For the first time since 2014, the Nebraska Cornhuskers have cracked the top 25. The Huskers rank is at 24, but as more eyes turn to the newly ranked Nebraska basketball team they will have a lot of pressure on them this week and they will battling some solid teams including a tough road contest against Minnesota tonight. To solidify that ranking, Nebraska will need to win on the road tonight. Following that, the Huskers will host in-state rival, Creighton on Saturday.
For this first contest of the week against Minnesota, the Golden Gophers are fringe top 25 team with a 6-2 record on the year. Their most recent game was a 79-59 loss to 16th ranked Ohio State on the road, and they will look to put together a little homecourt magic and pull off an upset against the Huskers. Minnesota is averaging 75 points per game on the year while shooting 43.7% from the field. This Minnesota team isn’t great at the free throw line as they shoot 65.9% from the charity stripe so that may be an issue for them tonight.
Jordan Murphy will be the player to watch from the Golden Gophers. The 6-6 senior will be a lot to deal with in the low point as he is averaging a double-double this season at 14.6 points and 12.0 rebounds on the year. He was limited against Ohio State as he had four fouls, so that may be a way for Nebraska to limit him as well.
Fellow teammate Amir Coffey will be another Golden Gopher that will be an issue. Coffey, a junior, stands at 6-8 and he averages 14.3 points per game. Coffey isn’t a player who will clean the glass like Murphey, but he does a nice job adding another scoring element alongside Murphy. Between Murphy and Coffey, Nebraska will have their hands full.
Then on Saturday, the Huskers will face another tough opponent this time at home as they will host rival in-state Creighton. Crieghton’s most recent game was a loss to top-ranked Gonzaga, 103-92. Creighton is a very good offensive team as this season they are scoring on average 84.6 points per game, but their issue is defense. They are allowing 76.5 points per game, so Nebraska will have to attack that weakness.
Ty-Shon Alexander is the sensational sophomore guard for the Blue Jays averaging 19.4 points per game. He’s shooting at a high percentage as well at 51.4% from the field, and 45.5% from three-point range as well. The backcourt member for Creighton is Damien Jefferson. Jefferson is a sophomore as well and he is scoring 12.3 points per game. It will be the opposite of the Minnesota game as the Huskers will have to limit the guard play.
The Huskers have a record of 7-1 and surprisingly, Nebraska hasn’t played their best basketball yet. Nebraska is shooting at 47.8% from the field which is an average clip, and the top scorer, senior James Palmer Jr. is only shooting at 40.6% and still averaging 18.3 points per game. Once Nebraska gets more continuity on offense, this team will be even more dangerous.
Seniors Issac Copeland Jr. and Glynn Watson Jr. have really stepped up this season as Copeland Jr. is averaging 15.1 points per game and Watson Jr. is at 14.6 per game. The main thing for Nebraska now is to get more production out of junior Isaiah Roby and the entire bench unit.
Tonight’s game against Minnesota will be on 880 KRVN and 106.9 FM with pregame set for 7:00 P.M. The Huskers contest against Creighton will take place on Saturday with pregame for 4:00 P.M. on 880 KRVN and 106.9 FM.