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Sports News

Basketball is heating up with three home games for the Western Nebraska Community College men’s basketball team this week.

The Cougar men, who won the Region IX title last year and enter this season ranked 14th in the pre-season poll, will open the home portion of their season on Wednesday at 6 p.m. when they take on Colby Community College.

WNCC enters the contest at 2-0 after topping Central Wyoming College 111-106 and then dropping No. 3 College of Southern Idaho 105-102 last week at Riverton, Wyoming.

Colby also enters the contest at 2-0 after winning twice over the weekend. The Trojans topped Sterling College junior varsity 94-53 and then took down Sisserton Wahpeton College 99-64.

Colby is led by four players that are averaging in double figures after the opening weekend. David Hall is averaging 13.9 points a game followed by Ty Dalton at 12.2, and Craig Beaudion and Milton Wardlow both at 10.5.

WNCC, who is averaging 108 points a game, have six players in double figures. Jervay Green, who verbally committed to Nebraska, is averaging 26.5 points a game while Bryce Sanchious is pouring in 22 points a game.

Martin Roub is chipping in 18.5 points followed by Henry Tanksley at 17 points, Dru Kuxhausen at 10.5 and Elie Cadat at 10 points.

The last time the two teams played was the 2007-08 season when WNCC defeated Colby 92-59 in the first game of the season and then 77-72 at Colby a week later.

After Wednesday, WNCC will host the Region 9/18 Classic where WNCC and Casper College will represent Region IX while CSI and Salt Lake Community College will represent Region 18.

Friday’s schedule has Casper taking on Salt Lake at 5:30 p.m. followed by the Cougars and No. 3 CSI at 7:30 p.m. Saturday’s slate of contests pit Casper and CSI at 4 p.m. while WNCC takes on No. 8 Salt Lake at 6 p.m.

While the men are at home this week, the Cougar women will hit the road for a pair of contests in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The Cougar women, who are 1-1 on the season, will face No. 19 Iowa Western Community College on Friday and then take on Cloud County Community College on Saturday.

The WNCC women will then come back to Cougar Palace for their home opener on Wednesday, Nov. 14 when they face Northwest College at 7 p.m.




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NEBRASKA vs. ILLINOIS
NOV. 10, 2018 | MEMORIAL STADIUM
LINCOLN, NEB. | 11 A.M. (CT)

BROADCAST INFO
TV - BTN (Brandon Gaudin, Glen Mason, Elise Menaker)
RADIO - Husker Sports Network (Greg Sharpe, Matt Davison, Ben McLaughlin)
SATELLITE RADIO - Sirius Channel 99, XM 201
INTERNET RADIO - Huskers.com, TuneIn.com
APP AUDIO - Official Huskers App, TuneIn App

HUSKERS
Record: 2-7, 1-5 Big Ten
Last Game: lost to Ohio State, 36-31
Rankings: NR
Coach: Scott Frost
Career/NU Record: 21-14 (3rd Year)/2-7 (1st Year) 
vs. Illinois: 0-0

FIGHTING ILLINI
Record: 4-5, 2-4 Big Ten
Last Game: def. Minnesota, 55-31
Rankings: NR
Coach: Lovie Smith
Career/ILL Record: 98-111 (14th Year)/9-24 (3rd Year)
vs. Nebraska: 0-2

The Matchup
Nebraska returns to Memorial Stadium on Saturday for a Big Ten West Division matchup with Illinois. The game will be televised on BTN with kickoff set for 11 a.m. The contest can also be heard on the IMG Husker Sports Network.

Nebraska enters the game at 2-7 overall and 1-5 in Big Ten play, following a 36-31 loss at No. 8 Ohio State on Saturday. The Huskers held a 21-16 halftime advantage, before the Buckeyes rallied in the second half for a victory. Nebraska continued to make strides in the matchup at Ohio State, putting up 450 yards of total offense, while the defense had three takeaways for the second straight week.

Illinois comes to Lincoln with a 4-5 record, including a 2-4 conference mark. The Fighting Illini are coming off an impressive 55-31 victory over Minnesota on Saturday. Illinois has built its offensive attack in 2018 around a strong rushing attack. Illinois averages 249.4 rushing yards per game and rolled up 430 rushing yards in last week's win against Minnesota.

Nebraska has won four of five meetings with Illinois since joining the Big Ten Conference in 2011. Nebraska is a perfect 3-0 against the Illini in Lincoln.

This Week's Numbers
100 -
 Saturday's game will mark Nebraska's annual Veterans Day/Military Salute at Memorial Stadium. In conjunction with the game, Nebraska will be recognizing the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day on Saturday and at a Sunday morning Armistice Day Display Dedication. .

1,2 - Illinois and Nebraska are the nation's first and second-most improved rushing teams in 2018. The Illini average 143.8 yards per game more than in 2017, while NU rushes for 216.6 yards per game, an improvement of 109 yards per contest over 2017.

2500 - Stanley Morgan Jr. needs just 32 receiving yards to hit 2,500 career receiving yards. He would be the second Husker to reach that milestone. Morgan Jr. needs just 12 receiving yards to move into second place on the Nebraska career receiving yardage list.

Nebraska-Illinois Series
• As members of the Big Ten West Division, Nebraska and Illinois meet each season.

• Nebraska has captured four of the five meetings since joining the Big Ten, with each of its four victories by 15 or more points. 

• Nebraska has won the three meetings at Memorial Stadium since 2013 by an average score of 38.3-16.3.

• One of Nebraska's memorable victories in the series occurred on Oct. 3, 1925, a 14-0 Nebraska win in Champaign. It was the only time in Red Grange's Illinois career that he was held scoreless in a home game. 

NU to Wear 'Memorial Tribue' Alternate Uniforms Saturday
Nebraska will wear new adidas Primeknit A1 ‘Memorial Tribute’ alternate uniforms Saturday when the Huskers take on Illinois.

