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Huskers Host No. 24 Badgers Tuesday Evening

Huskers Host No. 24 Badgers Tuesday Evening
Isaiah Roby and the Huskers tangle with No. 24 Wisconsin on Tuesday. Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

The Husker men’s basketball team returns to action looking for a big home win, as the Huskers host No. 24/23 (AP/Coaches) Wisconsin Tuesday night.  Tipoff at Pinnacle Bank Arena is set for 7:01 p.m. and any returned tickets will be available at the PBA box office beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Tuesday’s game will be televised nationally on BTN with Dave Revsine and Seth Davis on the call. The matchup will also be available on the Fox Sports App and BTN2Go with cable authentication.

Fans can follow all of the action across the state of Nebraska on the IMG Husker Sports Network with Kent Pavelka and Jake Muhleisen on the call. The game will also be available on Huskers.com, on the Huskers app, on TuneIn Radio and the TuneIn Radio app and on both Sirius and XM Radio. The pregame show begins one hour prior to tipoff on many of the Husker Sports Network affiliates (affiliate list on page 7 of the game notes).

The Huskers (13-7, 3-6 Big Ten) are looking to snap a three-game losing streak and are without senior forward Isaac Copeland Jr., who suffered a torn left ACL in Saturday’s loss to Ohio State. Copeland was NU’s second-leading scorer and rebounder, and senior Tanner Borchardt (2.2 ppg, 3.2 rpg) and freshman Brady Heiman (2.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg) will look to get extended minutes in Copeland’s absence.

The Huskers feature one of the Big Ten’s top performers in All-American candidate James Palmer Jr. The 6-foot-6 senior is averaging 19.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game. In Big Ten play, Palmer is fourth in scoring (18.6 ppg) and fifth in assists (4.2 apg), joining Michigan State’s Cassius Winston and Maryland’s Anthony Cowan as the only players in the Big Ten in the top five in both scoring and assists. Palmer led NU with 19 points and four assists in Saturday’s loss to Ohio State, while Glynn Watson Jr. added 18 points.

Wisconsin (14-6, 6-3 Big Ten) comes into Tuesday’s game riding a three-game winning streak highlighted by a 64-60 win over previously unbeaten Michigan earlier this month. The Badgers knocked off Northwestern, 62-46, last Saturday, holding Northwestern to 29.6 percent shooting. Brad Davison and D’Mitrik Trice had 18 points apiece while Ethan Happ had 13 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists in the win. Wisconsin moved into the national rankings in both polls on Monday.

OPENING NUMBER

1 – Glynn Watson Jr. needs one assist to move into 10th place on Nebraska’s career assist list. Watson has 343 career assists and is averaging a career-high 3.7 assists per game this season.

NUMBERS TO KNOW

7.9 – Rebounds per game for junior forward Isaiah Roby during the month of January. He is also averaging 11.1 points on 56 percent shooting during the month.

1.36 – Nebraska’s assist-to-turnover ratio, which is on pace to be one of the best marks in school history and ranks 32nd nationally.

No. Year Asst.-to-TO ratio
1. 1984-85 1.81
2. 1985-86 1.64
2018-19 1.36
3. 1983-84 1.34

 

3 – Number of Huskers with double-doubles this season (Isaac Copeland Jr., Isaiah Roby and Glynn Watson Jr.).

16 – Number of 20-point games for Husker players in 2018-19. James Palmer Jr. has 10 while Isaac Copeland Jr. (three), Isaiah Roby (two) and Glynn Watson Jr. (one) also enjoyed 20-point games this season.

64.3 – Nebraska’s scoring average in the last three games. The Huskers came into the stretch averaging 78.5 ppg.


SCOUTING WISCONSIN

Under fourth-year coach Greg Gard, the Badgers are 14-6 on the season and 6-3 in the Big Ten after winning their last three games. The Badgers are coming off a 62-46 win over Northwestern after holding Northwestern to 30 percent shooting. Brad Davidson and D’Mitrik Trice led Wisconsin with 18 points each, while Ethan Happ had 13 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists for his second triple-double of the year. Not only did Wisconsin bring back all five starters, but also regained the services of Trice and Kobe King, who missed nearly all of last season with injuries.

