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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Huskers Return Home for Boston College

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The Nebraska men’s basketball team return home Wednesday night, as the Huskers will take on Boston College in the ACC/Big Ten Men’s Basketball Challenge presented by Continental Tire. Tipoff is set for 8:15 p.m. and tickets are available by visiting Huskers.com/Tickets, calling the NU Athletic Ticket Office at 800-8-BIGRED during business hours (8 a.m.-5 p.m., Mon.-Fri.) and at the Pinnacle Bank Arena Ticket Office beginning Wednesday at 6:45 p.m.

Wednesday’s game is also the annual Toys for Tots Drive, as the Huskers have partnered with the U.S. Marines on the event. Husker fans are encouraged to bring new, unwrapped toys to the game, and cash donations for the cause will be taken. The Marines will be stationed at both Pinnacle Bank Arena entrances (South Lobby and North Entrance) to accept donations that will brighten the holiday season for children in the Omaha and Lincoln area.

 


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Game 8: Boston College

ACC/Big Ten Men’s Basketball Challenge presented by Continental Tire

Date: Wed., Nov. 30

Tipoff:  8:15 p.m. (CT)

Arena: Pinnacle Bank Arena (15,000)

Tickets: Huskers.com/Tickets

On the Air

Radio: Wednesday’s game will be carried on the Huskers Radio Network with Kent Pavelka and Jake Muhleisen on the call, including KLIN (1400 AM) in Lincoln, KXSP (590 AM) in Omaha and KRVN (880 AM) in Lexington and will also be available on Huskers.com and the Huskers app. The pregame show begins an hour before tipoff.

TV/Online: Wednesday’s game will be televised nationally on ESPNU with David Saltzman and Mark Adams on the call. The game will also be available on the ESPN App.

The Huskers (4-3) return home following a 1-2 weekend at the ESPN Events Invitational following a 75-58 victory against Florida State on Sunday night. The Huskers put together their most complete game of the season in the win over the Seminoles, shooting 50 percent from the field and putting five players in double figures. Derrick Walker led NU with a career-high 20 points and 13 rebounds, while Sam Griesel, Keisei Tominaga and C.J. Wilcher added 13 apiece. NU which had 11 first-half turnovers, committed just three miscues in the final 30 minutes while holding Florida State to 36.4 percent shooting in the second half.

Walker has been a force since returning to the lineup as he posted double-doubles in both contests after missing Nebraska’s first five games. The 6-foot-9 senior is averaging 17.5 points on 74 percent shooting along with 12.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. Walker’s inside presence has opened up the Huskers’ offense, as Nebraska has put at least four players in double figures over the last two contests.

Boston College (5-2) comes off a 53-49 win over Rhode Island on Sunday. The Eagles held the Rams to 23 percent shooting in the second half to break open a 28-all halftime tie. BC trailed 44-40 with less than eight minutes remaining before closing the game on a 13-5 run. Jaeden Zackery led BC with 16 points, as the Eagles went 18-of-23 from the line, including 10-of-12 in the second half.

Numbers to Know

.667 –Derrick Walker’s career field goal percentage at Nebraska. He is on track to set NU’s career record in that category. Larry Cox (.625, 1974-76) and Dave Hoppen (.600, 1983-86) are the only two Huskers with career field goal percentages above .600.

9.2 – Nebraska is allowing its opponents only 9.2 free throw attempts per game. The Huskers have held four of its seven opponents to 10 free throws or less this season. NU held both Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Oklahoma to three free throw attempts. On the other hand, NU is getting to the line an average of 17.2 times per game. 

2019 – The season opener over Maine marked the first time since the first round of the 2019 Big Ten Tournament (68-61 vs. Rutgers) where the Huskers won a game while being out-shot by its opponent.

ACC/Big Ten Challenge Primer

The 2022-23 season marks the 24th and final edition of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge presented by Continental Tire.  The Big Ten is 8-12-3 all-time in the challenge, but 8-2-3 over the past 13 years. In case of a tie, the Cup remains with the conference that won the event most recently, which is the Big Ten which went 8-6 last year.

• Nebraska is 5-6 all-time in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and looks to snap a three-game losing streak in the event. Nebraska’s last win was in 2018 at Clemson.

• This will be the first time NU has played at home with fans in the challenge since the 2017-18 season, which also came against Boston College.

Looking at Boston College

Under the direction of Anthony Grant, Boston College comes to Lincoln with a 5-2 record following a 53-49 win over Rhode Island on Sun-day. In that game, the Eagles held URI to 30.5 percent shooting, including just 3-of-16 from 3-point range. Jaeden Zackery had 16 points while Devin McGlockton added 11 points off the bench. BC shot just 30.4 percent but went 18-23 from the line and forced 16 turnovers in the win.

Grant is in his second season at Boston College after coaching at the College of Charleston for seven seasons, helping the school to a trio of 20-win seasons and an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2017-18. He also served as an assistant coach at The Citadel, Winthrop, Wichita State and Clemson after his collegiate playing career at Georgia College. One familiar face on the Boston College staff is assistant coach Jim Molinari, who served as an assistant coach at Nebraska from 2014 to 2019. 

The Eagles returned four starters from a team that went 13-20 and tied for 11th in the ACC last season. BC has battled injuries during the first part of the season, have been stout defensively, holding opponents to 62.3 points per game as only one opponent since the opener has scored 70 points. Boston College has held its last two opponents (Wyoming and Rhode Island) under 50 points.  Makai Ashton-Langford, leads BC in scoring (12.6 ppg) and assists (2.6 apg) while also chipping in 1.7 steals per game. Sophomore Jaeden Zackery is the only other Eagle in double figures, as he averages 11.6 points per game. In all, eight players average at least 5.9 points per game.

Wednesday’s meeting will be the second between the two schools with both coming in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. NU posted a 71-62 win over BC in 2017, as NU put four players in double figures and used a 12-0 second-half run to break open a 59-57 game.

 

Boston College Probable Starters









No. Name Pos. Yr. Ht. Wt. G/GS PPG RPG Other
3 Jaeden Zackery G So. 6-2 215 7/7 11.6 3.1 1.3 spg
45 Mason Madsen G Jr. 6-4 195 7/5 6.9 3.6 10 3-Pointers
11 Makai Ashton-Langford G Sr. 6-3 180 7/7 12.6 3.6 2.6 apg
24 CJ Penha Jr. F Sr. 6-7 230 7/5 9.0 4.4 0.9 spg
1 T.J. Bickerstaff F Sr. 6-9 220 7/7 7.4 7.6 2.0 spg

 
Last Time Out
Derrick Walker had career highs of 20 points and 13 rebounds to lead Nebraska to a 75-58 win over Florida State in the ESPN Events Invita-tional Sunday night.

Walker led five Huskers in double figures with 20 points on 10-of-12 shooting and matched his career high in rebounds, as Nebraska put five in double figures and snapped a two-game losing streak.

Keisei Tominaga, C.J. Wilcher and Sam Griesel added 13 points apiece, as Nebraska shot 50 percent from the floor and dished out a sea-son-high 22 assists. Griesel had a season-best nine assists and scored nine of his 11 second-half points in a decisive 13-2 run that pushed a 37-32 lead into a 16-point advantage.