2018 marks 100 years since the culmination of World War I (WWI). The new adidas Primeknit A1 ‘Memorial Tribute’ alternate uniforms pay tribute to the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI, while also celebrating Memorial Stadium. The venue was originally named Memorial Stadium to honor the more than 700 Nebraskans who died in WWI and those who served in the Civil War, Spanish-American wars. Memorial Stadium also honors Nebraskans who have served in WWII, Korea, Vietnam and more.

In collaboration with University of Nebraska Athletics, the new adidas Primeknit A1 ‘Memorial Tribute’ alternate uniform was specifically inspired by the first team to play in Memorial Stadium and continues the school’s age-old tradition of honoring Nebraska’s veterans. The field hosted its first football game on October 20, 1923 and this will be the Huskers’ 96th season at the stadium. 
Similar to the 1923 Huskers’ jerseys, the 2018 Nebraska ‘Memorial Tribute’ uniform features a throwback tonal, paneled front. The buff-colored pant is designed to resemble the first façade of Memorial Stadium, which was also a characteristic of the 1923 uniform. Additionally, the new alternate uniform showcases key aspects of the 85,000-seat stadium, including the numbers and fonts which were inspired by the original clock in Memorial Stadium.

To complete the head-to-toe look, the team will wear a replica contemporary form 1923 helmet, complete with cream-white stitched strapping details, along with traditional black adizero 5-Star and FREAK cleats.

Offense Hopes to Sustian Strong Momentum
Head Coach Scott Frost and his staff oversaw one of the nation's most potent offenses at UCF in 2017. In the past six games, Frost's Nebraska offense has posted numbers among the nation's best units.

Nebraska has gained at least 450 yards in each of the past six games, tying a school record for the longest such 450-yard streak in NU history. NU also topped 450 yards in sixth straight games in 1972, 1982, 1994 and 1995.

Nebraska opened the year with 565 yards of total offense against Colorado, and has since posted three more games with better than 500 yards. NU had a season-high 659 yards against Minnesota, after posting 582 yards against Purdue and 518 yards at No. 16 Wisconsin. 

• Nebraska averages 468.9 yards of total offense to rank third in the Big Ten and 19th nationally.

• Nebraska's 659 yards of offense against Minnesota was its highest total since gaining 787 yards against FAU in the 2014 season opener.

• The total offense output against Minnesota was Nebraska's largest in a Big Ten Conference game (since 2011). It was NU's highest total offense in a conference game since having 710 yards against Kansas State in 2007. 

• Nebraska has four 500-yard offensive games this season. NU has not had five 500-yard total offense games in a season since 2000. 

• Nebraska has gained better than 450 yards in each of the past six games and has never had seven straight 450-yard games. 

• The consecutive 500-yard games against Purdue and Wisconsin marked the first time NU had back-to-back 500-yard outputs in Big Ten games. It was the first time NU had consecutive 500-yard games in conference play since the final two Big 12 games in 2007. • The 565 yards against Colorado in the opener marked the first 500-yard total offense game for the Huskers since posting 556 yards at Northwestern in 2016. 

• The total offense output against Colorado was the best at the time by Nebraska in 35 games, dating back to a 610-yard effort against Southern Miss in 2015. 

• Nebraska is one of only six Power Five Conference schools averaging 200 rushing yards and 250 passing yards per game. The other teams in that group include Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Syracuse.

Frost and Staff Guiding Another Offensive Revival
After helping turn Central Florida into the nation’s most improved offense in 2017, Nebraska head coach Scott Frost and his five offensive assistants - all of whom were on Frost’s UCF staff last season - are producing an encore performance this season in Lincoln.

• Nebraska is averaging 83.9 more total yards this season than it did last year, helping the Huskers climb 68 spots in the national rankings from 87th in 2017 to 19th this season.

• NU is averaging 109.1 more rushing yards in 2018 than it did in 2017, helping the Huskers climb 87 spots in the national rankings from 119th in 2017 to 32nd this season.

• Nebraska’s offensive turnaround is led largely by underclassmen, who have produced 80.2 percent of the Huskers’ total offensive yards. In fact, NU’s freshmen and sophomores have combined to average 361.4 yards of total offense per game.

• In its second season at UCF in 2017, the staff helped the Knights increase their offense by 179.7 yards per game from the 2016 season, as the Knights climbed from 113th nationally in total offense in 2016 to fifth in 2017.

Nation's Most Improved Rushing Games to Battle
The naton's two most improved rushing teams will square off on Saturday in Lincoln. Illinois is averaging 249.4 rushing yards per game, a 143.8-yard improvement over last season. Nebraska averages 216.6 yards per game, 109.1 yards better than 2017.

• Leading the improved rushing attacks, are two of the naton's top runners in yards per attempt. Illinois' Reggie Corbin leads the Big Ten averaging 9.1 yards per carry. Nebraska's Devine Ozigbo averages 6.9 yards per rush, including 7.3 ypc in conference games. 

• Nebraska has a history of success in the running game against Illinois. In the last four games vs. the Illini in Lincoln (1985, 2013, 2014, 2016), Nebraska has averaged 363 rushing yards per game, including more than 450 yards in both 1985 and 2014. 

• In five meetings as Big Ten opponents, Nebraska has had five 100-yard rushers, including a pair of 200-yard rushing games by Ameer Abdullah. Most recently, Ozigbo rushed 18 times for 106 yards and a touchdown at Illinois last season. 

Record Duo Continues to Shine
In 2017, Stanley Morgan Jr. and JD Spielman combined for 1,816 receiving yards, the highest two-player total in Husker history.

Morgan set an NU record with 986 receiving yards in 2017. Spielman added 830 receiving yards, a total that ranked seventh in school history and was the most ever by a Husker freshman.

The duo is once again helping provide an explosive offense for Nebraska in 2018, and is on track to produce bigger numbers this fall.

• In nine games in 2018, the duo has combined for 110 receptions for 1,472 yards and 13 touchdowns. Those totals put them ahead of their combined pace in the 2017 season.

