The Nebraska men's basketball team continues its opening week schedule on Sunday afternoon, as the Huskers take on Southeastern Louisiana. Tipoff from a sold-out Pinnacle Bank Arena is set for 3 p.m. Any game returned tickets would be available at PBA beginning 90 minutes before tipoff.
Sunday's game will be carried nationally on ESPNU with Jon Meterparel and Brooke Weisbrod on the call. The game is also available on the ESPN app on most mobile devices, including Apple TV.
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 SiriusXM radio.
Sunday's game is the second Lincoln Regional round of the Hall of Fame Classic Powered by ShotTracker. The championship rounds will be at the Sprint Center in Kansas City on Nov. 19-20 with NU, Texas Tech, Missouri State and USC comprising the four-team field.
Sunday's game is also the annual Toys for Tots game, as fans are encouraged to bring new, unwrapped toys along with cash donations for the Marines Toys for Tots program. Volunteers will be collecting donations at locations around Pinnacle Bank Arena to benefit area youth. In addition, Veterans, active, and retired military personnel will receive one standing room only ticket by showing their valid military ID at the Pinnacle Bank Arena box office on Sunday.
The Huskers, who are ranked 25th in the USA Today coaches poll, had little trouble in their opener, routing Mississippi Valley State, 106-37, on Tuesday evening. Glynn Watson Jr. led four Huskers in double figures with a game-high 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting, while James Palmer Jr. had 15 of his 17 points in the first half, as the Huskers built a 42-point halftime lead. NU emptied the bench as all 12 players who dressed played between six and 23 minutes. Nebraska's 69-point margin was the second largest in more than a century, while the 106 points marked the most by a Husker team since 2005.
Nebraska's defense forced 19 turnovers and harassed the Delta Devils into 19 percent shooting, including 1-of-15 from 3-point range. The 37 points allowed and 13 first-half points allowed were lows in the Tim Miles era.
Southeastern Louisiana comes into the weekend with a 0-1 record, as they will take on William Carey on Friday before coming to Lincoln. The Lions, who went 22-12 and reached the NIT for the first time in school history, lost to LSU in their opener on Tuesday. Freshman Parker Edwards led SELU with 25 points - all coming in a 10-minute span of the second half.
OPENING NUMBER18 - Nana Akenten had a career-high 18 points off the bench in just 13 minutes on Tuesday. Akenten played just 21 minutes as a freshman, totaling seven points. He had five of Nebraska's 15 3-pointers, NU's highest total since hitting 15 against Miami on Dec. 20, 2006.
SCOUTING SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA
Under fifth-year Head Coach Jay Lander, the Lions head into a pair of weekend games, as they will host William Carey on Friday before traveling to Lincoln. Lander's teams have improved their win total each season, culminating with a 22-12 record in 2017-18 when Southeastern Louisiana won the Southland Conference regular-season title and earned a berth to the NIT. The 22 wins were the most by the school since the 2004-05 season, and Southeastern Louisiana was picked second in the Southland Conference preseason poll.
The 2018-19 squad opened the year with a 94-63 loss at No. 23 LSU on Tuesday night. In that game, the Lions shot just 29 percent in the first half as LSU took a 48-18 lead into the locker room. Freshman Parker Edwards was the bright spot, coming off the bench with 25 points, including 6-of-8 from 3-point range, in just 10 minutes. Moses Greenwood also finished in double figures with 12 points and seven boards, while LSU limited Marlain Veal to one point in 26 minutes. Veal, who was a first-team All-Southland Conference selection, is coming off a knee injury after averaging 12.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game last season. Greenwood started 13 games last season and averaged 10.2 points and a team-high 5.6 rebounds per game while blocking a team-high 30 shots.
Series history: Nebraska won both previous meetings posting victories in 2010 and 2015. In the most recent matchup, NU posted a 92-65 win on Nov. 22, 2015. In that game, the Huskers scored the first 12 points as part of a game-opening 19-2 run. Glynn Watson Jr. led four Huskers in double figures with 14 points. The other meeting was a 77-59 Husker win on Jan. 5, 2010. The Huskers are 9-2 all-time against the current members of the Southland Conference.
