The Indiana Hoosiers (16-12, 9-7) travel to Lincoln, Nebraska to play the Nebraska Cornhuskers (20-9, 11-5). The game tips-off at 9:00 PM ET and will be broadcast by BTN with Kevin Kugler and Stephen Bardo on the call.
In order to help prepare you for what to expect for tonight’s game we took a look at what the Nebraska media is saying.
STAR IN A SLUMP
After scoring 13 points a game last year, many expected junior guard Glynn Watson, Jr. (#5 above) to lead the Cornhuskers in scoring in the 2017-18 season. Watson had 26 points, 5 steals and 4 assists in last year’s Nebraska win over Indiana in Bloomington.
But Watson’s shot has been off most of the season, especially recently where he has been struggling to get anything to fall. The Lincoln Journal Star reported that Watson and Nebraska head coach Time Miles might have discovered a mechanical flaw:
Glynn Watson spent extra time after Monday’s practice working on his jumper as the junior works to free himself from the worst slump of his career. Watson is 3-for-21 from the field over his past two games and went 1-for-9 against Illinois. Nebraska coach Tim Miles said he and Watson discovered a mechanical flaw in Watson’s jump shot during film study. The coach also said he wants Watson to take “good” twos and work harder to get fouled and get to the free-throw line.
Another name Hoosier fans likely reluctantly remember from last year is Isaiah Roby. As a freshman last year Roby had an impact with 8 points and 6 rebounds including a monster dunk in the game against IU. This year he has been emerging of late. Last week he averaged 12.5 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks, earning the Daily Nebraskan’s player of the week for the 2nd week in a row.
While Roby is not Nebraska’s first, second or third option for offense many nights, he takes advantage of his opportunities to score. This season, he’s shot 56 percent from inside the arc, which is the best mark on the team by eight full percentage points. He also shoots a healthy percentage from behind the arc, settling in at just under 37 percent, a good mark for the role he plays. He also shoots 72.2 percent on free throws, another solid mark.
MARCH HOPES TAKE A HIT
Nebraska is coming off of a tough road loss to Illinois on Sunday. The loss is especially painful for the Cornhuskers as they try to state their case for the NCAA tournament. As Indiana knows all too well, losses to teams with losing records like the Illini does not help on the NCAA resume.
Despite 20 wins overall and 11 conference wins, the bracketologists are not optimistic about Nebraska’s chances. The Omaha World Herald had quotes from two prognosticators that see the Cornhuskers on the outside looking in.
Seth Greenberg had this to say on ESPNU radio:
“I don’t see how Nebraska gets in.”
CBS’ Jerry Palm suggested that the Illinois loss along with a lack of quality wins will likely keep them out:
“Nebraska’s loss at Illinois is its worst of the year, their first Quadrant 3 or worse loss,” Palm said. “It was a bad time for that. They beat Michigan at home, but that’s it. And it’s just not enough.”
Those takes on Nebraska should tell you just how far out Indiana is, as the Hoosiers have bad losses aplenty and no real quality wins on the season.
MILES AND PALMER PREVIEW INDIANA
Nebraska head coach Tim Miles and leading scorer James Palmer, Jr. previewed the Indiana game in the below videos:
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Main Photo Credit: FRANCIS GARDLER, JOURNAL STAR