• Spielman and Morgan are one of four pass-catching duos in the nation to each have more than 700 receiving yards in 2018. The other schools with a pair of 700-yard receivers are Hawaii, Oklahoma and Old Dominion.

Martinez Brings Dual Threat to Nebraska Offense
Martinez has shown the ability to be a perfect fit in Coach Scott Frost's high-powered offense. Martinez has excelled in the past six weeks, leading the Nebraska offense to at least 450 yards each game.

Martinez has topped 400 yards of total offense three times in 2018, and has thrown for better than 250 yards in five straight Big Ten games.

Against Purdue on Sept. 29, Martinez threw for 323 yards and two touchdowns, while adding 91 rushing yards. His 414 yards of total offense set a then-record for true freshman passing and total yards.

Martinez set a higher bar at Wisconsin. He threw for a Nebraska freshman record 384 yards and two touchdowns and accounted for a freshman record 441 yards of total offense.

He added his third career 400-yard total offense game with a complete effort against Minnesota. Martinez completed 25-of-29 passes for 276 yards and three touchdowns. He added a career-high 125 rushing yards and a touchdown and had a career-long 53-yard run.

• Martinez's 86.2 percent accuracy against Minnesota set a Nebraska record for best completion percentage with a minimum of 20 attempts. Martinez broke a record held by Dave Humm that stood for 44 years. The 86.2 completion rate was also the best in the FBS ranks this season for a player with more than 25 pass attempts.

• Martinez's three 400-yard career total offense games has already tied a Nebraska career record, matching Joe Ganz's career mark. He has five 300-yard total offense games this season, one shy of the NU season record.

• The 441 yards of total offense against Wisconsin not only set a school freshman record, it also ranked fourth on the overall single-game chart. His 414 yards of total offense against Purdue ranked 11th in school history.

• Martinez ranks third nationally among FBS freshmen in passing yards per game (240.3). He threw for more than 250 yards in a four-game stretch from Purdue to Minnesota, becoming the first NU quarterback to do that since 2015, and has topped 250 yards in five of six conference games.





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Nebraska sophomore middle blocker Lauren Stivrins was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week on Monday. It marks the first defensive weekly honor for the Scottsdale, Arizona native, but the second career individual honor as she was named the Big Ten Player of the Week in October. 

Stivrins had a career-high 10 blocks in a five-set win over No. 7 Penn State on Friday and followed with eight blocks in a sweep of Rutgers on Saturday. She averaged 2.25 blocks per set to go with 2.25 kills per set on a .516 hitting percentage. Stivrins helped the Huskers hold Penn State to a season-low .114 hitting percentage and Rutgers to .024.

The Huskers have now collected six Big Ten weekly awards this season. Nebraska plays at Iowa on Wednesday at 7 p.m.





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The Nebraska basketball team opens the 2018-19 season Tuesday evening, as the Huskers take on Mississippi Valley State at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Tipoff is set for 7:01 p.m., and a limited number of tickets are available beginning at $7 by visiting Huskers.com/Tickets or calling 800-8-BIGRED.

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.

The matchup between the Huskers and Delta Devils will be streamed online on BTN Plus with Brad Hilligoss and Allie Snow on the call. The game is available on BTN2Go and online and on Flohoops.com. A subscription is required for both BTN Plus and Flohoops.

Tuesday's opener, as well as Sunday's game against Southeastern Louisiana, are the two Lincoln Regional round games of the Hall of Fame Classic Powered by ShotTracker. The championship rounds will be at the Sprint Center in Kanas City on Nov. 19-20 with NU, Texas Tech, Missouri State and USC comprising the four-team field in Kansas City.

The Huskers, who are ranked 25th in the USA Today preseason coaches poll, used a balanced attack in putting away Wayne State, 75-40, in an exhibition game last Thursday. Isiaah Roby had 12 points and 10 boards in 21 minutes, as six Huskers had between eight and 12 points while no one played more than 20 mintues against the Wildcats. The Huskers also held Wayne State to 24 percent shooting, including just 5-of-22 from 3-point range.

The Huskers are led by Palmer, as the All-Big Ten performer led the Huskers at 17.2 points per game as a junior. The 6-foot-6 guard was fifth in the Big Ten in scoring and also chipped in 4.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. He is joined by fellow seniors Isaac Copeland and Glynn Watson Jr. in the Huskers' starting lineup. Copeland, who garnered honorable-mention All-Big Ten honors, was second on the squad in scoring (12.9 ppg), rebounding (6.1 rpg) and blocked shots (1.0 bpg) as a junior. Watson, a three-year starter, averaged 10.5 points and paced the Big Red in assists (3.2 apg) and steals (1.4 spg).

Mississippi Valley State looks to bounce back after a disappointing 2017-18 campaign. The Delta Devils lost to Delta State, 70-67, in their second exhibition game Saturday afternoon. MVSU returns three starters, including seniors Dante Scott (14.9 ppg) and Jordan Evans (14.7 ppg), as the duo combined for 100 3-pointers a year ago.

OPENING NUMBERS

2 - Nebraska features two returning 1,000-point scorers in seniors Isaac Copeland Jr. and Glynn Watson Jr.

10-2 - Assist-to-turnover ratio by guards Thomas Allen and Glynn Watson Jr. against Wayne State.

NUMBERS TO KNOW10 - Number of times since WWII that Nebraska has returned a first-team all-conference performer. James Palmer Jr. became NU's first returning All-Big Ten player since Terran Petteway in 2014-15.

160 - Number of starts at Nebraska from its 2018-19 roster, including a team-high 77 by Glynn Watson Jr. In all, the eligible players at Nebraska have started 214 Division I games, as Isaac Copeland (49 starts at Georgetown) and James Palmer (five starts at Miami) both cracked the starting lineups at their previous schools before coming to Nebraska.

FOR OPENERSNebraska begins its 123rd season of basketball on Tuesday evening against Mississippi Valley State. Here are some facts and figures about season openers for the Husker basketball program.