Happ is one of the Big Ten’s top players throughout his career, as he leads Wisconsin in scoring (18.9 ppg), rebounds (10.2 rpg) and assists (5.2 apg) while also chipping in 1.3 blocks per game. The Badger backcourt of Trice (14.2 ppg, 45.7 3-pt. pct.) and Davison (10.7, 43.4 3-pt. pct.) both shoot over 40 percent from long range, while Nate Reuvers is among the Big Ten leaders in blocked shots.

SERIES HISTORY
Tuesday’s matchup is the 29th meeting between the two programs, as both teams have won 14 games apiece. The series dates back to the 1903-04 season, as Nebraska won the first meeting, 25-22 over the Badgers in Lincoln before Wisconsin took five of the next six meetings from 1907 to 1955.  Nebraska then won eight straight games before the Badgers won the next five meetings, including the first four in Big Ten play, before the Huskers topped the No. 9 Badgers in the final regular-season game in 2013-14.

The Huskers are 4-8 against Wisconsin since joining the Big Ten (3-8 in regular season; 1-0 in Big Ten Tournament) and have won three of the last four meetings, including a season sweep in 2017-18. Wisconsin, at No. 24 in Monday’s AP poll, has been ranked in six of the last 10 meetings with Nebraska dating back to 2013.

LAST MEETING VS. WISCONSIN

The Nebraska basketball team erased an 11-point second-half deficit, outscoring Wisconsin 30-8 over the final 10 minutes to rally for a 74-63 victory over the Badgers at the Kohl Center on Jan. 29.

The Huskers had trailed for much of the night and faced their largest deficit at 55-44 midway through the second half. Playing a fourth game in eight days, Nebraska dug deep and used a pair of 8-0 spurts to end the game on a 30-8 run and claim their first Big Ten victory at the Kohl Center.

James Palmer Jr. continued his impressive play, finishing with a game-high 28 points, his fourth 20-point effort in the last six games. Palmer scored 21 of his points in the second half, hitting 6-of-11 shots from the field in the final 20 minutes and 8-of-9 from the line. Isaac Copeland Jr. added 17 points and Glynn Watson Jr. chipped in 15 points and five assists.

The Huskers shot 41.1 percent from the field on the game and were just 4-of-19 from 3-point range. But Nebraska went 24-of-28 at the free-throw line, including 20-of-23 in the second half and 14-of-16 down the stretch.

Ethan Happ posted a double-double with 25 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Badgers, but the Huskers held Happ to seven points on 2-of-8 shooting in the second half after Happ erupted for 18 first-half points.

LAST TIME OUT

Glynn Watson Jr. had 14 of his 18 points in the second half, but Nebraska fell to Ohio State, 70-60, at Pinnacle Bank Arena Saturday afternoon.

Watson, who moved into 13th place on Nebraska’s career scoring chart, had 18 points, while James Palmer Jr. added 19 for the Huskers, who fell to  13-7 overall and 3-6 in Big Ten play.

Nebraska could not overcome a cold shooting afternoon, hitting just 36 percent from the field against the Buckeyes (13-6, 3-5 Big Ten).

Luther Muhammad had a career-high 24 points to lead three OSU players in double figures, including six points in a crucial 12-2 second half run that stretched the lead to 56-43 after a C.J. Jackson 3-pointer with 8:14 remaining after Nebraska pulled to within 44-41.

The Huskers cut the OSU deficit to six on two occasions, the last being 64-58 after a Palmer basket with 44 seconds left, but the Buckeyes hit 6-of-8 free throws to hold the Huskers at bay.

COPELAND OUT WITH KNEE INJURY

University of Nebraska men’s basketball coach Tim Miles announced Saturday evening that senior forward Isaac Copeland Jr. suffered a torn left anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during the second half of Saturday’s game against Ohio State.  The injury was revealed during MRI testing following the game.

Copeland, an All-Big Ten selection in 2017-18, had started Nebraska’s first 20 games this season, averaging 14.0 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-9 forward from Raleigh, N.C., is second on the Husker team in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots (0.9 bpg). He has started all 53 games since arriving at Nebraska two seasons ago and including his two-plus years at Georgetown, has totaled over 1,300 points and 600 rebounds.

