Husker men’s hoops to face Oklahoma in ESPN Events Invitational
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Nebraska men’s basketball will spend its Thanksgiving at the ESPN Events Invitational.
Head coach Fred Hoiberg said Tuesday that the tournament would be a learning experience for the Huskers.
“This tournament is a great opportunity to learn a lot about ourselves right now and play three very good quality opponents,” he said.
Those other opponents are Memphis and Seton Hall, both of whom made trips to the NCAA Tournament earlier this year.
The invitational will be a challenge for a Husker team that will be without one of its leaders, Derrick Walker.
“He’s getting closer,” Hoiberg said. “Hopefully we’ll get him back, you know, before too long.”
In Walker’s place has been Blaise Keta, who Hoiberg said has done a great job at filling the gap.
Nebraska’s first obstacle of the tournament will be the Sooners, who Hoiberg called the Huskers’ “great first test.”
Oklahoma and Nebraska are both 3-1 this season, both securing wins over non-Power 5 schools like Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
Hoiberg said Nebraska will need to be prepared for Oklahoma’s great length and physicality.
“We have to hit first when that ball goes up, and you know, besides the St. John’s game, we’ve done a pretty solid job,” he said.
Thursday’s game will also be a reunion for Hoiberg and former Husker coach, Doc Sadler.
Just last week, Sadler joined the Oklahoma staff as a special adviser.
“Doc is a guy that I’ve been with for a long time going back to my days at Iowa State and it’ll be good to catch up with him,” Hoiberg said.
Nebraska vs. Oklahoma will be broadcast on ESPN at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday.