Iowa Hawkeyes (11-2, 0-0 Big Ten) Streak:
Won 1 Last Game:
Defeated Arkansas-Pine Bluff 86-61
Mike Gesell (Nebraska native, averaging team-high 3.4 apg)
Roy Devyn Marble (leads team with 15.3 ppg)
Aaron White (averages 13.2 ppg and 6.2 rpg)
Melsahn Basabe (tied for team high with 6.2 rpg)
Adam Woodbury (scoring 5.7 ppg with 4.3 rpg)
Nebraska Cornhuskers (8-4, 0-0 Big Ten) Streak:
Lost 1 Last Game:
Lost to Cincinnati 74-59
Tai Webster (played a career-high 36 minutes vs. Cincinnati)
Ray Gallegos (had 18 points in loss to Cincinnati)
Terran Petteway (ranks seventh in the Big Ten with 17.3 ppg)
Shavon Shields (second on team in scoring, assists and rebounds)
Walter Pitchford (ranks 13th in Big Ten shooting 40 percent from 3-point range)
Step up on D
It would be a bit of an understatement to say that Iowa will be the best offensive team Nebraska will have faced this season so far. The Hawkeyes come into tonight's game leading the Big Ten Conference and ranked fourth nationally in scoring, putting up 88.7 points per game and out-scoring opponents by an average of 23 points and shooting 48 percent from the field as a team. Three Iowa players are averaging double figures in scoring, led by guard Roy Devyn Marble (15.3 ppg) and forward Aaron White (13.2 ppg), who is shooting 68 percent from the floor. Nebraska must pick up the defensive intensity and make the Hawkeyes work for every shot.
Control the boards 2
As if slowing down Iowa's offense wasn't hard enough, the Hawkeyes make things even more difficult with the way that they dominate the glass on both ends of the court. Hauling in an average of 45.9 rebounds per game, Iowa ranks fourth in the country in rebounding and ninth nationally with a rebounding margin of +10.8. Nebraska, on the other hand, has struggled on the glass much of the year. The Huskers rank 251st nationally with 33.7 rpg and 258th in rebounding margin at -2.1. Limiting Iowa's second-chance buckets and creating extra possessions of their own will be huge for the Huskers.
Rise to the challenge
Nebraska has obviously struggled away from Pinnacle Bank Arena this year, posting a dismal 1-4 record away from home thus far. Aside from maybe the Creighton game, though, tonight might be the most hostile and difficult road environment the Huskers have see yet. Not only are they traveling to Carver-Hawkeye Arena for the conference opener on New Year's Eve, the game will also be the only meeting between NU and Iowa in the regular season because the Hawkeyes are one of four single-play opponents for the Huskers. Nebraska needs to be close to perfect tonight if it's going to start league play the right way.
Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery on his impressions of Nebraska this season:
"This is year two so (Tim Miles) has recruited pieces that fit and you can see they're playing the way he wants to play. You can see it all coming together for him… They're going to have a team that is going to challenge everybody in our league without question.''
Sophomore forward Shavon Shields on the Huskers proving a point in Big Ten Conference play:
"We've got to prove that we're not the worst team in the Big Ten night in and night out. That's the main thing, to show we're not the worst team. We've got to come in with a chip on our shoulder.''