Leading 37-32, Walker’s dunk ignited the run before Griesel had a four-point play and a 3-pointer in back-to-back possessions, as NU stretched the lead to 50-34. The Huskers built a 19-point lead before the Seminoles made one last run, stringing together nine straight points to pull with 59-49 after a 3-pointer from Cam’Ron Fletcher with just under eight minutes remaining.

That would be as close as Florida State would get, as Juwan Gary’s baseline dunk started a 12-2 surge that stretched the lead to 71-51 after a Walker basket with 3:39 left and cruised to an 18-point margin.

Postgame Notes vs. Florida State

  • Derrick Walker posted his second straight double-double with 20 points and 13 rebounds on Sunday. It was his fifth career double-double and fourth of the season for a Husker.
  • Walker’s 20 points is a career high, as his previous best was 16 on three occasions. His 13 rebounds tied a career high originally set in the 4OT loss at NC State last season.
  • Sam Griesel’s nine assists is a season high as the Huskers had 22 assists on 33 baskets. Nebraska’s 22 assists was NU’s most since having 25 against Doane in 2020-21, and most vs. a Division I opponent since having 22 against Purdue in the 2019-20 season.
  • Nebraska shot 50 percent, including 55 percent in the second half. NU had 11 of its 14 turnovers in the first half and ended up leading points off turnovers by a 17-9 margin.

     

Worth Noting

  • With more of an emphasis on positional size compared to previous Hoiberg-coached Husker teams, Nebraska has made significant improvement on the defensive end despite breaking in an entirely new starting lineup. The Huskers have held six of their seven opponents to 70 points or less and have climbed 78 spots in adjusted defense in KenPom compared to last season.  The Huskers have held five of their seven opponents to under 1.0 point per possession.
  • The biggest strides Nebraska has made has been in rebounding. NU is currently sixth in the Big Ten in rebounding margin at +6.0 per game and has been out-rebounded once in its first seven games. NU is 66th nationally in rebounding margin after ranking 344th last year. NU has four players averaging at least 5.0 rebounds per game.
  • Nebraska’s strength during the early season has been attacking the offensive glass. NU is second in the Big Ten lead with 12.9 offensive rebounds per game, a total which is up more than 5.5 per game over last year. Nebraska had a season-high 18 offensive rebounds at St. John’s, the Huskers’ highest total since the 2018-19 season.
  • Nebraska has been balanced during the early portion of the season. Currently five Huskers are averaging double figures, led by Derrick Walker’s 17.5 points per game, with a sixth player averaging 9.9 points per game. Since 2000-01, NU has had only four seasons with four players averaging double figures (2019-20, 2018-19, 2013-14, 2005-06). The last time NU had five players finish the season averaging double figures was the 1993-94 season.
  • Nebraska has shared the wealth during the first seven games. The Huskers have had a different player lead the team in scoring six times (Griesel-Maine; Wilcher-Omaha; Tominaga-St. John’s; Gary-UAPB, and OU; Bandoumel-Memphis; Walker-Florida State) and have had eight players reach double figures at least once.
  • Nebraska has also done an excellent job of not fouling. The Huskers are second nationally in fewest fouls per game (11.1) as of Nov. 27. Nebraska has made more free throws (76) and its opponents have attempted (66), while one opponent (Florida State) has gotten to the line more than Nebraska in the first seven contests.

Big Red Double-Doubles
Nebraska has had four double-doubles in the first seven games of the season, by three different players (Juwan Gary, Blaise Keita and Derrick Walker). The Huskers join Illinois as the only Big Ten teams with three different players posting double-doubles, while the four double-doubles by NU rank third in the Big Ten entering this week’s ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Trio of Transfers Making Impact

Nebraska added three Division I transfers in the offseason in Sam Griesel (North Dakota State), Emmanuel Bandoumel (SMU) and Juwan Gary (Alabama). The trio combined for nearly 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in their college careers before enrolling at NU and have made major contributions early on.  They’ve combined for 29.9 points, 17.6 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game in NU’s first seven contests.

Griesel, a Lincoln native, has enjoyed quite the homecoming, as he is second on the team in scoring (10.9 ppg) and tops NU with 4.4 as-sists. He also is fourth on the team with 5.1 rebounds per game from his point guard spot. The Huskers’ first scholarship recruit from the state since Jake Muhleisen in the early 2000s, Griesel comes off one of his best games of the year against Florida State when he scored nine of his 13 points in a decisive 13-2 surge and dished out a season-high nine assists.  Against Maine, Griesel scored a season-high 22 points and grabbed nine rebounds while also chipping in 18 points against Omaha. Griesel’s 22-point effort against Maine was one of the highest-scoring debuts by a Husker in the last 50 seasons.

Bandoumel has been steady on both ends of the court, averaging 9.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game while also pacing NU’s effort on the defensive end. Bandoumel, who played off the ball for most of his time at SMU, has nearly a 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. He had 18 points and five assists in the loss against Memphis on Nov. 15 and also had 13 points and five dimes against Oklahoma on Nov. 24. He enjoyed his best game against Omaha with 18 points, including a pair of 3-pointers in NU’s game-opening 11-0 run. His on-ball pressure on opposing guards has helped with NU’s defensive efforts early on in the seeason. Bandoumel averaged double figures in his final two years at SMU.

Gary, who can be used on the wing or in the post when NU goes small, has been a disruptive force on both ends, as he averages 10.1 points, 6.4 rebound and 2.0 steals per game. He is fourth in the Big Ten in steals and 20th in rebounding. He is seventh in the Big Ten in offensive rebounds at 2.7 per game. Gary had 16 points, seven rebounds against Oklahoma and is averaging 12.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg and 2.3 spg over his last four games dating back to Nov. 29. He posted a double-double against Maine with 14 points and 11 boards, while he matched his career high with 11 rebounds in the loss to St. John’s.

If history is any indication, it will be likely that one of these three will pace NU in scoring, as a newcomer has topped the Husker scoring chart in each of the three seasons under Fred Hoiberg. Of the eight players who have averaged double figures under Hoiberg, all eight have been in their first year of competition at Nebraska.

 

Walker Looks to Continue Efficient Shooting

Nebraska returns one of the most efficient big men in college basketball in Derrick Walker. The 6-foot-9 forward averaged 9.6 points per game on 68.3 percent shooting from the field in 2021-22. He broke NU’s single-season field-goal percentage that was held by Larry Cox since the 1975-76 season.

Walker, who missed NU’s first five games, made his debut over the weekend and averaged 17.5 points and 12.5 rebounds per game on 74 percent shooting. He had 15 points and 12 rebounds in the loss to Memphis before putting together a career night against Florida State. Against the Seminoles, Walker hit 10-of-12 shots from the field en route to his first career 20-point game and added 13 rebounds and four assists.

Last season, Walker was the only Big Ten player and one of just 14 players in Division I to shoot at least 65 percent and average at least eight points per game last season.

 

Tominaga Continues Strong Play

After a summer with the Japanese National Team, junior Keisei Tominaga continued his strong play during the opening stretch of the season. Tominaga, a 6-foot-2 guard, has been a spark off the bench, ranking fourth on the team in scoring at 10.1 points per game while averaging just under 20 minutes per contest.

