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November 21, 2013

Hoops Gameday: Nebraska vs. UMass

Nebraska Cornhuskers

vs. UMass
Thursday, Nov. 20, 2013 - 11:30 a.m. CT
TV: ESPN3 / RADIO: IMG Husker Sports Radio Network

UMass (3-0, 0-0 Atlantic 10)
Streak: Won 3
Last Game: Defeated Youngstown St. 85-69
PROBABLE STARTERS
POS. NAME (STATS) YR. HT. WT.
G Chaz Williams (leads team with 21.0 ppg and 8.0 apg) Sr. 5-9 175
G Derrick Gordon (averaging 8.0 ppg and 4.3 rpg) So. 6-3 200
F Sampson Carter (third on team with 16.0 ppg) Sr. 6-8 220
F Raphiael Putney (scoring 11.0 ppg and second on team with 6.0 rpg) Jr. 6-9 185
F/C Cody Lalanne (averaging 18.7 ppg and team-high 11.0 rpg) Jr. 6-10 250

Nebraska CornhuskersNebraska Cornhuskers (3-0, 0-0 Big Ten)
Streak: Won 3
Last Game: Defeated South Carolina State 83-57
PROBABLE STARTERS
POS. NAME (STATS) YR. HT. WT.
G Tai Webster (had season-high 13 points vs. SCSU) Fr. 6-4 194
G/F Terran Petteway (averaging 11.3 ppg and team-high 2.0 apg) So. 6-6 209
F Shavon Shields (scored in double figures 5 straight games since last year) So. 6-7 219
F David Rivers (has made 20 consecutive starts) Jr. 6-7 198
C Walter Pitchford (is 6-of-10 from 3-point range this season) So. 6-10 234




Stay on Chaz
1

Nebraska may not see a point guard as talented as UMass's Chaz Williams this season, as the small but ridiculously shifty and aggressive senior is quickly emerging as one of the best floor generals in the country. A two-time first-team All-Atlantic 10 selection, Williams is not only the Minutemen's most potent scoring threat at 21 points per game, he's also dishing out 8.0 assists per contest to get his cast of athletic teammates the ball in scoring opportunities. Given the Huskers' inexperience at point guard right now, it's going to be huge for Tai Webster, Deverell Biggs and Co. to slow Williams down as much as possible.
Own the boards
2

Head coach Tim Miles' biggest complaint after Nebraska's win over South Carolina State last Sunday was how inconsistent his team was in its rebounding on both ends of the floor. The Huskers were out-rebounded 42-36 in the game, including a 17-10 disadvantage on the offensive glass. Facing a team like UMass with good size down low, Miles knows it's going to be crucial for Nebraska to be much more aggressive on the boards in order to prevent the Minutemen from getting any second-chance baskets. That's especially true seeing how UMass ranks 27th nationally with 44.0 rebounds per game.
Watch the length
3

When you watch UMass play for the first time, one of your first reactions will likely be: "Man, they're long." With a front court loaded with tall, long-armed athletes, the Minutemen make it extremely difficult for opponents to operate out of a half-court offense because of how much space they take up with their size and reach. Nebraska has generally had this advantage through the first three games, but the tide will definitely be turned today. It will be very important for the Huskers to make clean passes and avoid getting tipped balls to set up turnovers, as UMass has the horses to get out and run with anyone.

Head coach Tim Miles on the difficulty of the Charleston Classic field:

"This week we're going to find out what we're made of and what we can do. Whether it be UMass or UAB or New Mexico, just for starters, we're going to have to play our best."
Miles on if he's been able to watch much of the rest of the Big Ten this season:

"I don't watch TV, but I watch the Big Ten Network during basketball season. It's just on. My 9-year-old tries to flip it to something else and we just go to blows. He wins, unfortunately. I bruise easy."



UMass 74-72




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