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November 17, 2013

Hoops Gameday: Nebraska vs. South Carolina State

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Nebraska Cornhuskers

vs. South Carolina State
Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013 - 2 p.m. CT
TV: Big Ten Digital Network / RADIO: IMG Husker Sports Radio Network

South Carolina State (1-2, 0-0 MEAC)
Streak: Lost 1
Last Game: Lost to No. 7 Michigan 93-59
G Adama Adams (averaging 9.0 ppg and team-high 2.0 apg) Sr. 6-1 180
G Patrick Myers (is 0-5 shooting from the field this season) So. 6-2 185
G Jordan Smith (second on team with 10.0 ppg) Jr. 6-3 170
F Luka Radovic (second on team with 2.7 rpg) Jr. 6-9 220
F Matthew Hezekiah (averaging team highs with 15.7 ppg and 4.7 rpg) Sr. 6-11 225

Nebraska CornhuskersNebraska Cornhuskers (2-0, 0-0 Big Ten)
Streak: Won 2
Last Game: Defeated Western Illinois 62-47
G Tai Webster (averaging 8.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg and 1.0 apg) Fr. 6-4 194
G/F Terran Petteway (had 13 points and 9 rebounds vs. WIU) So. 6-6 209
F Shavon Shields (leads team with 20.0 ppg) So. 6-7 219
F David Rivers (leads team with 2.0 spg) Jr. 6-7 198
C Walter Pitchford (is 5-of-8 from 3-point range this season) So. 6-10 234

Build new chemistry

Nebraska should look like a much different team than it has the first two games of the season, as senior guard Ray Gallegos and junior guard Deverell Biggs will make their 2013-14 debuts today after sitting out with suspensions. Obviously Gallegos is the Huskers' top returning scorer from last year and easily one of their best 3-point specialists, while Biggs has been dubbed NU's "home run hitter" because of his ability to create plays with the ball in his hands. It will be interesting to see how Gallegos and Biggs gel with their teammates, as Nebraska has done fairly well without them so far.
Be on the attack

South Carolina State is known to play a variety of defensive looks in a single game, so Nebraska should be ready to see everything from zones to full-court presses today. The best way to handle any defense they see is to push the tempo with the ball and attack the basket as much as possible. Getting Gallegos and Biggs back will provide a nice boost for NU's offense across the board, but especially with Biggs' ability to not only drive in the lane and create shots or draw contact, but setting up kick-out passes to the perimeter guys like Gallegos and Walter Pitchford.
Don't be soft

Head coach Tim Miles essentially issued a challenge for his team this week after Nebraska's sluggish showing in the second half of Tuesday night's win over Western Illinois. Miles said he wants to see the Huskers not let off the gas after they take a big lead and learn how to put teams away. In his words, he wants his players to show they're not "soft" when things don't go their way on the court, whether that be matching physicality in the paint or getting visibly frustrated when foul calls start going against them. SCSU is a pesky team that likely won't give up until the final whistle, so this should be a good test.

Head coach Tim Miles on what Deverell Biggs brings to the lineup:

"He's got really good quickness. He's a good one-on-one player. Like, he is a breakdown guard. Defensively he's got really quick hands. He can come up with steals. He's just got to be careful. He's got to have the discipline when to swing for the fence and when to take the pitch. I think as he finds his way - we have to remember now, he's been waiting to play games for a long time, so I think it's going to take some time for an adjustment."
Sophomore forward Walter Pitchford on having a green light to shoot from 3-point range:

"Anybody who gets told to shoot obviously will be happy. I just don't want to abuse it and keep shooting. Some people don't know that I can drive so I need to show them that I can drive. Like I said, I need to be versatile and shoot and drive."

Nebraska 77-59

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