Husker Hoops looks to snap skid against Michigan Tuesday

From: Nebraska Athletics

After playing four of its last five games on the road, the Nebraska men’s basketball team returns to Pinnacle Bank Arena Tuesday evening, as the Huskers welcome the Michigan Wolverines to town. Tipoff is at 6:01 p.m. and any returned tickets will go on sale at the Pinnacle Bank Arena box office beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday. 

Tuesday’s game will be televised on ESPNU with Dave Feldman, Dan Dakich and Molly McGrath on the call. The game with the Wolverines will also be available on the ESPN app and on ESPN.com with authentication.

Fans can follow all of the action across the state of Nebraska on the Learfield IMG College Husker Sports Network with Kent Pavelka and Jake Muhleisen on the call. The game will also be available on Huskers.com, the Huskers app and TuneIn radio. The pregame show begins one hour prior to tipoff.

Both Michigan and Nebraska are looking to bounce back after losing games against ranked teams in the final seconds on Saturday.  

Nebraska (7-13, 2-7 Big Ten) comes off a 75-72 loss at No. 24 Rutgers, as Geo Baker hit a game-winning 3-pointer with 1.3 seconds remaining. Behind the play of Cam Mack, the Huskers had rallied from a 14-point second-half deficit to take a six-point lead before Rutgers ended the game with a 9-0 run. Mack scored all 19 of his points in the second half, including a career-high four 3-pointers, while Thorir Thorbjarnarson had 17 points, including five 3-pointers, and eight boards in a losing effort. 

Mack leads the Huskers in both scoring (13.3 ppg) and assists (6.7 apg), while his 32 3-pointers are second on the squad. Mack has five double-doubles this season, including the first triple-double in school history. 

Michigan (11-8, 2-6 Big Ten) fell 64-62 to Illinois in Ann Arbor on Ayo Dosunmu’s game winner with 0.5 seconds remaining. The Wolverines were held to 39 percent shooting and were led by Zavier Simpson’s 17-point effort. Simpson is one of the best guards in the Big Ten, as he averages 12.8 points and a conference best 8.3 assists per game. Michigan, which averages 76.6 ppg, feature five players who average double figures.  Senior Jon Teske paces the UM attack at 13.9 points per game while chipping in 7.6 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per contest.

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT
With 133 assists this season, Cam Mack enters Tuesday’s game with Michigan needing just three assists to crack Nebraska’s single-season top-10 list (Tyronn Lue, 136, 1996-97). Mack’s 6.7 assists per game ranks 13th nationally as of Jan. 26.

3.00 – Cam Mack ranks fifth nationally among all power conference players with a 3.00-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio in conference play. As of Jan. 26, only six power conference players have a 3.00-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio in league contests.

No.

Name

School

Conf Asst-to-TO

1.

Jordan Goldwire

Duke

4.50

2.

Tyger Campbell

UCLA

4.29

3.

Quincy McKnight

Seton Hall

3.56

4.

Wabissa Bede

Virginia Tech

3.12

5.

Cam Mack

Nebraska

3.00

 

Connor McCaffery

Iowa

3.00

Min. 3.0 asst/gm

7.4 – Kevin Cross has been one of the Big Ten’s top scoring reserves this season. He ranks fifth among players who have exclusively come off the bench in 2019-20, and is the only freshman in the group. Cross ranks sixth among Big Ten true freshmen in scoring this season.

No.

Name

School

PPG

1.

Izaiah Brockington

Penn State

9.6

2.

Jacob Young

Rutgers

8.7

3.

Alan Griffin

Illinois

8.4

4.

David DeJulius

Michigan

7.7

5.

Kevin Cross

Nebraska

7.4

Min 12 games; 0 starts

16 – Double figure scoring runs that Nebraska has had in 2019-20 following an 11-0 run at Rutgers.
 
SCOUTING MICHIGAN
Michigan comes into Tuesday’s contest with an 11-8 record (2-6 Big Ten) following a 64-62 setback to Illinois on Saturday. In that game, Ayo Dosunmu’s jumper with 0.5 seconds left was the difference, as he led all scorers with 27 points. Zavier Simpson led three Wolverines in double figures with 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting.

Michigan is led by first-year head coach Juwan Howard, who took over the Michigan program following John Beilein’s departure for the Cleveland Cavaliers in May of 2019. Howard, who starred at Michigan during the Fab 5 era, spent 19 seasons in the NBA playing for eight franchises and won two NBA titles with the Miami Heat in 2012-13. He worked in the Miami Heat organization for six seasons, the final five as an assistant coach before returning to his alma mater.

The Wolverines raced out to a 7-0 start, including wins over Creighton, Iowa State, North Carolina and current No. 2 Gonzaga to move from unranked to No. 4 in the country in early December. Michigan entered 2020 with a 10-3 mark, but have gone just 2-5 since then. Michigan has been without the services of Isaiah Livers for six games until he returned to action on Saturday. Livers is second on the team in scoring at 13.1 ppg and is shooting 50 percent from 3-point range.

Despite the injury, the Wolverines have one of the most talented rosters in the Big Ten with four other players averaging double figures. Senior center Jon Teske leads the Wolverines in scoring (13.9 ppg), rebounding (7.6 rpg) and blocked shots (2.0 bpg) while shooting 53 percent from the floor. Senior point guard Zavier Simpson is averaging (12.8) ppg and leads the Big Ten in assists with 8.3 apg, but has been suspended for Tuesday’s game. Eli Brooks (10.8 ppg) and freshman Franz Wagner (10.1 ppg) are also averaging double figures.

Series History: Tuesday’s meeting is the 20th between the Huskers and Wolverines and the first of two meetings in 2019-20 (also March 5 in Ann Arbor). Michigan leads the all-time series, 16-3, in a series that dates back to 1949, although the Wolverines’ win over the Huskers in the 1992 Rainbow Classic was later vacated. Michigan has won 10 of the 11 meetings since Nebraska joined the Big Ten with the only win coming in a 72-52 win during the 2017-18 campaign. One of Nebraska’s three wins in the series was a 74-73 win over No. 1 Michigan at the NU Coliseum on Dec. 12, 1964. In that game, Fred Hare’s buzzer beater knocked off the Cazzie Russell-led Wolverines. That win is one of three wins over No. 1 ranked teams in Nebraska’s history.

Categories: Husker Sports, Sports