“I am broken hearted for Isaac,” Nebraska Coach Tim Miles said. “He is a young man who had every option available to him last spring, but wanted to come back and help lead the Huskers back to the NCAA Tournament and beyond. He has meant so much to our program and has been a valued leader in the Husker basketball family since arriving on campus two years ago. In typical Isaac fashion, he was the most vocal player in the huddle even after his injury, encouraging his teammates and showing leadership even though he was unable to play.”

TUESDAY NIGHT IS RED CROSS NIGHT

Tuesday’s game against Wisconsin is the annual Red Cross Night, as volunteers will be stationed at each of the Pinnacle Bank Arena entrances collecting for the Red Cross.

WORTH NOTING

  • Husker coach Tim Miles will be looking for his 50th conference win at Nebraska on Tuesday. Only three Husker coaches (Joe Cipriano, Danny Nee and Moe Iba) won 50 conference games at the school.
  • Wisconsin will be the Huskers’ fourth ranked opponent this month, the first time the Huskers faced four ranked opponents in a month since February of 2013. It is the 13th time in school history that NU has played at least four ranked opponents in one month and first since the 2012-13 season.
  • The Huskers’ 13-7 mark matches NU’s best 20-game start since joining the Big Ten (also 2017-18) and is the best since opening the 2010-11 season with a 15-5 mark.
  • Nebraska has been tough to beat at Pinnacle Bank Arena the past two seasons, going 25-3 in that stretch. The Huskers will look to break a two-game home losing streak on Tuesday.
  • Five of Nebraska’s seven losses have been to teams who have been ranked in the top-15 at some point in the season (Texas Tech, Maryland, Iowa, Michigan State and Ohio State). In six of Nebraska’s seven losses (all but Texas Tech), it has been a two possession or less game within the final 2:30.
  • Glynn Watson Jr. needs one assist to crack Nebraska’s top-10 chart for career assists. When he does that, he will become one of six players currently on NU’s top-10 list in both assists and steals, joining Brian Carr (1984-87), Cookie Belcher (1997-2001), Tyronn Lue (1996-98), Erick Strickland (1993-96) and Clifford Scales (1998-91). He is also two steals shy of fifth place on NU’s career list (Ryan Anderson, 166).
  • James Palmer Jr. has 10 20-point games this season, bettering his career total in 105 games entering this year. That total ranks among the highest 20-point games in a season under Tim Miles.
  • Palmer is also racing toward becoming the 30th 1,000-point scorer in Nebraska basketball history. He has 956 points in his Husker career and is looking to join Dave Hoppen and Terran Petteway in reaching 1,000 points at Nebraska in two seasons or less. Petteway reached 1,000 points at NU in his 55th game, while Hoppen topped the plateau in his 58th contest.
  • The Big Ten is well represented in the latest NET released on Jan. 28, as seven teams are ranked in the top 30 (Michigan-4; Michigan State-6; Purdue-11; Wisconsin-13; Maryland-22; Nebraska-25; Iowa-30).
  • As of the Jan. 28 NET, Nebraska has played 12 of its 19 Division I games against teams in the top two quadrants. Currently, every Big Ten team is in the top-125 of the NET.
  • The Huskers are averaging 76.3 points per game, which is fourth in the Big Ten and NU’s highest scoring average after 20 games since the 1995-96 season (86.4 ppg). During the previous six seasons under Head Coach Tim Miles, NU’s highest average after 20 games was 74.4 ppg in 2015-16.
  • Balance has been key for the Husker attack this season. When NU has at least three double-figure scorers, the Huskers are 12-4, but just 1-3 when less than three NU players are in double figures.
  • Nebraska’s offense ranks in the top-35 nationally in a trio of categories, including turnovers per game (10.4, 11th), turnover margin (+4.3, 13th) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.36, 32nd).
  • NU has committed 10 or fewer turnovers in 10 of the last 15 contests dating back to Nov. 24, and Nebraska’s average of 10.4 turnovers per game is on pace to be a school record. Four of the five lowest turnover per game totals have come under Tim Miles.
  • Nebraska is one of seven teams in Division I ranked in the top 25 nationally in field goal defense, 3-point defense and scoring defense through Jan. 27, a list which also includes Virginia, Texas Tech, Houston, Georgia Tech, VCU and Texas State.
  • After opening the month with a pair of sub-par defensive efforts, the Huskers have been effective on that end of the court in the last four games. Since the loss to Iowa, NU is holding teams to 40 percent shooting, including 28 percent from 3-point range over the last five contests. That includes games against the top two shooting Big Ten teams.
  • Nebraska ranks ninth nationally in average attendance at 15,610 per game as of Jan. 27. Of the eight schools ahead of the Huskers, all eight play in facilities of at least 16,300 seats. NU’s attendance is 104 percent of PBA’s 15,000-seat capacity.
  • The Huskers finished non-conference action with a 10-1 mark, including wins over Seton Hall, Clemson, Creighton and Oklahoma State. It marked just the fourth time since World War II that the Huskers finished non-conference play with one loss (10-1, 2003-04; 12-1, 1991-92; and 11-1, 1977-78).

