basketball Edit

Nebraska Basketball Game Day: Iowa

WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN

Nebraska Cornhuskers (7-20, 1-15) vs Iowa Hawkeyes (19-8, 9-7)

Friday, Feb. 25, 2022 - 8 p.m. CT

Pinnacle Bank Arena

TV: FS1

Radio: Husker Sports Network

Internet: FOX Sports App

Nebraska projected starters
NAME HT/WT YEAR NOTES

Alonzo Verge Jr.

6-3/164

Sr.

Finished with 15 points and tied his season-high with four steals in the loss at Northwestern.

Trey McGowens

6-4/196

Jr.

Had 8 points and 2 steals while going 2-for-3 from behind the arc against Northwestern.

Bryce McGowens

6-7/179

Fr.

Became NU’s all-time freshman scoring leader with 452 points, passing Dave Hoppen’s school record of 445 set in 1982-83

Lat Mayen

6-9/217

Jr.

Posted 8 points on 4-of-6 shooting but posted a team-low plus/minus of -21 in 23 minutes at Northwestern.

Derrick Walker

6-9/239

Jr.

Scored just 2 points but hauled in 10 rebounds and dished out a season-high 5 assists in the loss to Northwestern.

Iowa projected starters
NAME HT/WT YEAR NOTES

Jordan Bohannon

6-1/175

Sr.

Averages 10.7 points per game and has hit a team-high 66 3-pointers.

Tony Perkins

6-4/210

So.

Has started the past six games. Averaging 6.4 points, 1.9 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game.

Patrick McCaffery

6-9/200

So.

Team's second-leading scorer at 10.8 points per game while adding 3.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists per contest.

Keegan Murray

6-8/225

So.

Potential Big Ten Player of the Year who went off for 37 points on 15-of-21 shooting against Nebraska. Leads the Big Ten and ranks 4th nationally with 23.5 ppg.

Filip Rebraca

6-9/230

Sr.

Former North Dakota transfer who averages 6.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, and shoots 56.1% from the floor.

3 KEYS TO VICTORY

1. Control the pace

The last time Nebraska took on Iowa earlier this month in Iowa City, it fell right into the Hawkeyes' trap of trying to keep up with them in a track meet.

Iowa used a huge first-half run to break the game open, and rather than slowing things down to get the game under control, the Huskers tried to push the pace even faster.

Seeing how the Hawkeyes are one of the best transition teams in college basketball, that decision proved to be an unwise strategy.

Nebraska cannot expect to run with Iowa for 40 minutes and have any chance at winning tonight. While NU wants to play an up-tempo style, it's simply not good enough to beat UI at its own game.

Slow things down, be deliberate with your half-court offense and make the Hawkeyes work for every basket.

2. Play some defense

Nebraska already walks such a fine line in being able to compete right now. The last thing it can afford is to play with half-hearted effort on defense.

Missing shots is one thing, but if the Huskers continue defending as lazily as they have the past few games, they won't stand a chance against anyone.

NU's slow perimeter rotations and close-outs on shooters allowed Northwestern to knock down 13 3-pointers on Tuesday night for the second time this season.

Iowa is the top-scoring team in the Big Ten at 83.6 points per game and averages nearly nine made 3-pointers a contest.

If the Huskers don't play with maximum defensive effort and intensity from start to finish tonight, this one will likely go about as well as the first meeting in Iowa City.

3. Fight for the fans

Nebraska fans have been through a lot over the past two decades. But there has never been a three-year run quite as bad as this.

The Huskers officially recorded their third-straight 20-loss season on Tuesday night. Before that streak, NU had never lost 20 games in program history.

For as dismal as things have been, though, Husker fans - while maybe not in nearly as great of numbers - continue to show up to Pinnacle Bank Arena to support their team.

Everyone involved with the team - from coaches to players - has been blessed with some of the best fan support imaginable, considering the current product on the court.

Tonight is the last Nebraska men's basketball home game until November. It's highly unlikely NU will win, but it's just as important for the Huskers to give their fans something to be proud about.

Losing games is nothing new with Nebraska basketball, but getting embarrassed by conference rivals on your home floor is an entirely different animal.

Husker fans deserve a team that plays as if it cares as much as they do.

QUOTABLE

"It's about coming home and giving our fans one last game to cheer about and feel good about."
— Head coach Fred Hoiberg on the importance of playing well for Nebraska fans in the final home game.

PREDICTION

Iowa (-11.5) 91, Nebraska 78

Robin's season record: 20-7

vs. the spread: 15-12