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January 18, 2012

Gameday: Nebraska vs. Indiana

Nebraska Cornhuskers

vs. Indiana Hoosiers
Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012 - 6:01 p.m. CT
TV: Big Ten Network / RADIO: IMG Husker Sports Radio Network

Indiana (15-3, 3-3 Big Ten)
Streak: Lost 2
Last Game: Lost to No. 6 Ohio State 80-63
G Jordan Hulls (averaging 12.3 points and 3.4 assists per game) Jr. 6-0 180
G Victor Oladipo (scoring 10.9 ppg and 5.3 rebounds per game) Sr. 6-5 214
G Verdell Jones (tied for team lead with 3.4 assists per game) Jr. 6-5 195
F Christian Watford (averaging 12.9 ppg and 5.4 rpg) Jr. 6-9 225
F Cody Zeller (leading scorer at 14.8 ppg, and rebounder at 6.4 ppg) Fr. 6-11 230

Nebraska CornhuskersNebraska Cornhuskers (9-8, 1-5 Big Ten)
Streak: Lost 1
Last Game: Lost to Wisconsin 50-45
G Bo Spencer (led NU with 13 points in loss to Wisconsin) Sr. 6-2 196
G Brandon Richardson shooting 83.8% from the free throw line) Sr. 6-0 190
G Caleb Walker (had 12 points in win over Penn State) Sr. 6-4 205
G Toney McCray (averaging 10.4 ppg and 4.8 rpg this season) Jr. 6-10 235
F Brandon Ubel (leads team with 5.4 rebounds per game) Jr. 6-10 235

Step up the D

Indiana brings one of the most potent offenses in the country to Lincoln for tonight's game, as the Hoosiers come in ranked ninth nationally in scoring offense at 80.8 points per game. While Nebraska's defense has gotten much better over the course of the season, it will definitely be put to the test against an IU squad that brings a multitude of different offensive looks. The Hoosiers can beat you behind the 3-point line and have the size to dominate the low post, so it goes without saying that the Huskers will need to put up one of their most complete defensive efforts of the season if they're going to have any chance at an upset.
Take away Zeller

Nebraska has notoriously been very good at taking away an opponent's best player and forcing others to step up and beat them. That will once again be the game plan tonight, as the Huskers will be zeroed in on shutting down freshman forward Cody Zeller. At 6-11 and possessing tons of athletic ability, Zeller has been one of the breakout freshmen in all of college basketball this season, averaging a team-high 14.8 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. Nebraska's generally done a good job of limiting teams' biggest stars, and tonight will be yet another big challenge in that regard.
Win at home

At this point, Nebraska simply cannot continue to let winnable games slip away in the final seconds if it has any hopes of turning its season around. That all starts with winning games at home, as the Big Ten has shown to be one of the toughest conferences in the country to win games on the road. Indiana may come in ranked No. 13, but the fact is the Hoosiers have dropped two straight games now, including a 17-point blowout against Ohio State. If there was ever a time for NU to come up with one of those annual upsets at home over a ranked opponent, tonight would seem to be it.

Head coach Doc Sadler on his impressions of Indiana:

"Indiana's good. I mean, Coach (Tom) Crean offensively probably does as many things as anybody in the country. He executes things on the offensive end probably as well as anybody. I don't know this, but I assume that probably working with Coach (Tom) Izzo, that's probably where he got it, because they run a lot of sets also. And then they've got good players. They have guys that are going to have the opportunity to be a pro. That makes that offense look a lot better."
Sadler on Hoosier freshman Cody Zeller:

"He runs the floor as well as any big guy in the country. They do a nice job of running a lot of different things that are getting him the basketball from moving positions, not just stationary positions. There's no doubt about it, he's one of the best freshmen in the country. He definitely doesn't play like a freshmen."

Nebraska 57-54

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