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December 20, 2011

Gameday: Nebraska vs. Central Michigan

Nebraska Cornhuskers

vs. Central Michigan Chippewas
Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011 - 7:00 p.m. CT
TV: NET-1 (Nebraska only) / RADIO: IMG Husker Sports Radio Network

Central Michigan (5-6)
Streak: Lost 1
Last Game: Lost to Iowa State 59-52
G Austin McBroom (averages 11.2 points per game and has hit 21-of-42 3-pointers) Jr. 6-0 162
G Derek Jackson (averaging 10.7 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game) So. 6-0 171
G Trey Zeigler (leads team with 17.3 ppg and 6.7 rpg) So. 6-5 203
F Oliver Mbaigoto (averaging 6.0 ppg and a 5.5 rpg) Jr. 6-7 225
F Andre Coimbra (scoring 9.5 ppg with 2.0 bpg) Sr. 6-9 235

Nebraska CornhuskersNebraska Cornhuskers (7-3)
Streak: Won 3
Last Game: Defeated Alcorn State 60-46
G Bo Spencer (scored in double figures in eight of NU's last nine games) Sr. 6-2 196
G Brandon Richardson (will play in his 100th career game tonight) Sr. 6-0 190
G Caleb Walker (averaging 7.2 ppg and 4.7 rpg) Sr. 6-4 205
G Toney McCray (had season-high 20 points and 7 rebounds vs. Alcorn State) Jr. 6-10 235
F Brandon Ubel (had 13 points and eight rebounds vs. ASU) Jr. 6-10 235

Attack the zone

Nebraska has had few bigger issues the past five games than finding a way to consistently score points against zone defenses. For some reason, the Huskers seem to get confused and disoriented against whatever style of zone teams have used against them, and they haven't scored more than 70 points since their loss to Creighton on Dec. 4. After a terrible start to the game offensively against Alcorn State on Saturday, Nebraska finally got going a little bit by working the high-low game to open up some looks insides. With Central Michigan likely to use just as much zone as everyone else, NU needs to come out with a similar approach and avoid another slow start.
Fill Diaz and Talley's shoes

Another big reason for Nebraska's offensive woes on Saturday was the absence of junior center Jorge Brian Diaz and junior guard Dylan Talley, who were both out with injuries. With two of their best offensive players likely out of the lineup again tonight, the Huskers will have to find someone else to step up and lead the offense. Senior guard Toney McCray was that guy against Alcorn State, but he got little help from his teammates. Guys like Bo Spencer and Brandon Ubel will have to have a big presence to pick up the slack.
Beware of Zeigler

Central Michigan doesn't seem like a place you'd find one of the best collegiate guards in the country, but the Chippewas have just that sophomore Trey Zeigler. The son of CMU head coach Ernie Zeigler, Trey comes into tonight's game averaging 17.3 ppg and 6.7 rpg. Coming out of high school, Trey had offers from the likes of UCLA, Michigan and Michigan State, but came to Central Michigan to play for his father. To give you a better idea of his skills, Trey was one of just 18 collegiate players selected to participate in the Kevin Durant NIKE Skills Academy over the offseason.

Senior guard Toney McCray on Nebraska not overlooking CMU with the start if Big Ten play just a week away:

"We talk about it. Like I said, we see (Big Ten teams) on TV, and we talk about it every day. But we try to look at each game at a time, because we don't have the luxury of just overlooking teams and taking nights off. We've got to make sure we take care of our business before hand so we can set up an opportunity to do well."
Head coach Doc Sadler on what he hopes to see from his team against Central Michigan:

"It's going to be a heck of a ball game. Central Michigan I think is really good. They've got two guards that are good basketball players. So a win, that's all I care to see is a win. It's going to be a challenge to get that. You look at what they're doing right now, they had Iowa State right there (Sunday) and Minnesota. So (a win) is what I'd like to see. That's all. Don't care about anything else."

Nebraska 64-62

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