Huskers Begin Road Trip at Maryland on Saturday
The Nebraska men's basketball team begins a two-game road trip this Saturday, as the Huskers travel to College Park for a matchup with the Maryland Terrapins. Tipoff from the Xfinity Center is set for 3:30 p.m. (CT) and the game will be carried on BTN. It will also be available on the Fox Sports app.
The Huskers (10-11, 3-7 Big Ten) are coming off a 78-63 loss to Northwestern on Wednesday evening. Junior guard Keisei Tominaga led Nebraska with 22 points, one off his career high, but Northwestern shot 52 percent from the field and got a career-high 26-point effort from Ty Berry to pace three Wildcats in double figures. Northwestern used a 21-5 surge to close the first half with a 13-point lead, and added a 14-2 burst in the second half to take control.
With season-ending injuries to Juwan Gary and Emmanuel Bandoumel over the past two weeks, some of the young Huskers have taken advantage on expanded roles and more playing time. Jamarques Lawrence made his first start against Northwestern and the freshman had career highs in points (12), 3-pointers (four) and minutes (33), while walk-on guard Sam Hoiberg came off the bench and had six points and six rebounds in 18 minutes after playing just 12 minutes all season to that point.
|Game 22: at Maryland|
|Date: Saturday, Jan. 28
Tipoff: 3:30 p.m. (CT)
Location: College Park, MD.
Arena: XFINITY Center
On the Air
Radio: Saturday's game will be carried on the Huskers Radio Network with Kent Pavelka and Jake Muhleisen on the call, including KLIN (1400 AM) in Lincoln, KXSP (590 AM) in Omaha and KRVN (880 AM) in Lexington and will also be available on Huskers.com and the Huskers app. The pregame show begins an hour before tipoff.
TV/Online: Saturday's game will be televised on BTN with Jason Ross Jr. and Robbie Hummel on the call. The game will also be available online on the Fox Sports app.
Maryland (13-7, 4-5 Big Ten) comes off a 73-55 home win over Wisconsin on Wednesday night. The Terrapins shot 60 percent in the second half in breaking open a four-point halftime lead. Jahmir Young led all scorers with 22 points, along with eight rebounds and five assists, while Julian Reese and Donta Scott added 14 points apiece. Maryland is 10-1 at home this season with the only home loss coming to No. 8 UCLA in December.
Following Saturday's game, the Huskers will head straight to Illinois to prepare for Tuesday's matchup with the Fighting Illini. That game will close a stretch where NU played six of nine games on the road during January.
• A win on Saturday at Maryland would allow the Huskers to exceed their win total from last season and match Nebraska's number of Big Ten wins from a year ago. It would also give Nebraska Head Coach Fred Hoiberg his 150th collegiate victory.
• Nebraska will look for its first win in College Park since a 67-65 win on Jan. 1, 2017. In that game, Nebraska trailed 65-53 with 6:02 left before closing the game on a 14-0 run.
• Sixth-year senior Derrick Walker is the only Husker who played in Nebraska's last trip to Maryland in 2021.
• With Jamarques Lawrence and Denim Dawson in the starting lineup against Northwestern, it marked the first time NU has had a pair of freshmen in the starting lineup this season. Last year, NU had six games with multiple freshmen in the lineup with Bryce McGowens and either Keon Edwards or C.J. Wilcher. Both Edwards and Wilcher were second-year freshmen who took advantage of the NCAA eligibility freeze because of COVID-19 in 2020-21.
In Fred Hoiberg's first season, NU started multiple freshmen on four occasions (Penn State, at Michigan, at Minnesota, vs. Indiana).
• With his career-high 12 points against Northwestern on Wednesday, Jamarques Lawrence became the ninth Husker to reach double figures this season.
• Since Nebraska joined the Big Ten, the Huskers have had 21 freshmen (true, redshirt or covid year) start at least one game, and Lawrence joins Bryce McGowens (25 vs. Western Illinois, 2021) as the only two to score double figures in their first career start.
