This season Nebraska has posted an impressive 5-1 record thus far. The only true test for Nebraska has been against Texas Tech in the Gavvit Games in which they lost 70-52. This week though, the Huskers face Clemson on today and then it’s on to Big Ten play and they will face Illinois on Sunday, December 2nd.
Clemson hosts this game in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, and the 16th ranked Tigers are coming off of an 87-82 loss to Creighton in the Cayman Islands Classic. Clemson also has a 5-1 record and they have played well early on this season. Clemson this season is averaging 77.2 points per game and allowing 65.8 points per game. They also are shooting an impressive 49.4% from the field this season. The Tigers’ weaknesses include not rebounding at a high clip and assists are only at about 13 per game. This group from Clemson doesn’t force a lot of turnovers either as they only take the ball away about seven times a game.
Nebraska will face a quartet of good players from Clemson. Senior guard Marcquise Reed leads the way for Clemson at 19.8 points per game. Reed is also pulling down six rebounds per game which is second on the team. Shelton Mitchell is the second leading scorer for Clemson. He’s the fellow senior backcourt mate as he averages 14.7 points per contest for the Tigers. Sophomore forward Aamir Simms has been good this season for the Tigers as well. He is averaging 11 points per game and 4.5 rebounds. Senior Elijah Thomas rounds out a strong offensive unit as he scores 10.3 points per game and seven rebounds per game. He also is shooting 62.5% from the field.
If Nebraska wants to pull off the upset, they will need to score quickly in transition and control the glass. Another key is shooting the ball from three well. The Huskers have yet to be able to shoot the ball effectively from three, which has been a struggle. Probably the most important facet to this game against Clemson is stopping their guard play. If Nebraska can force turnovers, which between Reed and Mitchell they have 31 total turnovers on the year, the Huskers have a great opportunity to grab a win on the road.
Nebraska will then host Illinois on Sunday, December 2nd. The Illini will face Notre Dame before coming to Lincoln. The Illini right now have a record of 2-4 as they have been struggling to find their way early this season. But, this team has shown an ability score in bunches. They are averaging 80.8 points per game. Unfortunately for them, they struggle at stopping teams as they are allowing 77.7 points per game. This team also struggles at rebounding the ball as well, so Nebraska will look to win the battle on the glass.
Illinois has a pair of good scorers to lead Illinois. Sophomore Trent Frazier is leading the way so far for the Illini at 17.6 points per game. Illinois has a freshman that stands out as well. Ayo Dosunmu is scoring 14.5 points per game this season.
For Nebraska, they look to get a pair of wins that may be pivotal when it comes tournament time and looking at resumès. So far Nebraska is averaging 80.5 points per game. They are shooting a decent percentage from the field at 47.9%. But from the three-point line, they are struggling shooting 53-161 which is a 33% mark.
Nebraska has been led by senior James Palmer Jr. at 17.2 points per game, but he has shot the ball at 38% from the field and 18% from three. Look for him to get on track soon. Glynn Watson, a fellow senior, has had a great season averaging 15.2 points per game, shooting 55% from the field, and 51% from three-point range. The one player Nebraska continues to wait for and emerge is Isaiah Roby. The junior has posted an average of 8.5 points per game and six rebounds, but he has yet to break out for the Big Red.
Nebraska’s game against Clemson will be tonight Monday, November 26th at 6 P.M. Nebraska’s game against Illinois will tip-off at 4 P.M. on December 2nd. Both games can be heard on 880 KRVN and 106.9 FM.