Nebraska Basketball Game Day: Peru State
basketball Edit

Nebraska Basketball Game Day: Peru State

Heralded freshman Bryce McGowens will make his unofficial Nebraska debut tonight.
Heralded freshman Bryce McGowens will make his unofficial Nebraska debut tonight. (Associated Press)

Who, What, Where, When

Nebraska Cornhuskers (0-0) vs Peru State Bobcats (0-0)

Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021 - 6 p.m. CT

Pinnacle Bank Arena

TV: None

Radio: Husker Sports Network

Internet: BTN+

Nebraska projected starters
NAME HT/WT YEAR NOTES

Alonzo Verge Jr.

6-3/164

Sr.

Fifth-year senior and graduate transfer who averaged 14.0 points, 3.8 assists, and 3.9 rebounds per game last season at Arizona State. Won the 2019-20 Pac-12 Sixth Man of the Year.

Trey McGowens

6-4/196

Jr.

Started all 27 games for Nebraska last season. Averaged 10.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game and led team with 38 steals.

Bryce McGowens

6-7/179

Fr.

Nebraska's first five-star recruit of the Rivals era (2002-present). Won 2021 South Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year and was named to the Jordan Brand Classic team.

Lat Mayen

6-9/217

Jr.

Also started all 27 games in first season at NU. Averaged 8.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, and shot 34.5% from 3-point range.

Derrick Walker

6-9/239

Jr.

Started the final 16 games of last season after being suspended for the first 11. Scored 5.4 ppg and ranked second on the team with 4.8 rpg.

Peru State projected starters
NAME HT YEAR NOTES

Skyler Wilson

6-1

Fr.

Averaged 10.7 points while starting in 19 games before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.

Ty Griggs

6-0

Fr.

Scored 10.8 ppg and shot just under 40 percent from 3-point range in 2020-21.

Henry Tanksley

6-4

Sr.

Averaged 17.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per game last season. Honorable mention NAIA All-American.

Isaac Simpson

6-8

Sr.

Fifth-year graduate student who averaged 6.5 points per game last season.

Dedoch Chan

6-8

Jr.

Was a scholarship player at Nebraska for roughly three months in 2018 but left the program without ever playing in a game.

3 KEYS TO VICTORY

1. Time to experiment

The outcome of this game should not and will not be in question, so the real purpose of the exhibition opener will be for Nebraska to try out a variety of lineups to see what works and what doesn't against live competition.

The known commodities might not be on the court for long, so the majority of the game will be an opportunity for the back end of the rotation - which remains wide-open going into the season - to show what it can do under the lights.

Look for head coach Fred Hoiberg to substitute early and often and play some personnel groupings you might now expect to see how his players respond and feed off one another.

2. Control the nerves

It's been 606 days since Nebraska last played a game at Pinnacle Bank Arena in front of fans. No current Husker was on the floor for that contest, either.

In fact, only fifth-year senior Kobe Webster has played in a game at PBA with fans in the stands, and that came back in 2018 when he was a sophomore for Western Illinois.

So it would be understandable if NU's players were a little amped up to finally experience one of the Big Ten's best homecourt advantages. However, the Huskers need to keep their emotions in check and just play basketball.

Hoiberg made sure to bring up the lone exhibition he'd coached at Nebraska back in 2018, when NU fell behind to Doane 10-2 out of the gates and didn't reach double-figures until more than seven minutes into the game.

Hoiberg said his team was too excited going into that game. While it ended in an expected blowout win, it took far too long for the Huskers to settle down.

3. Put on a show

While Nebraska needs to make sure it keeps its focus and executes, tonight is also an opportunity to push the fan excitement around this season even higher.

Finally returning veteran experience and adding a top-20 recruiting class this offseason, the buzz around the Huskers is as high as it's been in a long time. There won't be much to take away from a lopsided matchup like this, but NU can give its fans a show in their return to PBA.

Throw down some highlight dunks, fire up a few deep 3-pointers, and showcase the chemistry in transition. Do that, and of course dominate the game as they should, and this could be a fun night.

QUOTABLE

This year is important. Going into Year 3, I know that we have expectations, which is what you want. You want expectations in this business. We talk to our guys every day about it and going out there and doing the right things and playing the right way and hopefully putting ourselves in a position to do something that's never been done here with Nebraska basketball. So, yeah, you want those expectations and you want that pressure. That's what this job's all about. It sucks for sleep, but it's good.
— Head coach Fred Hoiberg on the pressure to meet elevated expectations in Year 3.

PREDICTION

Nebraska 106, Peru State 62

Robin's season record: 0-0

vs. the spread: 0-0