  • Tominaga has been in double figures four times this season, including a team-high 15 points at St. John’s and a season-high 19-point effort against Maine. In that game, he connected on 7-of-12 shots from the field, including a trio of 3-pointers, and added two rebounds and a blocked shot in 20 minutes.
  • He averaged 10.0 ppg during the three games in the ESPN Events Invitational, including a 13-point effort in the win over Florida State.
  • He is second on the team with 11 3-pointers and is shooting 36 percent from long range.
  • Of Tominaga’s 11 double-figure games at Nebraska, eight have come off the bench, including his career high 23-point effort against South Dakota last season.
  • Over the summer, Tominaga was with the Japanese National Team, making his debut in the FIBA World Cup Asia qualifier in early July and then starred for Japan in the 2022 Asia Cup. In seven games with the Senior National Team, Tominaga averaged 15.9 points per game while shooting 39.3 percent from the 3-point line. His best performance came against Australia in the Asia Cup quarterfinals, when he poured in 33 points on 12-of-20 shooting, including 8-of-15 from 3-point range.

Wilcher Breaks Out
Sophomore C.J. Wilcher was one of the Big Ten’s top scoring sixth men last year and has moved into the starting lineup in 2022-23. The 6-foot-5 guard is second on the team in scoring at 10.9 points per game while shooting 44 percent from the field and 37 percent from 3-point range.

  • He had 13 points in NU’s win over Floria State, including a trio of 3-pointers. Wilcher also had three assists in the win.
  • Wilcher was efficient in NU’s win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff with 15 points and three assists on just nine shots. Wilcher was 3-of-3 from 3-point range, the second time this season he had at least three 3-pointers.
  • He posted a career-high 21 points against Omaha on 8-of-12 shooting, including four 3-pointers. It marked the first 20-point game of his career.
  • Last season, he closed the season playing some of his best basketball, shooting 60 percent from the field, including 50 percent from 3-point range over NU’s final five games. In Big Ten play last season, he shot a team-best 43.0 percent from beyond the arc.

Welcome Back Wilhelm
Although he is one of NU’s four returnees, sophomore Wilhelm Breidenbach is looking to regain his stride after missing most of his freshman year following knee surgery last December. Breidenbach is NU’s first big off the bench and averaging 4.1 points and 3.0 re-bounds per game. 

  • He reached double figures for the first time in his career in the win over UABP on Nov. 20, scoring 10 first-half points on 4-of-5 shooting. Although he saw limited duty in the second half, NU Coach Fred Hoiberg cited his energy and effort from the bench as a rallying point.
  • Breidenbach was impressive in his 2022-23 debut against Maine, tying or setting career highs in points (nine), rebounds (seven) and assists (three) in 17 minutes off the bench.

Revamped Husker Coaching Staff
In addition to nine new faces on the Husker roster (six scholarship players and three walk-ons), the Husker staff also has several new faces this season.

  • Assistant Coach Adam Howard comes to Nebraska after spending the last four seasons at South Alabama, helping the program to 75 wins in that span after the program had seven straight losing seasons. Last year, South Alabama won 21 games, the school’s highest total since 2008. Howard also coached at Troy, Tennessee, Southern Miss and Morehead State after playing collegiately at Western Kentucky.
  • Assistant Coach Ernie Zeigler comes to Lincoln after spending six years on Ben Howland’s staff at Mississippi State. The Bulldogs had four postseason appearances between 2018-22. Zeiger spent six seasons as the head coach at Central Michigan (2007-12) and previously served stints at UCLA, Pittsburgh, Kansas State, Detroit and Bowling Green.
  • Emmanuel Tommy joined the staff as Director of Player Development. He was an assistant coach at Alabama A&M last season and had worked on the administrative side at both McNeese State and South Alabama.
  • Two familiar faces in new positions are graduate managers Michael Bania and Payden Borders, both of whom worked as managers in the Husker program. Both graduated from Nebraska last May.

 A Change of Pace
One typical trait of a Fred Hoiberg coached team is to play at a fast pace. The Huskers led the Big Ten in pace in each of the last three seasons according to KenPom, including top-20 rankings in 2019-20 (16th) and 2021-22 (19th). NU has been the only Big Ten team to rank in the top-50 in any of the past three seasons.  The 2022-23 team has been a little different in that area, ranking 282nd nationally in pace entering this week’s action. NU has had just two games with 70+ possessions in the first seven contests (St. John’s and Florida State). 

Playing with Pace (Adjusted Tempo per KenPom)













Year Hoiberg-Coached Team Big Ten Leader
2010-11 Iowa State (34th) Iowa (100th)
2011-12 Iowa State (128th) Iowa (70th)
2012-13 Iowa State (30th) Iowa (95th)
2013-14 Iowa State (12th) Iowa (29th)
2014-15 Iowa State (10th) Minnesota (47th)
2019-20 Nebraska (16th) Same
2020-21 Nebraska (35th) Same
2021-22 Nebraska (19th) Same
2021-22 Nebraska (282nd) Illinois (11th)

 
Husker Roster Has International Flavor
Nebraska’s 2022-23 roster has an international flavor, as it features a quartet of international players in Emmanuel Bandoumel (Canada), Blaise Keita (Mali), Keisei Tominaga (Japan) and Oleg Kojenets (Lithuania). During Fred Hoiberg‘s four seasons at Nebraska, the Huskers have had players from nine countries (Australia, Canada, England, France, Iceland, Japan, Lithuania, Mali and Slovenia).

Three Huskers on NBA Rosters in 2022-23

Nebraska is well represented on NBA Opening Night rosters with Isaiah Roby (San Antonio), Dalano Banton (Toronto) and Bryce McGowens (Charlotte). The group is joined by Tyronn Lue, who begins his third season as head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers.

  • Nebraska’s three active NBA players is the most since the 2007-07 season (Eric Piatkowski, Mikki Moore and Lue)
  • McGowens became the 15th former Husker to make his NBA debut on Oct. 19, as he saw action in Charlotte’s win over San Antonio.
  • Four members of the 2021-22 team are playing professionally, including Bryce McGowens (NBA), Lat Mayen (Australia), Alonzo Verge Jr. (Poland) and Kobe Webster (Netherlands).
  • In all, 24 former Huskers are playing professionally around the world, including 10 players from Hoiberg’s three Husker teams.

Huskers to Be Tested in 2022-23
Nebraska will have a challenging schedule this upcoming season. The Huskers will play a minimum of 25 power conference teams during the season, including five (St. John’s, Creighton, Boston College, Kansas State and Oklahoma) in non-conference action. Depending on the results of the ESPN Events Invitational, NU could see as many as seven power conference teams during non-conference action, including six away from home.

  • Nebraska will play at least 13 games in the regular season against ranked teams or teams receiving votes in the AP or Coaches Preseason poll. The Huskers will face No. 9/9 Creighton, No. 13/14 Indiana, No. 22/22 Michigan and No. 23/23 Illinois while six other teams (Purdue, Michigan State, Ohio State, Iowa, Rutgers, Wisconsin) received votes. NU could also face Memphis during the ESPN Events Invitational in Orlando.
  • Nebraska has 16 regular-season games against teams that reached postseason play in 2021-22. The Big Ten had nine NCAA teams in 2021-22, and Nebraska will face that group a combined 13 times (Illinois-2, Iowa-2, Michigan State-2, Purdue-2, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio State, Rutgers and Wisconsin). In non-conference action, NU will face Creighton in Omaha and will face Oklahoma in the ESPN Events Invitational opener. The Huskers will also square off against either Seton Hall or Memphis the following day.