• Nebraska is down to nine active scholarship players with season-ending injuries to Juwan Gary (shoulder), Emmanuel Bandoumel (knee) and Quaran McPherson (knee) while freshman Ramel Lloyd Jr. is redshirting this year. In addition, Blaise Keita has played just eight minutes since suffering an ankle injury against Queens on Dec. 20. In Wednesday's game, freshmen accounted for nearly 37.4 percent of Nebraska's total minutes.
• Nebraska has faced one of the nation's toughest schedules in 2022-23. As of Jan. 26, Nebraska's NET strength of schedule is third nationally. Nebraska's game at Maryland will be the Huskers' 11th Quad 1 game of the season. Of Nebraska's remaining 10 regular-season games, nine would be against current Quad 1 or 2 opponents. Nebraska is one of three Big Ten teams with a top-10 NET SOS, joining Michigan State (seventh) and Wisconsin (10th) as of Jan. 26.
• Derrick Walker is averaging a team-high 7.5 rebounds per game to rank 10th in the Big Ten in rebounding as of Jan. 26. It is on pace to be NU's highest rebounding average since the 2007-08 season. Since 2000, only five Huskers - Ed Morrow Jr. (2016-17), Aleks Maric (2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08), Andrew Drevo (2002-03), Kimani Ffriend (1999-2000, 2000-01) - have averaged at least seven rebounds per game.
• Walker needs just four rebounds on Saturday at Maryland to reach 500 rebounds for his career.
• With more of an emphasis on positional size compared to previous Hoiberg-coached Husker teams, Nebraska has made significant improvement on the defensive end despite a whole new lineup and a myriad of injuries over the last month. The Huskers have held 12 of their 21 opponents to 70 points or less and have climbed nearly 130 spots in adjusted defense in KenPom compared to last season. NU ranks 37th nationally in defensive efficiency (Jan. 26).
• Nebraska has done an excellent job of not fouling this season. NU ranks 10th nationally in fewest fouls per game (13.6) entering Saturday's game with Maryland.
• Nebraska's biggest strides have come in rebounding. NU is currently 10th in the Big Ten in rebounding margin at +0.5 per game after ranking last in the conference with a -7.0 margin last season. In Big Ten play, NU is 3-0 when out-rebounding opponents, but winless in conference play when being out-rebounded.
• Nebraska has been the one team to keep Zach Edey in check in 2022-23, holding the national player of the year frontrunner to just 11.5 points per game in two contests. Edey's two lowest scoring percentages came in the two games against Nebraska.
• Derrick Walker is one of only two Big Ten players this year to have a game of at least 20 points, eight rebounds and seven assists as he did against Minnesota on Jan. 7. Jalen Pickett has done it twice (vs. Quinnipiac on Dec. 22 and Jan. 8 vs. Purdue). Over the last three seasons (2020-21 to 2022-23), it has happened just six times, including twice by Husker players.
• Nebraska's win over Ohio State on Jan. 18 marked the Huskers' first win over the Buckeyes in Lincoln since the 2014 campaign and marked the first time NU had beaten the Buckeyes in consecutive games.
• The Huskers broke a couple of overtime losing streaks in the win at Minnesota on Jan. 7. The win snapped a six-game losing streak in overtime games dating back to the 2019-20 season and marked NU's first road OT win in conference play since Feb. 17, 2001.
• Nebraska has totaled seven double-doubles (Derrick Walker-3; Sam Griesel-2; Juwan Gary-1; Blaise Keita-1) and all seven have been points/rebounds double-doubles. Last year, NU totaled 10 double-doubles in 32 games (6 pts./reb. and 4 pts./asst.)
Numbers to Know:
4 - Jamarques Lawrence hit four 3-pointers in Wednesday's loss. It matched a season high for any Husker in 2022-23. As a team. NU hit nine 3-pointers against Northwestern, its highest total since Dec. 10.