  • The Nov. 6 opening date is the earliest in school history. The previous earliest start came in the 2013-14 season when Nebraska faced Florida Gulf Coast on Nov. 8, 2013.
  • Nebraska is 83-39 (.680) all-time in season openers and has won 17 straight season openers dating back to an 87-83 setback at Oral Roberts to begin the 2000 season.
  • Nebraska is 26-2 in its past 28 season openers dating back to the 1990-91 campaign.
  • The last time Nebraska lost a season opener at home was 1980 when NU fell to Wyoming, 62-59, in overtime. The Huskers have won 28 straight season openers at home since that loss.
  • Under Tim Miles, the Huskers have won all six of their openers by an average of 21.0 points. The 46-point win over Mississippi Valley State in 2015 was the 12th-largest margin in school history.

EXHIBITION RECAPBehind 12 points and 10 rebounds from Isaiah Roby and a solid defensive effort, Nebraska cruised to a 75-40 win over Wayne State at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Nov. 1.

Roby, who nearly had a double-double in the first half with eight points and eight boards, led a balanced attack that saw James Palmer Jr. reach double figures with 10 points. In addition, four other players had at least eight points while all 12 players who saw action broke into the scoring column. The Huskers limited Wayne State to just 23.5 percent shooting, including 5-of-22 from 3-point range, and enjoyed a 56-35 advantage on the glass.

Wayne State was within 14-9 midway through the first half before Glynn Watson Jr. sparked a 7-0 spurt with a 3-pointer to give NU a 21-9 cushion after a basket from Amir Harris. The Wildcats pulled to within 30-19 after a basket from Nate Thayer, but Nebraska closed the half on a 9-2 run to build an 18-point halftime cushion.

In the second half, the Huskers quickly pushed the lead to 22 after baskets from Palmer and Roby before the Wildcats trimmed the lead back to 19, the last time at 45-26 after a Kendall Jacks basket. NU took over, using a 9-1 run capped by consecutive baskets from Watson, the last of which doubled up the Husker lead at 54-27 with 13:05 left.

SCOUTING MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE
Under fifth-year Head Coach Andre Payne, Mississippi Valley State looks to rebound after going 4-28 last season. The Delta Devils return eight letterwinners, including four players who made at least 13 starts last year.

Before taking over the MVSU program, Payne spent seven seasons at Wiley College, an NAIA program in Texas. He guided the school to three 20-win seasons, including a 25-7 mark in his final year at the school. Payne's squad returns a pair of high scoring guards in Dante Scott and Jordan Evans. Scott, a first-team All-SWAC pick, paced MVSU in both scoring (14.9 ppg) and rebounding (5.6 rpg) and shot 37 percent from 3-point range last year. Evans was second in scoring at 14.7 ppg while topping the Delta Devils in both assists (64) and steals (33). In all, four of the top five scorers return for MVSU this season.

Nebraska won the only previous matchup, a 97-51 victory to open the 2015-16 season. Glynn Watson Jr., Tanner Borchardt and Johnny Trueblood are the only Huskers who played in that matchup.

WHAT'S 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 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.

HUSKERS LOOK TO CONTINUE BLOCK PARTYNebraska's looks to continue a trend from last season when the Huskers were second in the Big Ten and seventh nationally in blocked shots at 5.5 per game. It is the highest total since the 1996-97 team blocked a school-record 6.1 shots per game. Nebraska totaled 183 blocked shots last season, which was third on NU’s single-season list.

Nebraska returns a pair of players who averaged at least one block per game last year in Isaiah Roby (2.0 bpg) and Isaac Copeland (1.0 bpg). Roby’s 63 blocked shots were the most by a Husker since 2001, while Copeland had 33 blocked shots after recording just 39 in two-plus seasons at Georgetown. NU blocked six shots in the exhibition win over Wayne State.

IT (DOUBLE) FIGURESNebraska returns 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). In Tim Miles' first six seasons, the Huskers returned a total of six double-figure scorers. During the 1992-93 season, the Huskers won 20 games and finished tied for second in the Big Eight Conference. With the return of junior Isaiah Roby, Nebraska brings back its top-four scorers for the first time since the 2003-04 campaign.

50-50 CLUBJunior forward Isaiah 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 led the Huskers in blocked shots and was fourth in assists despite starting just 13 contests. Roby is also one of four Huskers to ever have 50 blocks and 50 assists in a season, joining Aleks Maric, Venson Hamilton and Rich King.

WATSON RETURNS AS 1,000-POINT SCORERFor just the second time this decade, Nebraska returns a 1,000-point scorer to the lineup, as Glynn Watson Jr. enters his senior year with 1,041 career points. It is the 10th time in program history that the Huskers had a returning 1,000-point scorer and the first since Shavon Shields in the 2015-16 campaign. Watson is one of two Huskers with 1,000 career points, as Isaac Copeland enters his senior year with 1,053 career points between his time at Georgetown and Nebraska. James Palmer Jr. is just 174 points away from joining the 1,000-point club

  • Nebraska 3,432 returning points ranks 13th nationally entering the 2018-19 season. Among Big Ten programs, only Iowa, which 4,246 returning points has more points returning that the Big Red.
  • 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).
  • Watson is also ninth on NU’s career steals list with 137 and needs 74 assists to crack the Huskers’ career top-10 list in that category.

PALMER RECEIVES PRESEASON HONORSNebraska guard James Palmer Jr. has been lauded as one of the top returning players in college basketball. The 6-foot-6 guard comes off a junior season where he 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. He is one of only five returning power conference players who averaged 17.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg and 3.0 apg last season.

COPELAND RETURNS TO ANCHOR FRONTCOURTIsaac 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.

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.

HUSKERS RECEIVE FIRST RANKING SINCE 2014For 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.

FILLING UP PINNACLE BANK ARENAPinnacle 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.

A limited number of single-game tickets went on sale on Oct. 25, and to purchase tickets, visit Huskers.com/Tickets or call the NU Athletic Ticket Office at 800-8-BIGRED during business hours.

