff at the NCAA tournament.


Date: Sunday, December 3rd, 2023.

Time: 3:01 p.m.

Location: Pinnacle Bank Arena Lincoln, NE

T.V. Broadcast? FS1 with Matt Schumacker and Nick Bahe.

Radio Broadcast: Sunday’s game will be carried on the Huskers Radio Network with Kent Pavelka and Jake Muhleisen on the call, including KLIN (1400 AM) in Lincoln, KXSP (590 AM) in Omaha and KRVN (880 AM) in Lexington and will also be available on Huskers.com and the Huskers app. The pregame show begins an hour before tipoff.

Season Record: 6-1 Overall (0-0 in Conference)

Head Coach: Greg McDermott (14th Season)

Mascot: Jaysker

What About Creighton? Preview from the Athletic Department:

Creighton comes to Lincoln with a 6-1 mark after defeating Oklahoma State, 79-65, on Thursday in Stillwater. The Bluejays returned three starters from a team that won 24 games and reached the Elite Eight before falling in the final seconds to San Diego State. Creighton was picked second in the Big East preseason poll.

The Bluejays are a potent offensive club, averaging 83.3 points per game while shooting 50 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3-point range. Creighton is among the national leaders in 3-pointers per game (12.0) and has a +10.7 rebound margin. Creighton is led by a trio of veterans in Ryan Kalkbrenner, Trey Alexander and Baylor Scheierman, all of whom average at least 15.0 points per game. Kalkbrenner, the two-time Big East Defensive Player of the Year, anchors the inside and averages 15.4 ppg on 58 percent shooting and 6.4 rebounds per game. Scheierman averages a team-high 18.6 ppg while shooting 40 percent from 3-point range and averaging a team-high 7.1 rebounds per game. Alexander is at 16.4 ppg and tops CU in assists at 4.4 per outing.

Series History: Nebraska and Creighton are meeting for the 57th time in series history on Sunday afternoon, as Creighton holds a 29-27 lead. Creighton had won seven straight meetings between 2011 and 2017 before Nebraska snapped the streak in 2018. Creighton then won the next three before NU’s win in Omaha last December. Nebraska is looking for consecutive wins in the series for the first time since winning seven straight games from 1990 to 1997. Sunday’s game will be the fifth head coaching matchup between Nebraska’s Fred Hoiberg and Creighton’s Greg McDermott. Besides the last four seasons, Iowa State beat Creighton, 91-88, at the Global Sports Hy-Vee Challenge in Des Moines, Iowa on Nov. 21, 2010.

Last Meeting: Derrick Walker and Sam Griesel combined for 40 points and 20 rebounds, as Nebraska knocked off No. 7 Creighton, 63-53, at the CHI Health Center on Dec. 4, 2022. Walker led three Huskers in double figures with a career-high 22 points on 11-of-16 shooting and eight boards, while Griesel added 18 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists. Griesel scored six straight in a decisive run after Creighton cut an eight-point lead to 36-33 with just over 10 minutes remaining. His spurt pushed the Husker lead to nine, as Nebraska shot 52 percent in the second half and withstood a barrage of Bluejay 3-point attempts. Creighton pulled to within 44-39 after Francisco Farabello’s 4-point play, but Griesel came back with a three-point play on the ensuing possession, and Nebraska stretched the lead in the final minutes in picking up its first win over the Bluejays in Omaha since 2004.