HUSKER OFFENSIVE NOTES

Nebraska comes into the Wisconsin game averaging 76.3 points per game after averaging 72.3 points per game last year.  NU has scored at least 70 points in 14 of 20 contests, including seven games of at least 80 points.

  • Nebraska is 21st nationally in offensive efficiency according to KenPom through Jan. 27. In the KenPom era, only the 2003-04 team (25th) ranked in the top-50 nationally in offensive efficiency.
  • Nebraska’s 76.3 points per game would be NU’s highest scoring average since the 1995-96 team averaged 80.2 points per game.
  • The Huskers are fourth in all games and fifth in conference play (70.9 ppg) in scoring offense.
  • The Huskers scored 106 points in the opener against Mississippi Valley State, the Huskers’ highest total since the 2005-06 campaign.
  • Nebraska opened the season with four straight games scoring at least 80 points, marking the first time NU has accomplished that since the 1996 NIT.
  • Nebraska scored 94 points in the win over Creighton, its third-highest total in 52 meetings in the series.
  • The solid offensive effort is not surprising based on what the Huskers brought back from last year’s team that went 22-11, as Nebraska brought back its top four scorers for the first time in 15 years, including three players who averaged double figures.
  • Nebraska returned three double-figure scorers (James Palmer Jr., 17.2, Isaac Copeland Jr., 12.9 and Glynn Watson Jr., 10.5) for the first time since the 1992-93 season (Eric Piatkowski, 14.3; Derrick Chandler, 12.3; Jamar Johnson, 11.2).
  • Nebraska returned 73 percent of its scoring and 72 percent of its assists from last season. It marked the third time in the last 15 seasons that Nebraska returns at least 70 percent of its scoring from the previous year.

DOING IT WITH DEFENSE

For Nebraska, the biggest thing over the last two seasons – a stretch where the Huskers are 34-18 – has been improvements on the defensive end.

Last season, NU went from 13th to sixth in the Big Ten in field goal percentage defense and from 14th to second in 3-point percentage defense.  That has continued during the 2018-19 season at the halfway point of the season.

  • NU ranks in the top-25 nationally in scoring defense (62.5 ppg, 14th), field goal defense (.390, 14th) and 3-point defense (.288, 12th) as of Jan. 27. The Huskers also lead the Big Ten in steals (8.3 spg) and are fourth in blocked shots (4.5 bpg).
  • Only one opponent has shot over 50 percent against Nebraska in the last 45 games dating back to last season. In 2018-19, NU has held 18 of its 19 opponents under 50 percent shooting, as only Minnesota has shot over 50 percent.
  • NU limited 10 opponents to under 0.85 points per possession. Mississippi Valley State and Southeastern Louisiana were held to 0.47 points per possession, the lowest number in Tim Miles’ seven years at NU. On the season, the Huskers are 38th in Kenpom’s adjusted defense through Jan. 27.
  • The Huskers have held six opponents to their lowest offensive total of the season.
  • In the loss to No. 6 Michigan State on Jan. 17, the Huskers held the Spartans to their second-lowest point total (70) and field goal percentage (.436) of the season at the time.
  • Under Miles, the Huskers are 50-5 (.909) when holding opponents under 60 points, including 16-0 the past three seaasons.
  • Under Miles, the Huskers are 58-17 (.773) when holding opponents under 40 percent shooting, including 21-3 (.875) the past three seasons.

