The Nebraska men’s basketball program returns to action on Thursday evening, as the Huskers will play Doane University at Pinnacle Bank Arena. The matchup was a late addition to the 2020-21 schedule and replaced the Huskers’ canceled game with Florida A&M from earlier this month.
Tipoff between the Huskers and Tigers is set for 6 p.m. and will be carried by BTN+ with Larry Punteney and Buzzy Caruthers on the call. BTN+ is available on computers, smartphones, tablets and connected devices and to subscribe, visit btnplus.com. Thursday’s game will be the only BTN+ game of the 2020-21 men’s basketball season.
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.
The Huskers (3-3) come off a break following a 98-74 loss at No. 8 Creighton on Dec. 11. In that game the Huskers were within 55-51 with just under 15 minutes remaining before Creighton took control down the stretch. Nebraska was hurt by a season-high 25 turnovers, which led to 38 Bluejay points. Teddy Allen led three Huskers in double figures with 26 points and nine rebounds, while Trey McGowens (15) and Dalano Banton (12) also finished in double figures.
One positive from the loss to Creighton was that Nebraska shot the ball well from 3-point range. NU went 11-of-26 from beyond the arc, and had five players with at least two 3-pointers. McGowens and Allen had three apiece, setting season bests for both players.
Doane is 5-8 on the season heading into a road game against Mount Marty University on Wednesday. Senior guard Anthony Laravie leads the Tigers in scoring at 15.7 points per game, including 2.5 3-pointers per game. The Tigers average over 9.1 3-pointers per game. Doane Coach Ian McKeithen was a basketball operations intern with the Timberwolves in 2007-08 while NU Head Coach Fred Hoiberg was assistant general manager.
Following Thursday’s game, the Huskers will begin preparations for its Big Ten opener at No. 12 Wisconsin on Tuesday, Dec. 22. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. and the game will be carried on FS1.
Teddy Allen is sixth in the Big Ten and leads all Big Ten newcomers in scoring at 18.7 points per game. Allen also is second in the Big Ten in steals at 2.8 per contest.
NUMBERS TO KNOW
2 – Dalano Banton joins Illinois’ Ayo Dosunmu as the only Big Ten players in the top 15 in the conference in both rebounding and assists as of Dec. 14.
4 – Nebraska has four straight 20-point performances, all coming in the last four games (Teddy Allen-3; Kobe Webster-1).
9.3 – Nebraska’s steals per game, a total which leads the Big Ten and ranks 36th nationally entering Thursday’s game with Doane.
18- Nebraska is 18th nationally in tempo according to KenPom as of Dec. 14. The Huskers are one of three Big Ten teams (also Iowa and Michigan State) currently in the top 50.
102 -Nebraska’s 102 points against McNeese State was the first time NU topped the 100-point mark since the 2018-19 opener. It also marked the ninth time in school history that NU scored 100+ points in an opener.
125 – Fred Hoiberg picked up his 125th collegiate coaching win against South Dakota on Dec. 1.
146 – Nebraska is 25th nationally in free throw attempts, as the Huskers get to the line an average of 24.3 times per game.
Fifth-year coach Ian McKeithen and the Doane Tigers will be in the middle of four games during an eight-day stretch to close the month of December. The Tigers are 5-8 on the season heading into a matchup with Mount Marty University on Wednesday night. McKeithen came to Doane after serving as the head coach at Benedictine-Springfield for three years before the school dropped athletics. He guided the program from six wins in his first season to double-figure totals in the next two campaigns, including 10 conference wins in his final season. He also worked at Iowa Wesleyan, Dakota State and Augustana University after his internship under Hoiberg with the Timberwolves.
Doane has a Midwestern roster with 12 of their 16 players from Nebraska and three others from bordering states. All three of their double-figure scorers are from Nebraska, including senior guard Anthony Laravie, an Omaha North High School product who leads the Tigers in scoring (15.7 ppg), assists (2.3 apg), steals (1.5 spg) and 3-pointers (33) and is the only player to start all 13 games. Lincoln native Joe Burt, who played his high school basketball at Pius X, averages 11.1 ppg and is shooting 41 percent from 3-point range. Millard South product Jaxon Harre rounds out the double-figure scorers at 10.4 ppg on 50 percent shooting and a team-high 4.9 rpg. As a team, the Tigers average 71 points per game, and average over nine 3-pointers per game.
The Huskers lead the all-time series, 2-0, but have not met in a regular season game since a 57-3 win during the 1899-1900 season. That year, the Huskers went 5-0, including a 48-8 win over Kansas, the worst loss in Jayhawk history. The two teams have met twice in exhibition play since then, including a 91-63 Husker win prior to last season and a 75-54 win in 2011.
THINGS TO KNOW
• The Huskers will get some additional frontcourt depth, as Eduardo Andre could make his debut on Thursday. Andre, a 6-foot-10, 228-pound forward from London, England, missed the Huskers’ first six games.
• Thursday’s game will mark the first time that Nebraska has played consecutive in-state programs in the regular season since opening the 2006-07 season with Omaha and Creighton.
• Thursday’s game is the only game in a six-game stretch where the Huskers could play five ranked teams. Beginning with the Dec. 11 game at No. 8 Crieghton, NU’s next four scheduled games are against ranked teams, including No. 12 Wisconsin (Dec. 22), No. 25 Michigan (Dec. 25), No. 20 Ohio State (Dec. 30) and No. 4 Michigan State (Jan. 2).
• Nebraska has out-rebounded each of its last three opponents (South Dakota, Georgia Tech and Creighton), marking the first time NU has out-rebounded three straight foes since the first three games of the 2018-19 season. NU has not out-rebounded four straight opponents since a five-game stretch in 2016-17.
LAST TIME OUT
Teddy Allen had a career-high 26 points and nine rebounds, but Nebraska was unable to withstand Creighton’s second-half run in falling 98-74 to the eighth-ranked Bluejays on Dec. 11.
Allen led three Huskers in double figures, as Nebraska dipped to 3-3 on the season. Marcus Zegarowski’s 22 points led five Bluejays in double figures, as Creighton improved to 4-1 on the season.
Nebraska battled toe-to-toe with Creighton for 25 minutes and was within 55-51 after Trey McGowens’ 3-pointer with 14:42 remaining, but the Bluejays seized control with a 23-2 spurt, hitting 9-of-11 shots from the floor, including four 3-pointers. Nebraska struggled and went just 1-of-8 from the field and committed four turnovers in that stretch to put the game out of reach.
Creighton shot 52 percent from the field, including 61 percent in the second half, and turned a season-high 25 Nebraska turnovers into 38 points. Denzel Mahoney added 20 for the winners, while Ryan Kalkbrenner (13), Damien Jefferson (11) and Christian Bishop (10) also finished in double figures for Creighton.
For Nebraska, McGowens had 15 points, while Dalano Banton added 12 points and seven boards, as the Huskers shot 44 percent, including 11-of-26 from 3-point range.