PROTECTING THE VAULTThe Huskers have been strong at protecting its home court at Pinnacle Bank Arena since it opened in 2013-14.

  • NU begins the 2018-19 season with the longest home winning streak among power conference schools and the ninth-longest home win streak in Division I.
  • With a win over Mississippi Valley State, Nebraska would tie its longest winning streak since moving into Pinnacle Bank Arena. NU won 12 straight between Jan. 20-Nov. 18, 2014.
  • NU has posted a 59-24 (.711) 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 31-7 in PBA (.816). Since the start of the 2006-07 season, NU is 94-12 against non-conference foes (.887)
  • 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.

GATES JOINS HUSKER STAFFThe 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 CHAMPIONSHIPSHusker 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.

MILES CHASES WIN NO. 100Nebraska 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.

DEFENSIVE IMPROVEMENTSNebraska’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.

ALLEN MAKES IMPACT FOR KIDSSophomore 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 team and university staffers making contributions for the event.

NOTING THE 2018-19 SCHEDULEWith Tuesday marking the 2018-19 season opener, here are some quick notes on the Huskers' 2018-19 schedule.

  • The Huskers’ non-conference schedule features only two first-time opponents. NU will take on Seton Hall at Pinnacle Bank Arena in the Gavitt Tipoff Games on Nov. 14, and will face Southwest Minnesota State on Dec. 29. The NU-Seton Hall game is the first Gavitt Games matchup in Lincoln, as the Huskers travelled to Villanova (2015) and St. John’s (2017).
  • Nebraska will play six of its 10 Division I non-conference games against teams which made either the NCAA Tournament or NIT last season. The list includes NCAA Tournament qualifiers Seton Hall, Clemson, Creighton and Cal State Fullerton, as well as NIT participants Oklahoma State and Southeastern Louisiana. NU will also face either Elite Eight finisher Texas Tech or NIT qualifier USC in Kansas City.
  • The Huskers will play a trio of neutral-site games during non-conference play. NU will travel to the Sprint Center in Kansas City for the Hall of Fame Classic Powered by ShotTracker and play Missouri State in the opening round and either Texas Tech or USC the following evening. On Dec. 16, the Huskers will travel to Sioux Falls, S.D., for a matchup with former conference rival Oklahoma State at the Sanford Pentagon. It is the first matchup between the Huskers and Cowboys since 2011.
  • The 2018-19 schedule features 20 Big Ten games, the most conference games that NU has ever played in a season. NU will have seven double-play opponents (Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan State, Minnesota, Penn State and Purdue). The Huskers’ home single plays are Northwestern, Ohio State and Wisconsin, while the Huskers will travel to Indiana, Michigan and Rutgers.





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Aurora 54, Gothenburg 20
Bellevue West 38, Elkhorn South 31
Bishop Neumann 23, Pierce 21
Centennial 33, BRLD 28
Grand Island 27, Millard South 24
Harvard 70, Cody-Kilgore 37
Hay Springs 51, Spalding Academy 8
Millard West 28, Omaha Westside 21
Minatare 58, Hyannis 18
Norfolk Catholic 56, St. Paul 12
Oakland-Craig 35, Wilber-Clatonia 21
Omaha Burke 35, Lincoln Southeast 13
Omaha Skutt Catholic 61, Blair 6
Ord 42, Ashland-Greenwood 7
Scottsbluff 60, Omaha Roncalli Catholic 38
Sutton 46, Aquinas Catholic 21
Wahoo 45, Adams Central 7
Waverly 36, McCook 30
Wilcox-Hildreth 70, McCool Junction 58
York 23, Seward 20



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Teams across the state one win away from state

DISTRICT FINAL PAIRINGS




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Lincoln – Behind 12 points and 10 rebounds from Isaiah Roby and a solid defensive effort, Nebraska cruised to a 75-40 win over Wayne State Thursday evening at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

Roby, who nearly had a double-double in the first half with eight points and eight boards, led a balanced attack that saw James Palmer Jr. reach double figures with 10 points. In addition, four other players had at least eight points while all 12 players who saw action Thursday broke into the scoring column.

The Huskers, who are ranked 25th in the USA Today preseason coaches poll, limited Wayne State to just 23.5 percent shooting, including 5-of-22 from 3-point range and enjoyed a 56-35 advantage on the glass

Wayne State was within 14-9 midway through the first half before Glynn Watson Jr. sparked a 7-0 spurt with a 3-pointer to give NU a 21-9 cushion after a basket from Amir Harris. The Wildcats pulled to within 30-19 after a basket from Nate Thayer, but Nebraska closed the half on a 9-2 run to build an 18-point halftime cushion.

In the second half, the Huskers quickly pushed the lead to 22 after baskets from Palmer and Roby before the Wildcats trimmed the lead back to 19, the last time at 45-26 after a Kendall Jacks basket. NU took over, using a 9-1 run capped by consecutive baskets from Watson, the last of which doubled up the Husker lead at 54-27 with 13:05 left.

Trevin Joseph led Wayne State with eight points, as no other Wildcat had more than five points.

The Huskers open the season next Tuesday evening against Mississippi Valley State in the Lincoln Regional of the Hall of Fame Classic Powered by ShotTracker. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. and a limited number of tickets are available by visiting Huskers.com/Tickets or calling 800-8BIGRED.





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After producing the nation’s best turnaround in 2017-18, Coach Amy Williams and the Nebraska women’s basketball team will take aim at earning a repeat trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2018-19.

Williams, who enters her third season guiding the Huskers, led Nebraska to a 21-11 overall record that marked a 14-game improvement in the win column over Nebraska’s 2016-17 campaign. The Huskers added a top-four finish in the Big Ten regular-season standings with an 11-5 record and a trip to the Big Ten Tournament semifinals before advancing to the first round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament.

"I watched last year’s team work extremely hard all postseason, summer and preseason," Williams said. "Their commitment was really made mostly in strength and conditioning. They pushed themselves beyond what they thought they were capable of and because of that, it built confidence. It was truly a snowball effect. Their confidence in themselves and each other turned into chemistry and commitment. Nobody really cared about their own egos. They were a selfless team that put each other first."