Charting Defensive Improvement

  2016-17 Season 2017-18 Season 2018-19 Season
Category Overall (Conf. Rk.) Overall (Conf. Rk.) Overall (Conf. Rk.)
PPG Allowed 73.0 (12) 68.6 (10) 62.5 (3)
FG Pct. Def. .447 (13) .423 (6) .390 (2)
3-Pt. Pct. Def. .399 (14) .322 (2) .288 (1)

NEW NUMBER, SAM GAME FOR PALMER

While senior guard James Palmer Jr. switched from No. 24 to No. 0 in the offseason, the All-American candidate continues to produce at a high level. Earlier this month, he was named to the midseason watch list for both the Wooden and Lute Olson awards. This season, the 6-foot-6 guard is averaging 19.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.4 steals per game entering the matchup with Wisconsin.

  • He is among the Big Ten leaders in scoring (second), steals (seventh), free throw percentage (.797, eighth) and 3-pointers per game (2.1, 11th).
  • Palmer is challenging to be the first Husker to average 20.0 ppg since Tyronn Lue averaged 21.2 ppg in 1997-98. Only six Husker players have ever averaged 20.0 ppg in a season.
  • Palmer has shown the ability to get to the free throw line, as he ranks in the top-20 nationally in both free throws (118, 12th) and attempts (148, 20th), while shooting a career best 79.8 percent from the foul line. Entering this year, Palmer was a career 72 percent shooter.
  • His Husker career scoring average of 18.0 points per game is eighth among all power conference players spanning the last two seasons. The Big Ten features three of the top eight with Purdue’s Carsen Edwards and Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ.
  • He is on pace to post one of the highest scoring averages in Nebraska history. Only two other players – Terran Petteway and Dave Hoppen – have averaged 18.0 ppg as a Husker during their career.
  • Palmer has reached double figures in 50 of 53 career games at Nebraska, including 18 20-point efforts and a pair of 30-point performances.
  • Since Dec. 1, Palmer is averaging 20.3 points and 3.9 assists per game while shooting 41 percent from 3-point range.
  • Palmer had 24 points, including 11-of-11 from the foul line, and a team-high eight rebounds against No. 6 Michigan State.
  • He put together one of his best all-around games at No. 25 Indiana with 11 points along with a career-high nine rebounds and season-high seven assists.
  • Palmer led NU with 26 points at Maryland while adding seven rebounds, four assists and a career-high five steals.
  • Palmer shouldered the scoring load in the win over Oklahoma State with a game-high 29 points, including 14-of-15 shooting from the foul line.
  • Palmer enjoyed one of the best performances of his career with a 30-point game against Creighton. The effort included a career-high six 3-pointers.
  • He turned in a strong performance in the Huskers’ win at Clemson, scoring 14 of his 20 points in the second half and also snaring a career-high nine rebounds.
  • Finished with 29 points against Seton Hall, the third-highest scoring night in his career, as he scored 18 of his points in the second half.

Last season, Palmer averaged 17.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game in leading the Huskers to a 22-11 record and an NIT berth.  Palmer reached double figures in 31 of 33 games in his first season at Nebraska, including eight 20-point efforts. Palmer’s junior year was highlighted by a career-high 34-point effort at Ohio State. Palmer joins Purdue’s Carsen Edwards as returning first-team All-Big Ten selections by the conference coaches.

  • Palmer averaged 18.8 points per game in Big Ten play last year, which is the highest average in conference play since Aleks Maric averaged 18.9 ppg in 2006-07. It is also the most by a returning Big Ten player since Tim Frazier in 2012-13.

