Nebraska is Pentagon Bound, but not the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia. The Sanford Pentagon is a unique venue in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It isn’t a large arena by any means, the capacity of the event center is just 3,250 spectators. The contest is set for today with Oklahoma State with tip-off set for 6:00 P.M.
Nebraska really wanted to play another Big 12 team with a home-and-home scenario like in the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 seasons against the neighbors to the south, Kansas, but that didn’t happen when assistant coach Jim Molinari made calls about scheduling opponents. This game originally was going to be against Oklahoma, but the talks fell through, as did the plans with Kansas State. It worked out though as Oklahoma State was looking for a Power Five game to play on a neutral court, so the two teams figured out a contest in the month of December to play. Also for the teams, there will be a cash incentive as each squad will get a payout of $125,000.
Oklahoma State has a record of 4-5 this season, and they have dropped three games in a row. But don’t let that deceive you as this team has played some tough teams, and won games against solid teams as well. A couple of those wins are against Memphis, 84-64, and against 19th ranked LSU 90-77. The Cowboys shoot the ball at 46% but more impressively, they shoot 41.6% from three-point range which will be a tough task for Nebraska to stop. The team also is averaging 72 points per game, which is average in college basketball. This team struggles on defense as they allow 69.1 points per game this season.
Oklahoma State will be led by 6-7 junior forward Cameron McGriff. McGriff is averaging 14.1 points per game and also grabbing 7.0 rebounds per game. Fellow junior Thomas Dziagwa will be another player to watch for the Cowboys as he is scoring 11.9 points per game. His ability to shoot the ball from three will be an issue for Nebraska. He is making three longballs per contest while shooting 53.4% from deep.
For Nebraska, they are feeling great about themselves right now after beating Creighton last Saturday by a final score of 94-75, the first time in seven games against the Blue Jays. Nebraska looked great on that day, and if they can find a consistency to play similar to that, not very many teams can beat them. The Huskers are scoring an average of 79.8 points per game while shooting 48.2% from the field. On defense, they are allowing on average 59.6 points per game. All-around, Nebraska continues to improve.
James Palmer Jr. continues to lead the way for Nebraska as he averages 18.7 points per game, but the improvement there is his shooting percentages are slowly going up as he is at a 41.7% clip from the field and 30.2% from three. If he can continue to find his shot, Nebraska will continue to win. Issac Copeland Jr. continues to be steady at 14.9 points per game and also Glynn Watson Jr. is playing some of the best basketball in his career. Watson Jr. is averaging 14.4 points per game while shooting 49.5% from the field, grabbing 4.2 rebounds, and dishing out an average 3.8 assists. Those three continue to be pivotal for this Nebraska team.
Pre-game between the Huskers and the Cowboys is set for 5:00 P.M. and the game can be heard on Nebraska’s longest running affiliate 880 KRVN and 106.9 FM.