17.5 - Derrick Walker has been a weekend warrior for the Huskers this season. In six weekend games (Saturday/Sunday), Walker is averaging 17.5 points per game on 61 percent shooting, 8.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game.
2 - Nebraska's Sam Griesel is one of only two Big Ten players - and 20 players across all of Division I - averaging at least 10.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. He joins Penn State's Jalen Pickett among Big Ten players to achieve the combined numbers.
12 - Derrick Walker is tied for the team lead with 12 double-figure games, including four 20-point games. Prior to this season, Walker's career scoring high was 16 points.
Kevin Willard is in his first season in charge of the Maryland program after spending the last 12 seasons at Seton Hall. The Pirates posted seven 20-win seasons in Willard's tenure, made five NCAA Tournaments and shared the Big East regular-season title in 2019-20.
This season Maryland jumped out to an 8-0 record, including wins over Miami (Fla.) and Saint Louis before going 5-7 in the last 12 contests. Maryland has played well of late, sandwiching home wins over Michigan and Wisconsin around a three-point loss at now No. 1 Purdue.
Maryland has a balanced attack with four players averaging double figures. Charlotte transfer Jahmir Young has been a catalyst, averaging 15.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists per contest. Veterans Donta Scott (11.9 ppg), Hakim Hart (11.6 ppg) and Julian Reese (10.5 ppg) also average double figures, while both Hart and Reese shoot at least 50 percent from the field. As a team, Maryland averages 70.4 points per game and shoots 45 percent from the floor, while holding foes to 41 percent shooting.
Series History: Saturday's meeting is the 14th between the two teams, all since the Terrapins joined the Big Ten in 2014-15. Maryland leads the series, 10-3, with seven of the 13 meetings decided by five points or less. Maryland won the first five meetings before Nebraska snapped the string with a win in College Park on Jan. 1, 2017. Maryland has been ranked in seven of the previous 13 meetings, including three times in the top 10. In 2021, the teams played on consecutive days in College Park with Maryland winning both meetings. Nebraska looks to snap a four-game losing streak to Maryland and pick up its first win in College Park since 2017.
Last meeting: Bryce McGowens finished with a game-high 25 points, but Maryland used a 12-3 run to open the second half on its way to a 90-74 victory on Feb. 18, 2022. McGowens posted his ninth 20-point game of the season, including 14-of-15 from the foul line, but Maryland shot 59 percent in the second half in breaking a five-game losing streak. Fatts Russell had 23 points as the Terrapins put six players in double figures and shot 52.5 percent from the floor. The Terrapins committed just four turnovers, while converting 12 Husker turnovers into 21 points. In addition to McGowens, Alonzo Verge Jr. finished with 14 points, five rebounds and five assists, while C.J. Wilcher had 10 points off the bench for Nebraska.
Last Time Out
Keisei Tominaga paced the Huskers with 22 points, but Nebraska was unable to keep up with Ty Berry and Northwestern, as the short-handed Huskers fell to the Wildcats, 78-63, on Jan. 25
Tominaga racked up 22 points, his second 20-point effort of the season, on 9-of-17 shooting for the Huskers. Jamarques Lawrence added a career-high 12 points, including four 3-pointers, in his first career start.
In all, the Huskers hit nine 3-pointers and shot 47.2 percent from the field, but Northwestern shot 52 percent and enjoyed a 35-23 advantage on the boards.
Berry notched career-highs in points (26) and 3-pointers made (6), as Northwestern posted its second win in three days. Boo Buie added 17, while Chase Audige chipped in 15 points, as Northwestern took control with a 21-5 spurt in the final eight minutes of the first half.
Making Strides On Defense
Nebraska has made significant improvement on the defensive end this season, which is a big reason why the Huskers have already matched their 2021-22 win total.
- Nebraska has climbed from No. 178 to No. 47 nationally in defensive efficiency in KenPom. NU was 35th in defensive efficiency entering the Penn State game when Emmanuel Bandoumel suffered a knee injury in the first half.