 McGowens Becomes Highest Drafted Husker since 1998
Bryce McGowens became the second Husker drafted in as many years, as he was the No. 40 pick of the Charlotte Hornets in the 2022 NBA Draft last June. He was the highest Husker drafted since Tyronn Lue went No. 23 overall in 1998. McGowens averaged 16.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game in 2021-22, earning third-team All-Big Ten honors from both the coaches and media.

  • McGowens’ 16.8 points per game ranked third nationally among true freshmen in 2021-22. The top two true freshmen in scoring were Paolo Banchero (Duke) and Jabari Smith (Auburn) and those two were picked first and third, respectively, in the 2022 NBA Draft.
  • With Dalano Banton (No. 46 in 2021) and McGowens, Nebraska has players selected in consecutive NBA Drafts for the first time since 1998 and 1999.
  • McGowens was one of nine Big Ten players selected in the 2022 NBA Draft. The nine picks were the most of any conference and the highest total since 10 Big Ten players were selected in the 1990 NBA Draft.

Huskers Annually Rank Among NCAA Attendance Leaders
Since moving into Pinnacle Bank Arena, the Huskers have been among the national leaders in attendance. The Huskers have ranked in the top 15 in attendance every year since 2013-14, ranking in the top 10 on three occasions including last year.

  • •  Nebraska is one of eight schools in the country to average 15,000+ fans per contest in each of the last seven seasons (2014-20, 2022), joining Kentucky, Syracuse, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas and Creighton. The NCAA did not count attendance figures during the 2020-21 season because of Covid-19.

 
Huskers Add Top-30 Recruiting Class
For the second straight season, Nebraska pulled in a top-30 national recruiting class, as the 2022 class was rated No. 28 by Rivals. The class included incoming freshmen Ramel Lloyd Jr. and Jamarques Lawrence, as well as junior college transfer Blaise Keita. It also included Denim Dawson, who signed with Nebraska in November and enrolled for the start of the spring 2022 semester.

Lloyd was ranked No. 88 nationally by ESPN and was a top-100 recruit in the 247Sports Composite rankings, while Lawrence was ranked among the top 150 players by Rivals at the end of his senior season. Keita was ranked as the No. 1 overall JUCO player by 247Sports and No. 4 by JUCORecruiting.com.  The Huskers’ 2021 freshmen class was ranked as high as 13th nationally by ESPN and also earned top-25 recognition by 247Sports and Rivals.

 

Holiday Break Games Go on Sale Dec. 1

The Nebraska Athletic Ticket Office announced that tickets for the Husker men’s basketball three holiday break games will go on sale to the public on Thursday, Dec. 1.

Ticket prices are set at $10 (300 level), $20 (200 level) and $25 (100 level) and are available for Nebraska’s games against Big Ten rivals Iowa (Dec. 29), Illinois (Jan. 10) and Ohio State (Jan. 18). Tickets can be purchased by visiting Huskers.com or calling the Nebraska Athletic Ticket Office at 800-8-BIGRED during business hours (8 a.m.-5p.m., Mon.-Fri.).

In addition, UNL students can claim their tickets for the holiday break games by visiting Huskers.com/Students until Nov. 30. Tickets are $4 apiece, and guest tickets are available for $11 each. There is a limit of one guest ticket per student.

All in the Family

Several members of the 2022-23 Huskers have family members who have played basketball at the college or professional levels. The list is led by Fred Hoiberg, who played in the NBA for a decade after a standout career at Iowa State. In addition, Ramel Lloyd was a Parade All-American who scored over 1,600 points at the college level at Syracuse and Long Beach State. Both Aleh Kojenets and Jurga Paliaukaite played at UNC Wilmington, while Paliaukaite holds the UNC Wilmington women’s record with 10 blocked shots in a game.  Keisei Tomina-ga’s father didn’t play college basketball, but was a center on the Japanese national team at the 1998 FIBA World Championship and played professionally in Japan for a decade.

 












Player Relative College (Sport)
Sam Hoiberg Fred (Father) Iowa State/NBA (MBB)

Jack (Brother) Michigan State/UT-Arlington (MBB)
Oleg Kojenets Aleh (Father) UNC Wilmingon

Jurga Paliaukaite (Mother) UNC Wilmington
Keisei Tominaga Hiroyuki (Father) Played Internationally for Japan
C.J. Wilcher Sergio (Father) Morgan State (MBB)
Ramel Lloyd Jr. Ramel Sr. (Father) Syracuse/Long Beach State (MBB)
Emmanuel Bandoumel Djim (Brother) Idaho State (MBB)

 
NBA Coaches: Back to School
Fred Hoiberg is one of eight active NCAA coaches to have coached in the NBA, as he spent three-plus seasons with the Chicago Bulls from 2015 to 2018. Hoiberg’s 270 regular-season NBA games rank third among the eight former NBA coaches in the collegiate ranks. Hoi-berg is also one of former 23 former NBA players as Division I head coaches in 2022-23.
 
Division I Coaches with NBA Head Coaching Experience












Coach, School NBA Head Coach, Years
John Calipari, Kentucky New Jersey, 1996-99
Leonard Hamilton, Miami Washington, 2000-01
Fred Hoiberg, Nebraska Chicago, 2015-18
Eric Musselman, Arkansas Golden State, 2002-04; Sacramento, 2006-07
Rick Pitino, Iona New York, 1987-89; Boston, 1997-2001
Reggie Theus, Bethune-Cookman Sacramento, 2007-09
Darrell Walker, Arkansas Little Rock Toronto, 1996-98; Washington, 1999-2000
Mike Woodson, Indiana Atlanta 2004-2010; New York, 2011-14

 
Eli Rice Signs with Nebraska
Nebraska Men’s Basketball Coach Fred Hoiberg announced Nov. 9 that Eli Rice (Gallatin, Tenn.) has signed a National Letter-of-Intent to play for the Husker basketball program in 2023-24.  Rice is a 6-foot-7, 195-pound guard who will play for IMG Academy’s postgraduate team this season after spending his senior year at Beech (Tenn.) High School. A three-star recruit by 247Sports, Rivals and On3, he was rated No. 194 nationally in the 247Sports composite rankings and among the top-25 recruits in the state of Florida by 247Sports.

Rice, who turned 18 in August, starred at Beech High School in 2021-22, averaging 17.2 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.1 blocks per game. He helped Coach Kip Brown’s team to a 34-2 record, including a 33-game win streak, and the school’s first appearance in the state tournament since 2010.  For his efforts, Rice was named to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association’s all-state high school boys basketball team in Class 4A and was named the Sumner County Player of the Year.

SIngle-Game Tickets Now on Sale

Single-game tickets for the 2022-23 schedule are now on sale. A select number of 300 Level seats are available for $7 apiece for non-conference games and $10 each for each of the Huskers’ Big Ten matchups, including games with Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Ohio State and Iowa.

The single-game tickets are one of several options to purchase Husker basketball tickets for the 2022-23 season. In addition, the Six-Game Mini-Plan which allows fans to pick 300 Level seats for any six games during the 2022-23 season for just $30 while supplies last.

To purchase, visit Huskers.com/Tickets or call the Nebraska Athletic Ticket Office at 800-8-BIGRED during business hours (8 a.m.-5 p.m., Mon.-Fri.).