LAST TIME OUT
Glynn Watson Jr. tallied 19 points to lead four Huskers in double figures, as the No. 25 (Coaches) Nebraska Cornhuskers blitzed Mississippi Valley State, 106-37, Tuesday evening in the opener for both teams.
Watson, who played just 19 minutes, was 7-of-10 from the field, including five 3-pointers, as Nebraska built a 24-5 lead in the first nine minutes
and cruised to the win.
Nana Akenten came off the bench with 18 points, while James Palmer Jr. and Isaac Copeland added, 17 and 10 points, respectively. In all, 11 of the 12 players who dressed got into the scoring column, as no Husker played more than 22 minutes.
Nebraska limited MVSU to just 19 percent shooting on the evening, including 3-of-32 in the first half, and forced 19 turnovers that led to 32 Husker points.
WHAT IS BACK FOR THE BIG RED
The Huskers enter the 2018-19 season welcoming back three starters and nine letterwinners from a team that went 22-11 and finished tied for fourth in the Big Ten with a 13-5 mark. The group includes All-Big Ten performers James Palmer Jr. and Isaac Copeland and three-year starter Glynn Watson Jr., all of whom averaged double figures in 2017-18. NU also returns junior forward Isaiah Roby, who started 13 of NU’s final 14 games - all but Senior Night - and led NU in both rebounding (6.3 rpg) and blocked shots (2.0 bpg).
Nebraska returns 73.4 percent of its scoring, 61.4 percent of its rebounding, 71.5 percent of its assists and 67.2 percent of its blocked shots from last year. Last year, NU averaged 72.3 points per game, its highest average since the 1996-97 season (72.9 ppg). It is only the third time in the last 15 seasons that Nebraska returns at least 70 percent of its scoring from the previous season.
- Nebraska's 3,432 returning points ranks 13th nationally entering the 2018-19 season. Among Big Ten programs, only Iowa, which has 4,246 returning points has more points returning than the Big Red.
- Entering the season, Nebraska's returnees have combined for 160 career starts for the Big Red and 214 games at the Division I level. Copeland (49 starts at Georgetown) and Palmer (five starts at Miami) both cracked the starting lineups at their previous schools before coming to Nebraska.
|Returning Power Conference Players w/50 Assists & Blocks|
|Huskers w/50 Assists & Blocks|
Isaac Copeland Jr. made a successful return to action following back surgery and put together a strong junior season. The 6-foot-9 forward was second on the team in scoring (12.9 ppg), rebounding (6.1 rpg) and blocked shots (1.0 bpg), setting personal bests in all three areas. In all, he reached double figures 23 times, including five 20-point performances. He turned in a solid effort in Tuesday's win with 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting and four rebounds in 23 minutes.A top-20 recruit coming out of high school, Copeland earned honorable-mention All-Big Ten honors by averaging 13.5 points on 51 percent shooting, including 43 percent from 3-point range, and was in double figures in eight of his final nine Big Ten contests. Copeland graduated from Nebraska in May and is working on his Masters Degree.
FILLING UP PINNACLE BANK ARENA
Pinnacle Bank Arena will be full once again in 2018-19, as the NU Athletic Ticket Office announced on September 25 that general public season tickets are sold out for the upcoming season. It is the fourth time in the past six seasons that the Huskers have sold out their entire season allotment of tickets at Pinnacle Bank Arena. 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.
In addition, 300-level seats are available for NU's games against Western Illinois (Nov. 24), Cal State Fullerton (Dec. 22) and Minnesota (Feb. 13). Every other remaining home game this season is sold out.
Pinnacle Bank Arena Attendance Since 2013-14
|2013-14 (1st year of PBA)||15,419 (13th)|
The Huskers have been strong at protecting its home court at Pinnacle Bank Arena since it opened in 2013-14.
- NU enters Sunday's game with Southeastern Louisiana with a 12-game home winning streak, the longest among power conference schools and eighth-longest home win streak nationally.
- With Tuesday's win over Mississippi Valley State, Nebraska tied its longest winning streak since moving into Pinnacle Bank Arena. NU won 12 straight between Jan. 20-Nov. 18, 2014.