Nebraska’s unselfish, team-first approach became infectious throughout the season and the conference took notice by naming Williams the 2018 Big Ten Coach of the Year. Now, Williams and the Huskers are faced with a new set of challenges in 2018-19.

The Big Red must replace graduated senior guards Jasmine Cincore, Janay Morton and Emily Wood, while facing a significantly stronger schedule that includes NCAA Women’s Final Four qualifier Louisville in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, NCAA Tournament teams Miami and Creighton on the road, and Washington State (Pac-12) and Arkansas (SEC) in early season road games.

"We have put together a very challenging non-conference schedule, playing against four NCAA Tournament teams from last season, including a pair of conference champions," Williams said. "This should prepare us for the new 18-game Big Ten schedule we will face."

Nebraska’s home schedule starts with NCAA qualifier and Missouri Valley Conference champion Drake and includes former Big 12 rival Kansas, along with Big Ten battles against 2018 NCAA qualifiers Michigan, Maryland, Minnesota and Iowa, as well as traditional powers Rutgers, Purdue and Michigan State and 2018 WNIT champion Indiana.

“We definitely have the potential to be a better basketball team than we were last season, but maybe not have the record to show for it,” Williams said. “Our road non-conference schedule is extremely difficult, and I think the Big Ten will be better from top to bottom. It is good that we have some experienced players who know what to expect.”

The cupboard is far from bare for the Big Red, as the Huskers return their top five scorers from 2017-18. However, Nebraska's 11-player roster is filled with five newcomers who will need to make the transition into significant contributors immediately to help the Huskers grow.

"Some of the biggest challenges we will face come from the fact that 45 percent of our roster is new," Williams said. "Our upperclassmen are doing a good job of educating our team on how to work cohesively and commit to playing for each other. Strong leadership and our ability to embrace and enhance our culture will be determining factors for this team's success. We have been talking a lot about finding small ways to keep raising the bar for our program."

Hannah Whitish earned second-team All-Big Ten honors as a sophomore last season, while averaging team bests of 12.6 points and 4.7 assists per game. The 5-9 junior guard from Barneveld, Wis., added 4.0 rebounds per game and led the Huskers with 41 steals, while also connecting on a team-high 73 threes.

"Hannah made substantial strides from her freshman to sophomore season, and we are looking for her to make a similar leap as a junior," Williams said. "She has shown the confidence to make big plays for our team, and she has goals to improve in all aspects of her game."

Maddie Simon, a 6-2 senior from Lincoln Pius X, ranked second in scoring (10.1 ppg) and rebounding (5.3 rpg) in her first full season at forward as a junior. She will be key in providing leadership on and off the court.

"Maddie has naturally stepped into a leadership role for our program," Williams said. "She is extremely motivated to be a consistent presence for us and make this her best season as a Husker."

Taylor Kissinger, a 6-1 guard/forward from Minden, finished third on the team in scoring as a freshman with 10.0 points per game, while ranking second with 50 threes despite missing seven games with an injury.

"After a strong freshman season, Taylor's focus for the offseason was to attack her strength and conditioning to improve her agility, mobility and durability," Williams said. "We are extremely happy with the growth she has made both in the weight room and on the basketball court."

Kate Cain did more than just score, the 6-5 center from Middletown, N.Y., smashed Nebraska season (100) and game (11) block records to earn a spot on the Big Ten All-Defensive Team. The Big Ten All-Freshman selection averaged 9.9 points and a team-best 7.0 rebounds.

"Kate has made visible strides this offseason and is playing with much more confidence," Williams said. "We are so excited to watch as Kate continues to tap into her abilities. We believe she can be a real weapon at both ends of the court in our program."

Junior Nicea Eliely, a 6-1 wing from Colorado Springs, Colo., ranked among NU’s top five in scoring (8.2 ppg), rebounding (4.0 rpg) and steals (37) despite an early season foot injury.

"Nicea has made obvious gains with her strength and conditioning and we think that will pay big dividends for her at both ends of the court," Williams said. "We will need Nicea to set the tone for us defensively with a physical and disciplined approach this year."

Junior Grace Mitchell rounds out a group of six returning Huskers. The 6-2 forward from Wellington, Kan., has appeared in 58 games with two starts for the Huskers over the past two seasons. She also provides an outstanding work ethic both on and off the court.

"Grace remains one of our most explosive athletes and has been showing a lot of confidence this offseason," Williams said. "She could be a valuable part in establishing ourselves as a better defensive and rebounding team."

Nebraska's group of five newcomers includes four freshmen that made up one of the top-20 recruiting classes in the nation, according to ESPN. That foursome added graduate transfer Kristian Hudson.

"This group of newcomers has the talent and work ethic to make an impact for our team immediately, and we will rely on them early," Williams said. "The quicker we can collectively help them transition to playing at this level and in our system, the better for our team's chances of success."

Hudson, a 5-5 senior point guard from Birmingham, Ala., could help the Husker attack be more effective at both ends of the court after scoring 1,076 points and dishing out 383 assists in her three seasons at Florida International. Hudson averaged 14.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.7 assists as a junior.

“We are excited to add Kristian to our Husker family," Williams said. "Her experience coupled with her enthusiasm to help us raise the bar for our program make her the perfect fit.”

Ashtyn Veerbeek, a 6-2 forward from Sioux Center, Iowa, was a top-70 national recruit. The Iowa Class 2A Player of the Year at Western Christian High School averaged 25.8 points and 14.4 rebounds as a senior.

“She is a strong, yet agile athlete who is an extremely talented basketball player," Williams said. "She is a fierce competitor who simply knows how to win. She understands what it means to work hard, and we are looking forward to the growth she will make at Nebraska.”

A 5-9 guard from Minnesota, Sam Haiby was ranked among the top 125 players nationally at Moorhead High School. She scored more than 2,000 career points and averaged 25.1 points, 7.1 rebounds and 5.3 assists as a senior.