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The Nebraska men’s basketball team return home Wednesday night, as the Huskers will take on Boston College in the ACC/Big Ten Men’s Basketball Challenge presented by Continental Tire. Tipoff is set for 8:15 p.m. and tickets are available by visiting Huskers.com/Tickets, calling the NU Athletic Ticket Office at 800-8-BIGRED during business hours (8 a.m.-5 p.m., Mon.-Fri.) and at the Pinnacle Bank Arena Ticket Office beginning Wednesday at 6:45 p.m.

Wednesday’s game is also the annual Toys for Tots Drive, as the Huskers have partnered with the U.S. Marines on the event. Husker fans are encouraged to bring new, unwrapped toys to the game, and cash donations for the cause will be taken. The Marines will be stationed at both Pinnacle Bank Arena entrances (South Lobby and North Entrance) to accept donations that will brighten the holiday season for children in the Omaha and Lincoln area.

 





Game 8: Boston College

ACC/Big Ten Men’s Basketball Challenge presented by Continental Tire

Date: Wed., Nov. 30

Tipoff:  8:15 p.m. (CT)

Arena: Pinnacle Bank Arena (15,000)

Tickets: Huskers.com/Tickets

On the Air

Radio: Wednesday’s game will be carried on the Huskers Radio Network with Kent Pavelka and Jake Muhleisen on the call, including KLIN (1400 AM) in Lincoln, KXSP (590 AM) in Omaha and KRVN (880 AM) in Lexington and will also be available on Huskers.com and the Huskers app. The pregame show begins an hour before tipoff.

TV/Online: Wednesday’s game will be televised nationally on ESPNU with David Saltzman and Mark Adams on the call. The game will also be available on the ESPN App.

The Huskers (4-3) return home following a 1-2 weekend at the ESPN Events Invitational following a 75-58 victory against Florida State on Sunday night. The Huskers put together their most complete game of the season in the win over the Seminoles, shooting 50 percent from the field and putting five players in double figures. Derrick Walker led NU with a career-high 20 points and 13 rebounds, while Sam Griesel, Keisei Tominaga and C.J. Wilcher added 13 apiece. NU which had 11 first-half turnovers, committed just three miscues in the final 30 minutes while holding Florida State to 36.4 percent shooting in the second half.

Walker has been a force since returning to the lineup as he posted double-doubles in both contests after missing Nebraska’s first five games. The 6-foot-9 senior is averaging 17.5 points on 74 percent shooting along with 12.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. Walker’s inside presence has opened up the Huskers’ offense, as Nebraska has put at least four players in double figures over the last two contests.

Boston College (5-2) comes off a 53-49 win over Rhode Island on Sunday. The Eagles held the Rams to 23 percent shooting in the second half to break open a 28-all halftime tie. BC trailed 44-40 with less than eight minutes remaining before closing the game on a 13-5 run. Jaeden Zackery led BC with 16 points, as the Eagles went 18-of-23 from the line, including 10-of-12 in the second half.

Numbers to Know

.667 –Derrick Walker’s career field goal percentage at Nebraska. He is on track to set NU’s career record in that category. Larry Cox (.625, 1974-76) and Dave Hoppen (.600, 1983-86) are the only two Huskers with career field goal percentages above .600.

9.2 – Nebraska is allowing its opponents only 9.2 free throw attempts per game. The Huskers have held four of its seven opponents to 10 free throws or less this season. NU held both Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Oklahoma to three free throw attempts. On the other hand, NU is getting to the line an average of 17.2 times per game. 

2019 – The season opener over Maine marked the first time since the first round of the 2019 Big Ten Tournament (68-61 vs. Rutgers) where the Huskers won a game while being out-shot by its opponent.

ACC/Big Ten Challenge Primer

The 2022-23 season marks the 24th and final edition of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge presented by Continental Tire.  The Big Ten is 8-12-3 all-time in the challenge, but 8-2-3 over the past 13 years. In case of a tie, the Cup remains with the conference that won the event most recently, which is the Big Ten which went 8-6 last year.

• Nebraska is 5-6 all-time in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and looks to snap a three-game losing streak in the event. Nebraska’s last win was in 2018 at Clemson.

• This will be the first time NU has played at home with fans in the challenge since the 2017-18 season, which also came against Boston College.

Looking at Boston College

Under the direction of Anthony Grant, Boston College comes to Lincoln with a 5-2 record following a 53-49 win over Rhode Island on Sun-day. In that game, the Eagles held URI to 30.5 percent shooting, including just 3-of-16 from 3-point range. Jaeden Zackery had 16 points while Devin McGlockton added 11 points off the bench. BC shot just 30.4 percent but went 18-23 from the line and forced 16 turnovers in the win.

Grant is in his second season at Boston College after coaching at the College of Charleston for seven seasons, helping the school to a trio of 20-win seasons and an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2017-18. He also served as an assistant coach at The Citadel, Winthrop, Wichita State and Clemson after his collegiate playing career at Georgia College. One familiar face on the Boston College staff is assistant coach Jim Molinari, who served as an assistant coach at Nebraska from 2014 to 2019. 

The Eagles returned four starters from a team that went 13-20 and tied for 11th in the ACC last season. BC has battled injuries during the first part of the season, have been stout defensively, holding opponents to 62.3 points per game as only one opponent since the opener has scored 70 points. Boston College has held its last two opponents (Wyoming and Rhode Island) under 50 points.  Makai Ashton-Langford, leads BC in scoring (12.6 ppg) and assists (2.6 apg) while also chipping in 1.7 steals per game. Sophomore Jaeden Zackery is the only other Eagle in double figures, as he averages 11.6 points per game. In all, eight players average at least 5.9 points per game.

Wednesday’s meeting will be the second between the two schools with both coming in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. NU posted a 71-62 win over BC in 2017, as NU put four players in double figures and used a 12-0 second-half run to break open a 59-57 game.

 

Boston College Probable Starters









No. Name Pos. Yr. Ht. Wt. G/GS PPG RPG Other
3 Jaeden Zackery G So. 6-2 215 7/7 11.6 3.1 1.3 spg
45 Mason Madsen G Jr. 6-4 195 7/5 6.9 3.6 10 3-Pointers
11 Makai Ashton-Langford G Sr. 6-3 180 7/7 12.6 3.6 2.6 apg
24 CJ Penha Jr. F Sr. 6-7 230 7/5 9.0 4.4 0.9 spg
1 T.J. Bickerstaff F Sr. 6-9 220 7/7 7.4 7.6 2.0 spg

 
Last Time Out
Derrick Walker had career highs of 20 points and 13 rebounds to lead Nebraska to a 75-58 win over Florida State in the ESPN Events Invita-tional Sunday night.

Walker led five Huskers in double figures with 20 points on 10-of-12 shooting and matched his career high in rebounds, as Nebraska put five in double figures and snapped a two-game losing streak.

Keisei Tominaga, C.J. Wilcher and Sam Griesel added 13 points apiece, as Nebraska shot 50 percent from the floor and dished out a sea-son-high 22 assists. Griesel had a season-best nine assists and scored nine of his 11 second-half points in a decisive 13-2 run that pushed a 37-32 lead into a 16-point advantage.