- The jump is more impressive when you consider that Nebraska has played 10 games against teams currently in the top-40 nationally in offensive efficiency as of Jan. 26.
- Nebraska is one of only six teams nationally allowing at least 10 points less than last season, as NU's 10.7 ppg decrease is fifth nationally.
- Nebraska has held 11 opponents to 1.0 point per possession or less.
- The Huskers held Ohio State to a season-low 60 points in NU's 63-60 win on Jan. 18.
- In the overtime loss to No. 4 Purdue on Dec. 10, Nebraska held the Boilermakers to 0.99 points per possession. Purdue is fourth nationally in offensive efficiency as of Jan. 26 (118.7)
- Nebraska held Iowa, which is currently eighth in offensive efficiency to 0.76 per possession and just 26 percent shooting on Dec. 29.
- In NU's win at No. 7 Creighton on Dec. 4, the Huskers limited the Bluejays to 0.73 points per possession, the Huskers' best performance in a road game in over a decade.
Gary, Bandoumel to Miss Remainder of 2022-23 season
The last two weeks have been tough on the injury front, as NU has two starters to season-ending injuries.
- On Jan. 18, it was announced that Juwan Gary will have left shoulder surgery. Gary had started NU's first 17 games before suffering the injury against Illinois on Jan. 10. He was averaging 9.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and a team-high 1.4 steals per game. He ranked in the top 15 in the Big Ten in steals (seventh) and rebounding (15th) at the time of his injury and totaled nine double-figure games. He had a season-high 18 points in Nebraska's win at Minnesota on Jan. 7, and has three games with 10+ rebounds, most recently at Kansas State on Dec. 17.
- Senior guard Emmanuel Bandoumel joined Gary on the sideline, as he suffered a knee injury in the first half of Nebraska's game at Penn State on Jan. 21. Bandoumel was the only Husker to start all 20 games and was averaging 8.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.0 steals per game. He was second on the team in minutes per game (31.1) and ranked third on the team in both assists and steals. He totaled nine double figure games this season, including 18 points apiece against Memphis and Omaha.
- Entering the Maryland game, NU players have missed a combined 38 games this season: Quaran McPherson (21); Derrick Walker (5); Blaise Keita (5); Juwan Gary (4), Sam Griesel (2) and Emmanuel Bandoumel (1)
Hometown Kid Making Good
Senior Sam Griesel has enjoyed quite the homecoming, averaging 11.2 points, 4.1 assists, 5.4 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game from his point guard spot in replacing Alonzo Verge Jr., who led the Big Ten in assists per game last season. Griesel spent the last four seasons at North Dakota State, earning All-Summit League honors in 2021 and 2022 before returning to Lincoln for his senior year.
- He ranks eighth in the Big Ten in both assists and steals as of Jan. 26
- Griesel had been in double figures in each of the last seven games before he was held to eight points against Northwestern on Jan. 23. He has 11 double-figure games this season which is one off the team lead.
- He has been active on the defensive end in recent games, totaling nine steals in the last two contests, including a career-high five at Penn State on Jan. 21.
- The senior came up big in the win at Minnesota with 17 points, six rebounds and five assists, while going 6-of-6 from the foul line.
- Griesel collected his second double-double in the win over Iowa with 12 points and team highs in rebounds (10) and assists (five).
- The Huskers' first scholarship recruit from Lincoln since Jake Muhleisen in the early 2000s, Griesel keyed NU's win at No. 7 Creighton with 18 points, a season-high 12 rebounds and seven assists.
- Against Maine, Griesel scored a season-high 22 points and grabbed nine rebounds while also chipping in 18 points in the win over Omaha.
- Griesel's 22-point effort against Maine in the season opener was one of the highest-scoring debuts by a Husker in the last 50 seasons.
Walker Puts Together Strong Senior Season
Super senior Derrick Walker has made a significant impact on the Huskers since returning to action on Nov. 25. Walker has been a force, averaging 13.6 points on 60 percent shooting, 7.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game. The 6-foot-9 forward was NU's only returning starter entering 2022-23 and has 12 double-figure efforts in 16 contests.
