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December 4, 2013

Hoops Gameday: Nebraska vs. Miami

Nebraska Cornhuskers

vs. Miami Hurricanes
Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013 - 8:35 p.m. CT
TV: ESPNU / RADIO: IMG Husker Sports Radio Network

Miami Hurricanes (5-3, 0-0 ACC)
Streak: Won 2
Last Game: Defeated Arizona State 60-57
G Davon Reed (had 19 points and five 3-pointers vs. Arizona State) Fr. 6-6 209
G Rion Brown (leads team with 12.4 ppg and 7.1 rpg) Sr. 6-6 211
G Garrius Adams (second on team with 11.8 ppg) Sr. 6-6 200
F James Kelly (had 11 points and 6 rebounds vs. ASU) Jr. 6-7 246
F Donnavan Kirk (averaging 10.7 ppg and team-high 7.4 rpg) Sr. 6-9 228

Nebraska CornhuskersNebraska Cornhuskers (5-2, 0-0 Big Ten)
Streak: Won 2
Last Game: Defeated Northern Illinois 63-58
G Tai Webster (has a 6-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio the past 2 games) Fr. 6-4 194
G Ray Gallegos (held scoreless vs. NIU for first time since March 16, 2011) So. 6-2 182
G/F Terran Petteway (leads team with 16.0 ppg this season) So. 6-6 209
F Shavon Shields (scoring 12.4 ppg with 5.1 rpg) So. 6-7 219
C Walter Pitchford (shooting 45.5% from 3-point range) So. 6-10 234

Match up Miami's length

When you look over Miami's roster, the size and athleticism at all five positions stand out as much as anything. With no starter shorter than 6-foot-6, the Hurricanes feature a lineup as long and tall as Nebraska will face all season, and it actually is fairly similar to what the Huskers saw recently against UMass. As you might recall, NU struggled all game long on the boards and defending in the post, giving up 48 points in the paint and allowing the Minutemen to rebound over half of their misses. Those two areas will be crucial for Nebraska tonight.
Defend the perimeter

While Miami has tried to find its offensive identity early this season after losing about 90-percent of its scoring from a year ago, its been able to relay on its shooting from beyond the arc. Guard Davon Reed has led the way for the Hurricanes in that regard, hitting 16 3-pointers on the year at a 45.7-percent clip, including five treys in UM's win over Arizona State. The key for Nebraska will be limiting the number of open 3-point looks Miami gets and forcing it to work for every shot, and of course rebounding when the Hurricanes miss.
Handle the zone

Nebraska is going to see a defensive look it hasn't faced all year when it works against Miami's match-up zone tonight. Because of how long the Hurricanes are, their zone has caused problems for opposing offenses all year, holding teams to just 63.3 points per game. While the Huskers struggled to rebound against UMass's length, they were able to put up a season-high 90 points up on the Minutemen, and a lot of that had to do with the way they pushed the ball up the court and created points in transition. The same strategy should work again tonight.

Head coach Tim Miles on the difference between Miami this season and last season:

"They were a team that was one of the top-four teams in the country (last season), and it's going to take some time to replace that. I've always felt like there's a residual year, where there's guys involved in the program that understand what it took to win the ACC and what it took to be that successful. That really rubs off, and those guys are your core guys that you can depend on."
Miles on potentially changing up his starting lineup for Miami:

"I've got to get our lineups right. I think I'm going to switch up the lineup again. I don't know exactly how I'm going to do it yet, so I probably won't answer any questions on what, but I think it will be a different starting lineup just to get the blend right… I have some ideas, but I'm just not ready to talk about them."

Nebraska 74-70

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