Leading 37-32, Walker’s dunk ignited the run before Griesel had a four-point play and a 3-pointer in back-to-back possessions, as NU stretched the lead to 50-34. The Huskers built a 19-point lead before the Seminoles made one last run, stringing together nine straight points to pull with 59-49 after a 3-pointer from Cam’Ron Fletcher with just under eight minutes remaining.

That would be as close as Florida State would get, as Juwan Gary’s baseline dunk started a 12-2 surge that stretched the lead to 71-51 after a Walker basket with 3:39 left and cruised to an 18-point margin.

Postgame Notes vs. Florida State

  • Derrick Walker posted his second straight double-double with 20 points and 13 rebounds on Sunday. It was his fifth career double-double and fourth of the season for a Husker.
  • Walker’s 20 points is a career high, as his previous best was 16 on three occasions. His 13 rebounds tied a career high originally set in the 4OT loss at NC State last season.
  • Sam Griesel’s nine assists is a season high as the Huskers had 22 assists on 33 baskets. Nebraska’s 22 assists was NU’s most since having 25 against Doane in 2020-21, and most vs. a Division I opponent since having 22 against Purdue in the 2019-20 season.
  • Nebraska shot 50 percent, including 55 percent in the second half. NU had 11 of its 14 turnovers in the first half and ended up leading points off turnovers by a 17-9 margin.

     

Worth Noting

  • With more of an emphasis on positional size compared to previous Hoiberg-coached Husker teams, Nebraska has made significant improvement on the defensive end despite breaking in an entirely new starting lineup. The Huskers have held six of their seven opponents to 70 points or less and have climbed 78 spots in adjusted defense in KenPom compared to last season.  The Huskers have held five of their seven opponents to under 1.0 point per possession.
  • The biggest strides Nebraska has made has been in rebounding. NU is currently sixth in the Big Ten in rebounding margin at +6.0 per game and has been out-rebounded once in its first seven games. NU is 66th nationally in rebounding margin after ranking 344th last year. NU has four players averaging at least 5.0 rebounds per game.
  • Nebraska’s strength during the early season has been attacking the offensive glass. NU is second in the Big Ten lead with 12.9 offensive rebounds per game, a total which is up more than 5.5 per game over last year. Nebraska had a season-high 18 offensive rebounds at St. John’s, the Huskers’ highest total since the 2018-19 season.
  • Nebraska has been balanced during the early portion of the season. Currently five Huskers are averaging double figures, led by Derrick Walker’s 17.5 points per game, with a sixth player averaging 9.9 points per game. Since 2000-01, NU has had only four seasons with four players averaging double figures (2019-20, 2018-19, 2013-14, 2005-06). The last time NU had five players finish the season averaging double figures was the 1993-94 season.
  • Nebraska has shared the wealth during the first seven games. The Huskers have had a different player lead the team in scoring six times (Griesel-Maine; Wilcher-Omaha; Tominaga-St. John’s; Gary-UAPB, and OU; Bandoumel-Memphis; Walker-Florida State) and have had eight players reach double figures at least once.
  • Nebraska has also done an excellent job of not fouling. The Huskers are second nationally in fewest fouls per game (11.1) as of Nov. 27. Nebraska has made more free throws (76) and its opponents have attempted (66), while one opponent (Florida State) has gotten to the line more than Nebraska in the first seven contests.

Big Red Double-Doubles
Nebraska has had four double-doubles in the first seven games of the season, by three different players (Juwan Gary, Blaise Keita and Derrick Walker). The Huskers join Illinois as the only Big Ten teams with three different players posting double-doubles, while the four double-doubles by NU rank third in the Big Ten entering this week’s ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Trio of Transfers Making Impact

Nebraska added three Division I transfers in the offseason in Sam Griesel (North Dakota State), Emmanuel Bandoumel (SMU) and Juwan Gary (Alabama). The trio combined for nearly 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in their college careers before enrolling at NU and have made major contributions early on.  They’ve combined for 29.9 points, 17.6 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game in NU’s first seven contests.

Griesel, a Lincoln native, has enjoyed quite the homecoming, as he is second on the team in scoring (10.9 ppg) and tops NU with 4.4 as-sists. He also is fourth on the team with 5.1 rebounds per game from his point guard spot. The Huskers’ first scholarship recruit from the state since Jake Muhleisen in the early 2000s, Griesel comes off one of his best games of the year against Florida State when he scored nine of his 13 points in a decisive 13-2 surge and dished out a season-high nine assists.  Against Maine, Griesel scored a season-high 22 points and grabbed nine rebounds while also chipping in 18 points against Omaha. Griesel’s 22-point effort against Maine was one of the highest-scoring debuts by a Husker in the last 50 seasons.

Bandoumel has been steady on both ends of the court, averaging 9.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game while also pacing NU’s effort on the defensive end. Bandoumel, who played off the ball for most of his time at SMU, has nearly a 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. He had 18 points and five assists in the loss against Memphis on Nov. 15 and also had 13 points and five dimes against Oklahoma on Nov. 24. He enjoyed his best game against Omaha with 18 points, including a pair of 3-pointers in NU’s game-opening 11-0 run. His on-ball pressure on opposing guards has helped with NU’s defensive efforts early on in the seeason. Bandoumel averaged double figures in his final two years at SMU.

Gary, who can be used on the wing or in the post when NU goes small, has been a disruptive force on both ends, as he averages 10.1 points, 6.4 rebound and 2.0 steals per game. He is fourth in the Big Ten in steals and 20th in rebounding. He is seventh in the Big Ten in offensive rebounds at 2.7 per game. Gary had 16 points, seven rebounds against Oklahoma and is averaging 12.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg and 2.3 spg over his last four games dating back to Nov. 29. He posted a double-double against Maine with 14 points and 11 boards, while he matched his career high with 11 rebounds in the loss to St. John’s.

If history is any indication, it will be likely that one of these three will pace NU in scoring, as a newcomer has topped the Husker scoring chart in each of the three seasons under Fred Hoiberg. Of the eight players who have averaged double figures under Hoiberg, all eight have been in their first year of competition at Nebraska.

 

Walker Looks to Continue Efficient Shooting

Nebraska returns one of the most efficient big men in college basketball in Derrick Walker. The 6-foot-9 forward averaged 9.6 points per game on 68.3 percent shooting from the field in 2021-22. He broke NU’s single-season field-goal percentage that was held by Larry Cox since the 1975-76 season.

Walker, who missed NU’s first five games, made his debut over the weekend and averaged 17.5 points and 12.5 rebounds per game on 74 percent shooting. He had 15 points and 12 rebounds in the loss to Memphis before putting together a career night against Florida State. Against the Seminoles, Walker hit 10-of-12 shots from the field en route to his first career 20-point game and added 13 rebounds and four assists.

Last season, Walker was the only Big Ten player and one of just 14 players in Division I to shoot at least 65 percent and average at least eight points per game last season.

 

Tominaga Continues Strong Play

After a summer with the Japanese National Team, junior Keisei Tominaga continued his strong play during the opening stretch of the season. Tominaga, a 6-foot-2 guard, has been a spark off the bench, ranking fourth on the team in scoring at 10.1 points per game while averaging just under 20 minutes per contest.