- He is one of just 13 players nationally averaging at least 13 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game as of Jan. 26.
- Walker ranks 17th in the Big Ten in scoring, 10th in rebounding and 11th in assists entering Saturday's game at Maryland.
- Walker has a team-high three double-doubles (Memphis, Florida State and No. 4 Purdue) and six for his career.
- He had his fourth career 20-point game at Penn State with 20 points on 9-of-14 shooting, six rebounds and six assists.
- Walker had a strong performance at No. 4 Purdue with 19 points, six rebounds and four assists, while helping limit Zach Edey to 12 points on seven shots.
- Walker had one of the finest games of his career in NU's OT win at Minnesota on Jan. 7 with 22 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. He set or tied personal bests in both points and assists.
- His most recent double-double was a 14-point, 10-rebound effort against No. 4 Purdue on Dec. 10. He also helped limit Zach Edey to a season-low 11 points, snapping his streak of eight straight 20-point games.
- He keyed NU's win over No. 7 Creighton with a career-high 22 points on 11-of-16 shooting and eight rebounds against Ryan Kalkbrenner, the reigning Big East Defensive Player of the Year. Walker's efforts helped NU enjoy a 46-16 advantage in points in the paint.
- Walker posted his first career 20-point game in a win over Florida State on Nov. 27, with 20 points on 10-of-12 shooting and matched his career high with 13 rebounds.
- He made his 2022-23 debut against Memphis and had 15 points and 12 boards in a loss to the Tigers.
- Walker averaged 9.5 ppg and 6.0 rpg in 2022, breaking NU's single-season field goal percentage mark by shooting 68.3 percent from the field.
Tominaga Moves into Starting Role
After being the Huskers' sixth man for most of the season, junior Keisei Tominaga moved into the starting lineup against Ohio State on Jan. 18. The 6-foot-2 guard is third on the team in scoring at 10.6 points per game while averaging 21 minutes per contest.
- Tominaga leads the Huskers in both 3-pointers (34) and 3-point percentage (.366).
- He has 12 double figure games, including eight off the bench, and was among the Big Ten's leaders in bench scoring before he was inserted in the lineup.
- Tominaga posted his second 20-point game of the year against Northwestern, finishing with 22 points on 9-of-17 shooting. He scored NU's first 12 points and had 15 first-half points against the Wildcats.
- He had 13 points at Penn State on Jan. 21 and has reached double figures in all four of his starts in 2021-22.
- Tominaga posted a 16-point effort at No. 3 Purdue on Jan. 13, hitting 5-of-8 shots from the field, including four 3-pointers.
- He enjoyed one of his best efforts of the year in NU's 65-62 loss to No. 4 Purdue on Dec. 10 with 19 points, including four 3-pointers. He sent the game to OT with a 3-pointer with 9.1 seconds left in regulation.
- Of Tominaga's 18 career double-figure games at Nebraska, 12 have come off the bench, including 23-point efforts against Boston College on Nov. 29 and against South Dakota last season.
- Tominaga shined in NU's win over Boston College on Nov. 30. He tied his career high of 23 points on just eight field goal attempts (7-8 FG, 4-5 3PT; 5-5 FT) for his second career 20-point game. He had 17 of his 23 markers in the first half, including 11 straight NU points.
- Tominaga also had a team-high 15 points at St. John's and a 19-point effort against Maine. In the game against Maine, he connected on 7-of-12 shots from the field in 20 minutes of work.
- Over the summer, Tominaga was with the Japanese National Team, making his debut in the FIBA World Cup Asia qualifier in early July and then starred for Japan in the 2022 Asia Cup. In seven games with the Senior National Team, Tominaga averaged 15.9 points per game while shooting 39.3 percent from the 3-point line. His best performance came against Australia in the Asia Cup quarterfinals, when he poured in 33 points on 12-of-20 shooting, including 8-of-15 from 3-point range.