WATSON KEYS HUSKER ATTACK

Senior Glynn Watson Jr. is in his fourth year as Nebraska’s starting guard and is putting together his best season as a Husker. He comes into the Wisconsin game averaging 13.5 points per game on 45 percent shooting, including 41 percent from 3-point range. He is also averaging career bests in assists (3.7 apg), rebounds (4.0 rpg) and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.4-to-1).

  • His assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.35-to-1 this season is on pace to be the best by a Husker since Charles Richardson Jr. (2.57-to-1) in 2006-07.
  • Watson has been in double figures 16 times this season, including his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 assists in the win over Cal State Fullerton.
  • His on-ball defense has been instrumental in Nebraska ranking among the national leaders in field goal and scoring defense.
  • He comes off an 18-point performance against Ohio State, which included a season-best 7-of-7 performance from the foul line.
  • Watson had 14 points, four assists and five rebounds in the loss to Rutgers
  • He turned in a strong effort at No. 25 Indiana, scoring 12 of his 15 points in the second half, while adding five rebounds and two steals.
  • Watson led NU to a win over Penn State with 19 points and three assists. He scored eight straight Husker points late in the second half to extend a one-point lead.
  • He guided the Husker attack in the win over Creighton with 13 points, five assists and a season-high three steals, while holding Creighton’s Ty-Shon Alexander to just 2-of-10 shooting.
  • Watson led NU with a season-high 20 points and a career-high nine boards against Western Illinois.
  • He showed his playmaking ability by dishing out eight assists and totaling 14 points in the win over Seton Hall.
  • Watson has a career 2.14-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio and has more steals (164) than turnovers (141) in his career.
  • His older brother Demetri McCamey was an All-Big Ten guard at Illinois during the 2009-10 season.
  • Watson is one of three alumni of St. Joseph to reach 1,000 points at Nebraska, joining Carl Hayes (1,136, 1990-92) and Clifford Scales (1,136, 1988-91). All three played for legendary high school coach Gene Pingatore, who is in his 50th year as coach at St. Joseph and has won over 1,000 games at the school.

COPELAND’S STRONG SENIOR CAMPAIGN DERAILED BY INJURY

Senior forward Isaac Copeland Jr. was putting together a strong senior year before suffering a torn left ACL on Jan. 26 against Ohio State. After earning honorable-mention All-Big Ten honors as a junior, Copeland raised many of his numbers in 2018-19, averaging 14.0 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.1 steals and 0.9 blocks per contest.

  • Copeland reached double figures 16 times this season, including a trio of 20-point efforts (vs. Missouri State, vs. Texas Tech and at Iowa).
  • He has 11 career 20-point games (7 at Nebraska, 4 at Georgetown), including a pair of 30-point games. Copeland had 30 points on 12-of-14 shooting against North Dakota last year and a career-high 32-point night against Marquette during his sophomore year at Georgetown.
  • Copeland averaged 17.0 points and 6.3 rebounds in NU’s first three games against ranked opponents this season.
  • Copeland was vital in Nebraska’s win at No. 25 Indiana with 14 points and eight rebounds in 33 minutes of work.
  • He led NU with a season-high 24-point effort at No. 25 Iowa while adding six rebounds and two steals.
  • Copeland had 16 points, five rebounds and a pair of assists in the win over Oklahoma State, keying the Huskers’ comeback in the first half with five straight points as part of an 11-2 run.
  • He earned a spot on the Hall of Fame Classic All-Tournament Team, averaging 21.5 points per game on 61 percent shooting, 7.5 blocks and 3.0 assists per game. He was in double figures in both contests, including 23 points against Missouri State and 20 points and eight boards against Texas Tech.
  • Copeland collected his fifth career double-double in Nebraska’s win over Seton Hall with 18 points and 10 rebounds. He had one during his redshirt year at Georgetown (2016-17) and three in 2017-18.
  • Copeland earned his undergraduate degree in sociology last May and is working on his Master’s Degree. He comes from a basketball family, as his father (Ike) played collegiately at East Carolina. As a senior, he helped East Carolina make the NCAA Tournament.