  • Tominaga has been in double figures four times this season, including a team-high 15 points at St. John’s and a season-high 19-point effort against Maine. In that game, he connected on 7-of-12 shots from the field, including a trio of 3-pointers, and added two rebounds and a blocked shot in 20 minutes.
  • He averaged 10.0 ppg during the three games in the ESPN Events Invitational, including a 13-point effort in the win over Florida State.
  • He is second on the team with 11 3-pointers and is shooting 36 percent from long range.
  • Of Tominaga’s 11 double-figure games at Nebraska, eight have come off the bench, including his career high 23-point effort against South Dakota last season.
  • Over the summer, Tominaga was with the Japanese National Team, making his debut in the FIBA World Cup Asia qualifier in early July and then starred for Japan in the 2022 Asia Cup. In seven games with the Senior National Team, Tominaga averaged 15.9 points per game while shooting 39.3 percent from the 3-point line. His best performance came against Australia in the Asia Cup quarterfinals, when he poured in 33 points on 12-of-20 shooting, including 8-of-15 from 3-point range.

Wilcher Breaks Out
Sophomore C.J. Wilcher was one of the Big Ten’s top scoring sixth men last year and has moved into the starting lineup in 2022-23. The 6-foot-5 guard is second on the team in scoring at 10.9 points per game while shooting 44 percent from the field and 37 percent from 3-point range.

  • He had 13 points in NU’s win over Floria State, including a trio of 3-pointers. Wilcher also had three assists in the win.
  • Wilcher was efficient in NU’s win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff with 15 points and three assists on just nine shots. Wilcher was 3-of-3 from 3-point range, the second time this season he had at least three 3-pointers.
  • He posted a career-high 21 points against Omaha on 8-of-12 shooting, including four 3-pointers. It marked the first 20-point game of his career.
  • Last season, he closed the season playing some of his best basketball, shooting 60 percent from the field, including 50 percent from 3-point range over NU’s final five games. In Big Ten play last season, he shot a team-best 43.0 percent from beyond the arc.

Welcome Back Wilhelm
Although he is one of NU’s four returnees, sophomore Wilhelm Breidenbach is looking to regain his stride after missing most of his freshman year following knee surgery last December. Breidenbach is NU’s first big off the bench and averaging 4.1 points and 3.0 re-bounds per game. 

  • He reached double figures for the first time in his career in the win over UABP on Nov. 20, scoring 10 first-half points on 4-of-5 shooting. Although he saw limited duty in the second half, NU Coach Fred Hoiberg cited his energy and effort from the bench as a rallying point.
  • Breidenbach was impressive in his 2022-23 debut against Maine, tying or setting career highs in points (nine), rebounds (seven) and assists (three) in 17 minutes off the bench.

Revamped Husker Coaching Staff
In addition to nine new faces on the Husker roster (six scholarship players and three walk-ons), the Husker staff also has several new faces this season.

  • Assistant Coach Adam Howard comes to Nebraska after spending the last four seasons at South Alabama, helping the program to 75 wins in that span after the program had seven straight losing seasons. Last year, South Alabama won 21 games, the school’s highest total since 2008. Howard also coached at Troy, Tennessee, Southern Miss and Morehead State after playing collegiately at Western Kentucky.
  • Assistant Coach Ernie Zeigler comes to Lincoln after spending six years on Ben Howland’s staff at Mississippi State. The Bulldogs had four postseason appearances between 2018-22. Zeiger spent six seasons as the head coach at Central Michigan (2007-12) and previously served stints at UCLA, Pittsburgh, Kansas State, Detroit and Bowling Green.
  • Emmanuel Tommy joined the staff as Director of Player Development. He was an assistant coach at Alabama A&M last season and had worked on the administrative side at both McNeese State and South Alabama.
  • Two familiar faces in new positions are graduate managers Michael Bania and Payden Borders, both of whom worked as managers in the Husker program. Both graduated from Nebraska last May.

 A Change of Pace
One typical trait of a Fred Hoiberg coached team is to play at a fast pace. The Huskers led the Big Ten in pace in each of the last three seasons according to KenPom, including top-20 rankings in 2019-20 (16th) and 2021-22 (19th). NU has been the only Big Ten team to rank in the top-50 in any of the past three seasons.  The 2022-23 team has been a little different in that area, ranking 282nd nationally in pace entering this week’s action. NU has had just two games with 70+ possessions in the first seven contests (St. John’s and Florida State). 

Playing with Pace (Adjusted Tempo per KenPom)













Year Hoiberg-Coached Team Big Ten Leader
2010-11 Iowa State (34th) Iowa (100th)
2011-12 Iowa State (128th) Iowa (70th)
2012-13 Iowa State (30th) Iowa (95th)
2013-14 Iowa State (12th) Iowa (29th)
2014-15 Iowa State (10th) Minnesota (47th)
2019-20 Nebraska (16th) Same
2020-21 Nebraska (35th) Same
2021-22 Nebraska (19th) Same
2021-22 Nebraska (282nd) Illinois (11th)

 
Husker Roster Has International Flavor
Nebraska’s 2022-23 roster has an international flavor, as it features a quartet of international players in Emmanuel Bandoumel (Canada), Blaise Keita (Mali), Keisei Tominaga (Japan) and Oleg Kojenets (Lithuania). During Fred Hoiberg‘s four seasons at Nebraska, the Huskers have had players from nine countries (Australia, Canada, England, France, Iceland, Japan, Lithuania, Mali and Slovenia).

Three Huskers on NBA Rosters in 2022-23

Nebraska is well represented on NBA Opening Night rosters with Isaiah Roby (San Antonio), Dalano Banton (Toronto) and Bryce McGowens (Charlotte). The group is joined by Tyronn Lue, who begins his third season as head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers.

  • Nebraska’s three active NBA players is the most since the 2007-07 season (Eric Piatkowski, Mikki Moore and Lue)
  • McGowens became the 15th former Husker to make his NBA debut on Oct. 19, as he saw action in Charlotte’s win over San Antonio.
  • Four members of the 2021-22 team are playing professionally, including Bryce McGowens (NBA), Lat Mayen (Australia), Alonzo Verge Jr. (Poland) and Kobe Webster (Netherlands).
  • In all, 24 former Huskers are playing professionally around the world, including 10 players from Hoiberg’s three Husker teams.

Huskers to Be Tested in 2022-23
Nebraska will have a challenging schedule this upcoming season. The Huskers will play a minimum of 25 power conference teams during the season, including five (St. John’s, Creighton, Boston College, Kansas State and Oklahoma) in non-conference action. Depending on the results of the ESPN Events Invitational, NU could see as many as seven power conference teams during non-conference action, including six away from home.

  • Nebraska will play at least 13 games in the regular season against ranked teams or teams receiving votes in the AP or Coaches Preseason poll. The Huskers will face No. 9/9 Creighton, No. 13/14 Indiana, No. 22/22 Michigan and No. 23/23 Illinois while six other teams (Purdue, Michigan State, Ohio State, Iowa, Rutgers, Wisconsin) received votes. NU could also face Memphis during the ESPN Events Invitational in Orlando.
  • Nebraska has 16 regular-season games against teams that reached postseason play in 2021-22. The Big Ten had nine NCAA teams in 2021-22, and Nebraska will face that group a combined 13 times (Illinois-2, Iowa-2, Michigan State-2, Purdue-2, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio State, Rutgers and Wisconsin). In non-conference action, NU will face Creighton in Omaha and will face Oklahoma in the ESPN Events Invitational opener. The Huskers will also square off against either Seton Hall or Memphis the following day.