“Sam has a great feel for the game. Her athleticism and explosiveness allow her to make plays for herself and others,” Williams said. “She has incredible potential on the defensive side of the basketball, as she has deceptive length and quickness. Her experience with her high school and summer programs have prepared her to play at the next level.”

Another Minnesota prep star, Kayla Mershon could provide key contributions inside at both ends of the court for Nebraska. The 6-3 forward was ranked among the top 135 players nationally. She is strong, runs well and is an outstanding worker with a high basketball IQ.

“Kayla Mershon has great length and a strong all-around skill-set, and we are excited about her versatility,” Williams said. “Kayla has shown some unique natural gifts, but she is also a tremendous worker and has a great attitude. She has played for a state championship high school team, and an extremely competitive summer team, and she is eager to compete at the highest level. We can’t wait to see all she will accomplish here in a Husker uniform.”

Indiana All-State selection Leigha Brown rounds out the Husker freshman class. The 6-1 wing out of DeKalb High School could provide the Huskers with explosiveness after averaging 28.0 points, 11.5 rebounds and 5.0 assists as a senior, including a massive 53-point performance.

“We are so excited for all that Leigha will bring to our program. She is a versatile guard with good size and has the ability to score at all three levels,” Williams said. “She understands how to work and fits the culture we are establishing at Nebraska. Each time Leigha steps on the court, she plays like she has something to prove, and we will welcome that sense of urgency into our program.”

That sense of urgency will need to permeate the Husker program, as Nebraska opens its regular season against Drake (Nov. 7). The Bulldogs return five starters from a team that has made back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances. After a second home game against USC Upstate (Nov. 11), the Huskers embark on a five-game road trip that includes Washington State (Nov. 16), NCAA Tournament qualifier Miami (Nov. 23), WNIT qualifier Radford (Nov. 25), NCAA Final Four participant Louisville (Nov. 29) and in-state rival Creighton (Dec. 2), which advanced to the NCAA second round in 2018.

The Big Red return home for a three-game stand against traditional rival Kansas (Dec. 5), before facing San Jose State (Dec. 8) and closing the stand against Denver (Dec. 15).

The Huskers close non-conference play at Arkansas (Dec. 18), before opening their 18-game Big Ten schedule against Michigan at Pinnacle Bank Arena (Dec. 28). Nebraska then faces back-to-back road tests at defending Big Ten champion Ohio State (Dec. 31) and NCAA qualifier Iowa (Jan. 3), before taking on Maryland at Pinnacle Bank Arena (Jan. 8).

Each of Nebraska's first four league foes played in the 2018 NCAA Tournament, while Michigan, Ohio State and Maryland all advanced to the second round. The game against the Terrapins begins a five-game stretch where the Huskers play four at Pinnacle Bank Arena, including Rutgers (Jan. 13), Minnesota (Jan. 20) and Northwestern (Jan. 24).

NU will step away from Lincoln to travel to Illinois (Jan. 17). Nebraska closes January with road games at Wisconsin (Jan. 27) and Purdue (Jan. 31), before returning to Lincoln to battle 2018 WNIT champion Indiana (Feb. 3).

The Huskers then complete three key Big Ten double plays at Michigan (Feb. 7), at home against Purdue (Feb. 10), and on the road at Maryland (Feb. 14), before battling Michigan State (Feb. 17) for the only time in 2019 at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Nebraska wraps another double play at Northwestern (Feb. 21), before concluding the season series with Iowa on Senior Night at Pinnacle Bank Arena (Feb. 25).

The Huskers close the regular season at Penn State (March 2), before the Big Ten Tournament returns to Indianapolis (March 6-10). The 2019 NCAA Tournament Selection Show will be held on Monday, March 18, before the Big Dance begins for 64 teams on March 22.





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The Nebraska basketball team gets its final dress rehearsal for the 2018-19 season on Thursday evening, as the Huskers host Wayne State for an exhibition game at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Tipoff is set for 7:01 p.m., and a limited number of tickets are available beginning at $7 by visiting Huskers.com/Tickets or calling 800-8-BIGRED.

Fans can follow all of the action across the state of Nebraska on the IMG Husker Sports Network with Kent Pavelka and Ben McLaughlin on the call. The game will also be available on Huskers.com, on the Huskers app, on TuneIn Radio and on the TuneIn Radio app. Thursday's exhibition game will be streamed online on BTN Plus with Zach Penrice and Scott Ayers on the call. The game is available on BTN2Go and online and on Flohoops.com. A subscription is required for both BTN Plus and Flohoops.

The Huskers enter the 2018-19 season on the heels of one of the best seasons in school history. Nebraska went 22-11 and tied for fourth in the Big Ten Conference before falling to Mississippi State in the opening round of the NIT. The Huskers return three starters and their top four scorers from a season ago, as NU welcomes back nine letterwinners.

The Huskers are led by All-America candidate James Palmer Jr., who led the Huskers at 17.2 points per game as a junior. The 6-foot-6 guard was fifth in the Big Ten in scoring and also chipped in 4.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. Earlier this month, he was named to the Jerry West Award watch list for the top shooting guard in the country. He is joined by fellow seniors Isaac Copeland and Glynn Watson Jr. in the Huskers' starting lineup. Copeland, who garnered honorable-mention All-Big Ten honors, was second on the squad in scoring (12.9 ppg), rebounding (6.1 rpg) and blocked shots (1.0 bpg) as a junior. Watson, a three-year starter, averaged 10.5 points and paced the Big Red in assists (3.2 apg) and steals (1.4 spg).

Wayne State returns three starters from a team that went 14-17 a year ago. Senior guard Kendall Jacks is WSU's top returnee and paced the team in scoring (13.7 ppg), rebounding (4.9 rpg) and assists (2.2 apg) in 2017-18.

The Huskers open the 2018-19 season on Tuesday, Nov. 6, when NU plays host to Mississippi Valley State in the regional round of the Hall of Fame Classic Powered by ShotTracker. A limited number of tickets for the opener are available on Huskers.com/Tickets or calling 800-8-BIGRED.