- NU has posted a 60-24 (.714) record in Pinnacle Bank Arena since it opened in August of 2013, including a 16-1 mark in 2017-18. Against non-conference foes, NU is 32-7 in PBA (.821). Since the start of the 2006-07 season, NU is 95-12 against non-conference foes (.888).
- Nebraska went 16-1 at Pinnacle Bank Arena in 2017-18 with the only loss coming in a one-point setback against then-No. 13 Kansas on Dec. 16. NU's .941 home winning percentage is the best since the 1982-83 campaign, while the 16 home wins was one shy of the school record.
- Nebraska went a perfect 9-0 at home in Big Ten play and won its two Big Ten home games against ranked teams by an average of 15.0 points per game. NU's 9-0 mark - the only unbeaten mark in the Big Ten - marked the first time the Huskers went unbeaten in conference play at home since the 1965-66 season. All of the other eight seasons with a perfect conference home record were between 1908 and 1921.
For the first time since 2014, the Nebraska men’s basketball team is nationally ranked, as the Huskers are ranked No. 25 in the preseason USA TODAY Sports coaches poll released Oct. 25.
The Huskers return three starters, including All-Big Ten selections James Palmer Jr. and Isaac Copeland Jr, and their top four scorers from a team that went 22-11 and reached the NIT last season. In 2014-15, the Huskers were ranked in the first two coaches polls and were ranked 21st on Nov. 17, 2014.
Nebraska is one of four Big Ten teams in the preseason coaches poll, joining Michigan State (10), Michigan (18) and Purdue (22). In addition, the Huskers’ ACC/Big Ten Challenge opponent is also ranked as Clemson enters the poll at No. 23. The Huskers were receiving votes in the AP poll released earlier this month.
GATES JOINS HUSKER STAFF
The only new face on the Husker bench is a familiar one to Big Ten fans, as Armon Gates joined the Husker coaching staff this past May. Gates, a native of Chicago, returns to the Big Ten after recently serving as associate head coach at the University of Florida under Mike White. Gates has coached and developed all-conference performers at three schools during his coaching career.
For the past five seasons (2013-18), Gates was at Northwestern under Chris Collins, helping the Wildcats to a pair of 20-win seasons, including the program’s first NCAA Tournament appearance in 2017. He also helped bring a top-30 recruiting class to Northwestern in 2014, while the 2018 class is listed as high as 24th nationally by 247Sports.
THORBJARNARSON REPRESENTS ICELAND AT EUROPEAN U-20 CHAMPIONSHIPS
Husker sophomore Thorir Thorbjarnarson spent part of the summer representing his native Iceland for the U-20 National Team. At the FIBA U-20 European Championships, he averaged 9.4 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.6 steals per game, ranking second on the team in scoring and first in assists. He closed tournament action with three straight double figure efforts and averaged 18.5 points on 67 percent shooting, including 55 percent from 3-point range, in Iceland’s final two contests. Thorbjarnarson was solid in NU's opener, tallying career highs in both points (nine) and rebounds (four) vs. MSVU.
|Tai Webster||New Zealand|
|Leslee Smith||British Virgin Islands|
Nebraska Coach Tim Miles is poised to become just the fourth Husker coach to win 100-or-more games at Nebraska in the coming weeks. Miles enters his seventh season needing only 10 wins to pass both Doc Sadler and Moe Iba for third place on NU’s career wins chart.
Nebraska’s biggest improvements came on the defensive end in 2017-18, going from 13th to 6th in the Big Ten in field goal percentage defense and from 14th to 2nd in 3-point percentage defense. NU ranked in the top-75 nationally in both field goal defense (74th) and 3-point percentage defense (32nd) last season.The defense has been stout in the early going of 2018-19, as Nebraska held Wayne State (exhibition) and Mississippi Valley State to a combined 21.3 percent shooting, including just 6-of-37 from 3-point range. NU allowed just 37 points in its opener, the sixth-lowest total allowed in school history.
|2016-17 Season||2017-18 Season|
|Category||Overall (Rk.)||B1G (Rk.)||Overall (Rk.)||B1G (Rk.)|
|PPG Allowed||73.0 (12)||76.4 (12)||68.6 (10)||66.5 (5)|
|FG Pct. Def.||.447 (13)||.459 (13)||.423 (6)||.411 (2)|
|3-Pt. Pct. Def.||.399 (14)||.425 (14)||.322 (2)||.279 (1)|
ALLEN MAKES IMPACT FOR LINCOLN KIDS
Sophomore guard Thomas Allen coordinated a back-to-school drive for the kids of Everett Elementary School in Lincoln. Allen spearheaded the efforts, using traditional and social media to get the word out on the event, which took place on Aug. 4. In all, more than five vans of materials were donated that day with other Husker teams and university staffers making contributions for the event.