 McGowens Becomes Highest Drafted Husker since 1998
Bryce McGowens became the second Husker drafted in as many years, as he was the No. 40 pick of the Charlotte Hornets in the 2022 NBA Draft last June. He was the highest Husker drafted since Tyronn Lue went No. 23 overall in 1998. McGowens averaged 16.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game in 2021-22, earning third-team All-Big Ten honors from both the coaches and media.

  • McGowens’ 16.8 points per game ranked third nationally among true freshmen in 2021-22. The top two true freshmen in scoring were Paolo Banchero (Duke) and Jabari Smith (Auburn) and those two were picked first and third, respectively, in the 2022 NBA Draft.
  • With Dalano Banton (No. 46 in 2021) and McGowens, Nebraska has players selected in consecutive NBA Drafts for the first time since 1998 and 1999.
  • McGowens was one of nine Big Ten players selected in the 2022 NBA Draft. The nine picks were the most of any conference and the highest total since 10 Big Ten players were selected in the 1990 NBA Draft.

Huskers Annually Rank Among NCAA Attendance Leaders
Since moving into Pinnacle Bank Arena, the Huskers have been among the national leaders in attendance. The Huskers have ranked in the top 15 in attendance every year since 2013-14, ranking in the top 10 on three occasions including last year.

  • •  Nebraska is one of eight schools in the country to average 15,000+ fans per contest in each of the last seven seasons (2014-20, 2022), joining Kentucky, Syracuse, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas and Creighton. The NCAA did not count attendance figures during the 2020-21 season because of Covid-19.

 
Huskers Add Top-30 Recruiting Class
For the second straight season, Nebraska pulled in a top-30 national recruiting class, as the 2022 class was rated No. 28 by Rivals. The class included incoming freshmen Ramel Lloyd Jr. and Jamarques Lawrence, as well as junior college transfer Blaise Keita. It also included Denim Dawson, who signed with Nebraska in November and enrolled for the start of the spring 2022 semester.

Lloyd was ranked No. 88 nationally by ESPN and was a top-100 recruit in the 247Sports Composite rankings, while Lawrence was ranked among the top 150 players by Rivals at the end of his senior season. Keita was ranked as the No. 1 overall JUCO player by 247Sports and No. 4 by JUCORecruiting.com.  The Huskers’ 2021 freshmen class was ranked as high as 13th nationally by ESPN and also earned top-25 recognition by 247Sports and Rivals.

 

Holiday Break Games Go on Sale Dec. 1

The Nebraska Athletic Ticket Office announced that tickets for the Husker men’s basketball three holiday break games will go on sale to the public on Thursday, Dec. 1.

Ticket prices are set at $10 (300 level), $20 (200 level) and $25 (100 level) and are available for Nebraska’s games against Big Ten rivals Iowa (Dec. 29), Illinois (Jan. 10) and Ohio State (Jan. 18). Tickets can be purchased by visiting Huskers.com or calling the Nebraska Athletic Ticket Office at 800-8-BIGRED during business hours (8 a.m.-5p.m., Mon.-Fri.).

In addition, UNL students can claim their tickets for the holiday break games by visiting Huskers.com/Students until Nov. 30. Tickets are $4 apiece, and guest tickets are available for $11 each. There is a limit of one guest ticket per student.

All in the Family

Several members of the 2022-23 Huskers have family members who have played basketball at the college or professional levels. The list is led by Fred Hoiberg, who played in the NBA for a decade after a standout career at Iowa State. In addition, Ramel Lloyd was a Parade All-American who scored over 1,600 points at the college level at Syracuse and Long Beach State. Both Aleh Kojenets and Jurga Paliaukaite played at UNC Wilmington, while Paliaukaite holds the UNC Wilmington women’s record with 10 blocked shots in a game.  Keisei Tomina-ga’s father didn’t play college basketball, but was a center on the Japanese national team at the 1998 FIBA World Championship and played professionally in Japan for a decade.

 












Player Relative College (Sport)
Sam Hoiberg Fred (Father) Iowa State/NBA (MBB)

Jack (Brother) Michigan State/UT-Arlington (MBB)
Oleg Kojenets Aleh (Father) UNC Wilmingon

Jurga Paliaukaite (Mother) UNC Wilmington
Keisei Tominaga Hiroyuki (Father) Played Internationally for Japan
C.J. Wilcher Sergio (Father) Morgan State (MBB)
Ramel Lloyd Jr. Ramel Sr. (Father) Syracuse/Long Beach State (MBB)
Emmanuel Bandoumel Djim (Brother) Idaho State (MBB)

 
NBA Coaches: Back to School
Fred Hoiberg is one of eight active NCAA coaches to have coached in the NBA, as he spent three-plus seasons with the Chicago Bulls from 2015 to 2018. Hoiberg’s 270 regular-season NBA games rank third among the eight former NBA coaches in the collegiate ranks. Hoi-berg is also one of former 23 former NBA players as Division I head coaches in 2022-23.
 
Division I Coaches with NBA Head Coaching Experience












Coach, School NBA Head Coach, Years
John Calipari, Kentucky New Jersey, 1996-99
Leonard Hamilton, Miami Washington, 2000-01
Fred Hoiberg, Nebraska Chicago, 2015-18
Eric Musselman, Arkansas Golden State, 2002-04; Sacramento, 2006-07
Rick Pitino, Iona New York, 1987-89; Boston, 1997-2001
Reggie Theus, Bethune-Cookman Sacramento, 2007-09
Darrell Walker, Arkansas Little Rock Toronto, 1996-98; Washington, 1999-2000
Mike Woodson, Indiana Atlanta 2004-2010; New York, 2011-14

 
Eli Rice Signs with Nebraska
Nebraska Men’s Basketball Coach Fred Hoiberg announced Nov. 9 that Eli Rice (Gallatin, Tenn.) has signed a National Letter-of-Intent to play for the Husker basketball program in 2023-24.  Rice is a 6-foot-7, 195-pound guard who will play for IMG Academy’s postgraduate team this season after spending his senior year at Beech (Tenn.) High School. A three-star recruit by 247Sports, Rivals and On3, he was rated No. 194 nationally in the 247Sports composite rankings and among the top-25 recruits in the state of Florida by 247Sports.

Rice, who turned 18 in August, starred at Beech High School in 2021-22, averaging 17.2 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.1 blocks per game. He helped Coach Kip Brown’s team to a 34-2 record, including a 33-game win streak, and the school’s first appearance in the state tournament since 2010.  For his efforts, Rice was named to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association’s all-state high school boys basketball team in Class 4A and was named the Sumner County Player of the Year.

SIngle-Game Tickets Now on Sale

Single-game tickets for the 2022-23 schedule are now on sale. A select number of 300 Level seats are available for $7 apiece for non-conference games and $10 each for each of the Huskers’ Big Ten matchups, including games with Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Ohio State and Iowa.

The single-game tickets are one of several options to purchase Husker basketball tickets for the 2022-23 season. In addition, the Six-Game Mini-Plan which allows fans to pick 300 Level seats for any six games during the 2022-23 season for just $30 while supplies last.

To purchase, visit Huskers.com/Tickets or call the Nebraska Athletic Ticket Office at 800-8-BIGRED during business hours (8 a.m.-5 p.m., Mon.-Fri.).





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