ROBY FILLS STAT SHEET

Isaiah Roby compliments the Husker attack with a unique skill set. The 6-foot-8 junior averages 10.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.6 blocks and 1.4 steals per game.  He leads the Huskers in blocked shots and rebounding and is the only Big Ten player ranked in the top 10 in the conference in both blocked shots and steals as of Jan. 27.

  • He is one of only six players nationally and three in power conferences averaging 1.4 blocks and 1.4 steals per game as of Jan. 27. Only three Big Ten players have accomplished the feat over the last 25 seasons.
  • Roby has played some of his best basketball over the past six weeks, averaging 12.1 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game over his last 11 contests dating back to Dec. 5.
  • He put together his best performance of the year in the Huskers’ win over Penn State, totaling 22 points on 8-of-9 shooting, along with season bests in rebounds (11) and blocked shots (four).
  • He enjoyed a solid performance against Iowa, finishing with 17 points on 8-of-10 shooting and a season-high nine rebounds despite foul trouble.
  • He scored a then-career-high 20 points against Cal State Fullerton while also topping the Huskers with eight rebounds and two blocked shots.
  • Roby put together a complete game in the win over Creighton, with 15 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
  • His dunk against Seton Hall on Nov. 14 marked the fourth time he’s had a top-10 play on SportsCenter at NU, including highlight dunks vs. Rutgers (2018) and at Indiana (2016).
  • Roby is one of only two returning power conference players to total 50 blocks and 50 assists last season, joining Missouri’s Jontay Porter, who will miss the 2018-19 season with a torn ACL. Roby is also one of four Huskers to have 50 blocks and 50 assists in a season, joining Aleks Maric, Venson Hamilton and Rich King.

THE A TEAM: ALLEN and AKENTEN

One of the biggest questions entering the season was who would emerge as the Huskers’ fifth starter. Sophomores Thomas Allen and Nana Akenten have shared the duties and provided the Huskers with an offensive punch.

  • Allen has started most of the season and is averaging 8.5 points per game on 45 percent shooting, including 38 percent from 3-point range, while chipping in 2.5 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.8 steals per game. He has been in double figures six times after reaching double figures twice as a freshman.
  • Allen is third in the Big Ten in steals per game and leads the team in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.63-to-1).
  • He has been playing well over the last 12 contests, averaging 9.5 points per game on 57 percent shooting along with 2.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. He also has a 2.60-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio in that stretch.
  • Allen had a career-high 18 points, five assists and four rebounds against Creighton and had 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting against Oklahoma State after missing most of the week with an illness.
  • Akenten has started twice and is averaging 4.7 points per game on nearly 40 percent shooting. He is shooting 33 percent from 3-point range and has given the Huskers a pair of double-figure efforts.
  • He had a career-high 18 points off the bench against Mississippi Valley State, including five 3-pointers, in just 13 minutes. He also had 11 points in the win over Missouri State and nine points in a start against Cal State Fullerton.

FILLING UP PINNACLE BANK ARENA

Pinnacle Bank Arena will be full every game in 2018-19, as the NU Athletic Ticket Office announced on September 25 that general public season tickets were sold out for the 2018-19 season. In all, nearly 15,000 season tickets have been sold for the 2018-19 season, including the Red Zone student section.

Since moving into PBA in 2013-14, the Huskers have ranked in the top-15 in attendance nationally all five years, and are one of only nine schools in the country to average 15,000+ fans per contest in that span.

PROTECTING THE VAULT
The Huskers have been strong at protecting its home court at Pinnacle Bank Arena since it opened in the fall of 2013.  NU has posted a 68-26 (.723) all-time record in Pinnacle Bank Arena.

  • Over the last two seasons, the Huskers are 25-3 (.893) with losses coming to No. 6 Michigan State (2019), No. 13 Kansas (2017) and Ohio State (2019).
  • NU tied a school record with 20 straight home wins from Dec. 20, 2017 to Jan. 10, 2019. It tied the school record which was originally set during the 1965-66 and 1966-67 seasons. Of the 20 wins in the most recent streak, 14 were by double-digits.
  • Nebraska went a perfect 9-0 at home in Big Ten play in 2017-18, the first time NU went unbeaten in conference play at home since the 1965-66 season.
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