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December 15, 2012

Hoops Gameday: Nebraska vs. Oregon

Nebraska Cornhuskers

vs. Oregon Ducks
Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012 - 3:36 p.m. CT
TV: Fox Sports Net / RADIO: IMG Husker Sports Radio Network

Oregon (8-1, 0-0 Pac-12)
Streak: Won 3
Last Game: Defeated Idaho State 87-35
G Dominic Artis (averaging 10.3 ppg with team-high 3.4 apg and 2.3 spg) Fr. 6-1 185
G Damyean Dotson (leads team with 11.3 points per game) Fr. 6-5 202
F E.J. Singler (averaging 10.4 ppg and 3.1 rpg) Jr. 6-6 215
F Arsalan Kazemi (scoring 9.3 ppg, team-high 9.3 rpg and 3.4 spg) Sr. 6-7 226
C Tony Woods (scoring 10.2 ppg and a team-high 13 blocked shots) Jr. 6-11 243

Nebraska CornhuskersNebraska Cornhuskers (6-2, 0-0 Big Ten)
Streak: Lost 1
Last Game: Lost to Creighton 64-42
G Benny Parker (has a 2.1 assist-to-turnover ratio) Fr. 5-9 164
G Ray Gallegos (leads Big Ten with 3.0 3-pointer per game) Jr. 6-2 181
G Dylan Talley (averaging 15.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg and 2.8 apg) Sr. 6-5 216
F Brandon Ubel (averaging 13.5 points and 7.0 rebounds per game) Sr. 6-10 234
C Andre Almeida (scoring 11.0 ppg on 79 percent shooting) Sr. 6-11 314

Control the tempo

As if Oregon's 79.4 points per game (which ranks 27th nationally) doesn't worry Nebraska enough, the tempo in which the Ducks get up and down the floor will be unlike anything the Huskers have seen so far this season. With an aggressive full-court attack led by its two talented freshmen guards, UO is averaging just around 73 possessions a game during its 8-1 start. Nebraska, on the other hand, is only getting about 60 possessions. For the Huskers to keep this one close into the final minutes, they'll have to find a way to slow things down and not let the Ducks get out and running.
Find other scorers

Going into the year, head coach Tim Miles said he wanted Ubel, Talley, Gallegos and even Almeida to all establish themselves as consistent scorers. Now, he's looking for a few others to step up and help shoulder the load. Outside of those four, NU only has two players (Parker and Shavon Shields) who are averaging more than 4.0 ppg. Guys like Parker, Mike Peltz - who's made just one basket all year - and David Rivers (4.5 ppg) need to be able to knock down open looks when they get them, otherwise opponents will continue to focus on locking down the main four.
Manage the injuries

As if the deck wasn't stacked enough against Nebraska today, it's also been dealing with three notable injury issues the past week. Parker (MCL sprain), Shields (elbow) and Peltz (knee) have all been battling through injuries since the Creighton game, and Parker and Shields are listed as questionable for today's game. Peltz should be good to go, but he'll continue to play through a knee injury that will require surgery after the season. If Parker can't go, it will leave NU scrambling at an already paper-thin point guard position, with Peltz likely taking over as the starter.

Head coach Tim Miles on Oregon:

"Dana Altman and those guys have done an extremely good job with that team. They've kind of got a patchwork team. They've got some young high school kids - Dotson and Artis are really playing well - some transfers like Woods and Kazemi, and then they've got a juco guy in there. So they've got a little bit of everything to get that thing up and running."
Miles on how NU handled the nine-day break:

"We've been alright over break. We've got a lot of work to do. The Creighton game was disappointing just because, I've said tongue-in-cheek before it's like we were the 'Not Ready For Primetime Players', and it's true. We had a golden opportunity: ranked opponent, sold-out crowd, and we just didn't do it. We want to redeem ourselves, and Oregon's a great opponent, so it should be a fun match-up."

Oregon 82-69

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