OPENING NUMBERS
2 - Nebraska features two returning 1,000-point scorers in seniors Isaac Copeland Jr. and Glynn Watson Jr.

15 -Consecutive wins by Nebraska in exhibition games dating back to 2007.

NUMBERS TO KNOW
10 - Number of times since WWII that Nebraska has returned a first-team all-conference performer. James Palmer Jr. became NU's first returning All-Big Ten player since Terran Petteway in 2014-15.

160 - Number of starts at Nebraska from its 2018-19 roster, including a team-high 77 by Glynn Watson Jr. In all, the eligible players at Nebraska have started 214 Division I games, as Isaac Copeland (49 starts at Georgetown) and James Palmer (five starts at Miami) both cracked the starting lineups at their previous schools before coming to Nebraska.

HUSKERS EXHIBITION HISTORYHUSKERS EXHIBITION HISTORY
Nebraska is 57-6 all-time in exhibition games dating back to the 1966-67 season and has won its last 15 exhibition games since a 54-50 loss to SIU-Edwardsville in 2006.

  • The Huskers are 7-0 in exhibition games under Tim Miles including wins over Mississippi State in a charity exhibition and Northwood in 2017-18.
  • Thursday's game against Wayne State is the fourth time in seven years NU has played against an in-state program. The others were Midland (2012), UNK (2013) and Chadron State (2017).
  • Under Miles, Nebraska has outscored its six exhibition opponents by nearly 32 points per game (84.4-54.6).
  • Nebraska is 14-0 against in-state teams in exhibition games dating back to the 2001-02 season, including one previous matchup with Wayne State (74-51 in 2007).

SCOUTING WAYNE STATE
Jeff Kaminsky is in his third season at the helm of the Wayne State program. He has improved the school's win total in each of his first two seasons, going 14-17 in 2017-18. The Wildcats led the Northern Sun in turnovers created (13.5), and was fifth in the conference in turnover margin (+2.5 per game). Prior to taking over at Wayne State, Kaminsky was the head coach at Valley City State University in North Dakota for 11 years, posting a 183-144 record that included five 20-win seasons in his last nine years at the school. His 2015-16 team recorded a 22-11 record and advanced to the second round of the NAIA Division II National Tournament.

  • The Wildcats return three starters, highlighted by senior guard Kendall Jacks. Last year, he earned honorable-mention All-Northern Sun accolades by pacing Wayne State with 13.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg and 2.2 apg. Jacks reached double figures in 25 of 31 games and had eight 20-point games last season.
  • Senior guard Trevin Joseph was second on the team in scoring at 13.5 ppg, despite making just five starts. Joseph led Wayne State with 48 3-pointers and shot 47 percent from the field. Vance Janssen is the third Wildcat returnee, as he played in all 31 games, including 30 starts. He was third on the squad in scoring at 9.4 ppg and also averaged a team-high 1.5 steals per contest.
  • Wayne State's roster features five in-state kids, including Lincoln East product Jordan Janssen. In addition, freshman Nate Theyer was a teammate of Husker freshman Brady Heiman at Platteview High School, helping the school to three straight Class B state tournament appearances.

FIVE THINGS TO KNOW ENTERING 2018-191) 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 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).

2) Nebraska finished seventh nationally and second in the Big Ten in blocked shots per game with 5.5 per outing. It is the highest total since the 1996-97 team blocked a school-record 6.12 shots per game. Nebraska totaled 183 blocked shots last season, which is third on NU’s single-season list.Nebraska returns a pair of players who averaged at least one block per game last year in Isaiah Roby (2.0 bpg) and Isaac Copeland (1.0 bpg). Roby’s 63 blocked shots were the most by a Husker since 2001, while Copeland had 33 blocked shots after recording just 39 in two-plus seasons at Georgetown.

3) Nebraska returns 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). In 1992-93, the Huskers won 20 games and finished tied for second in the Big Eight Conference. In all, Nebraska returns its top four scorers for the first time since the 2003-04 campaign.

4) For just the second time this decade, Nebraska returns a 1,000-point scorer to the lineup, as Glynn Watson Jr. enters his senior year with 1,041 career points. It is the 10th time in program history that the Huskers had a returning 1,000-point scorer. Watson is also ninth on NU’s career steals list with 137 and needs 74 assists to crack the Huskers’ career top-10 list in that category. Watson was third on the team in scoring at 10.5 points per game in 2017-18 while pacing the Huskers in both assists (3.2 apg) and steals (1.4 spg).

5) Isaiah Roby is one of only two returning power conference players to total 50 blocks and 50 assists last season, joining Missouri’s Jontay Porter. Roby’s 63 blocked shots ranked 10th on NU’s single-season list and was the most by a Husker since the 2000-01 season. Roby also joined a rare group of Husker big men who accomplished the feat.

HUSKERS RECEIVE FIRST RANKING SINCE 2014
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.

PALMER RECEIVES PRESEASON HONORSNebraska guard James Palmer Jr. has been lauded as one of the top returning players in college basketball. The 6-foot-6 guard comes off a junior season where he 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. He is one of only five returning power conference players who averaged 17.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg and 3.0 apg last season.

Palmer's Preseason Plaudits

  • Preseason All-Big Ten
  • Jerry West Award Watch List
  • No. 13 returning player in college basketball by NCAA.com's Andy Katz
  • No. 43 player in college basketball by CBSSports.com
  • No. 35 player in college basketball by Athlon





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Cheyenne, WY- The Region IX volleyball tournament will take place in Cheyenne beginning on Thursday night as the road to Nationals begins for Region IX teams.  

The Cougars are the number one seed out of the South and will play the winner of the four seed out of the North in Sheridan (12-15, 6-11) or the five seed of the South in McCook (19-12, 3-7) tomorrow at 1pm.

WNCC Volleyball can be found on KOZY 101.3 and kozyfm.com




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