• The sixth-ranked Nebraska volleyball team, coming off its third straight win, will face No. 15 Michigan at Cliff Keen Arena in Ann Arbor on Saturday at 6 p.m. (CT).
About the Huskers
Foecke, Maloney Captain Young Husker Squad
Stivrins, Sweet Stepping Up in Sophomore Seasons
Sun Shining for Huskers
Young Huskers Making Instant Impact
Smith Makes Return to Huskers
Huskers Will Play School-Record 19 Home Matches
Huskers Record 250th Consecutive Regular-Season Sellout
Huskers Ranked No. 6 in AVCA Coaches Poll
Cook Adds to Legacy; Joins AVCA Hall of Fame
Husker Fans Set Attendance Standard Once Again
Cook’s Coaching Tree Continues to Grow
Foecke Named Senior CLASS Award Finalist
Nebraska Volleyball Retires Jersey of Sarah Pavan
Coach Cook post-match Iowa
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The McCook Community College men’s basketball team dropped its first game of the year Tuesday falling to Air Force Prep 88-72. MCC was out-scored from the 3-point line by 30 points.
Sophomore Peanut Cunningham (Louisville, Kent.) led MCC with 13 points and six rebounds. Sophomore Ron Rice (New York, N.Y.) had nine points and sophomore Amadou Dieye (Senegal) had eight points.
The Indians were 29 of 65 from the field (44.6 percent) five of 18 from the 3-point line (27.8 percent) and nine of 11 from the free-throw line (81.8 percent). MCC won the rebound battle 34-25.
Air Force Prep made 31 of 61 shots from the floor (50.8 percent) including 15 of 31 from the 3-point line (48.4 percent) and 11 of 14 from the line (78.6 percent.)
MCC takes its 2-1 mark on the road to Wyoming this weekend facing 2-0 Eastern Wyoming Friday and 0-2 Lamar on Saturday.
The next home contests come Nov. 16-17 as the Indians host Cloud County (6 p.m. on Nov. 16) and Garden City (4 p.m. Nov. 17) in the Region IX vs. Region I shootout in the Peter and Dolores Graff Events Center.
Five Wauneta-Palisade Football players made All-District Football Team for 2018 in the Class D2-9. Two Wauneta-Palisade players made Honorable Mention. Find the complete list below.
The McCook Community College volleyball team has signed its first recruit for the 2019 campaign – McCook High School’s Jayceea Hanson, a 6-0 senior, middle blocker.
“It’s been my dream to play college volleyball since I was a little girl,” Jayceea said at a signing ceremony at MHS Tuesday. “My parents brought me to a game several years ago and I really liked the way the team played, I loved the environment and I noticed how much the team is like one big family and I want to be a part of it.”
McCook Community College Coach Hayley Kobza said she’s had her eye on Jayceea since coaching her on a club team two years ago.
“She’s a three-sport athlete and brings height and mental toughness to our team,” Kobza said.
She expects Hanson to come in and play right away and make an impact.
“We have some expectations for her and I know she has some big goals as well and she’ll work hard from now through Aug. 1 to make that happen,” Kobza said. “I think she’ll fit in nicely with the MCC volleyball culture we’re building, I couldn’t be more excited to bring her to this team.”
Jayceea plans to study Special Education and Early Childhood Development at MCC.
McCook High School Senior Jayceea Hanson (front row, second from left) signed a letter of intent Tuesday to play volleyball next year at McCook Community College. Joining Jayceea were (from left) her father John, mother Sherry and MHS Volleyball Coach Audrey Feeney. Also attending the signing were members of the MCC volleyball team (back row from left): Coach Hayley Kobza, Ty Johnson, Brooklyn Evans, Mallory Brown and Madison Kleewein.