After a three-game slate at the AdvoCare Invitational in Orlando, the Nebraska men’s basketball team (5-2) will return home Wednesday night to take on Boston College (5-2) in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
The Huskers are coming off back-to-back wins at the AdvoCare Invitational in which NU recorded 20+ assists in wins over Marist and Long Beach State. The last time Nebraska recorded 20+ assists in two straight games was in 2001. Under Tim Miles, the Huskers are 20-2 when finishing with over 15 assists in a game.
The Huskers are led by junior Glynn Watson Jr. who leads the team in scoring at 14.3 ppg. Right behind Watson, James Palmer Jr. (14.1 ppg), Isaac Copeland Jr. (12.7 ppg), and Anton Gill (12.2 ppg) are all averaging double-figure scoring.
Gill, a senior transfer from Louisville, has tallied 33 points on 67 percent 3-point shooting in his last two games. Gill missed most of last season due to injury.
Sophomore Isaiah Roby, averaging 6.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg, and team-high 1.9 blocks per game, is listed as doubtful for tonight’s game by Miles after hurting his ankle on Sunday. Miles said the injury is not serious. After playing just six minutes Sunday, freshman Thomas Allen should be close to fully healthy as Miles said he is around 90 percent.
With Roby listed as doubtful, Miles said Jack McVeigh is likely to get more minutes. In addition, the sixth-year head coach said he might play an athletic wing like freshman Nana Akenten more minutes.
In Miles’ Tuesday press conference, he added that the Huskers need to look to get sophomore center Jordy Tshimanga more involved. Tshimanga posted a +25 plus/minus on the court Sunday and has been a force on the glass, ranking fifth in the Big Ten in offensive rebounds.
Boston College is led by fourth-year head coach Jim Christian. Christian’s team features a strong backcourt of Ky Bowman and Jerome Robinson. Bowman, a do-it-all kind of player, averages 15.4 ppg, 5.7 rpg, and 5.6 apg, while Robinson adds 14.9 ppg on 43 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
In addition to a strong backcourt, the Eagles have been strong on the offensive glass, ranking 25th nationally in total rebounds at 42.6 per game. Deontae Hawkins leads the Eagles in rebounds at 10.6 per game, on top of his 13.3 ppg. Nebraska ranks last in the Big Ten in defensive rebounding and rebounding margin.
Against Power 5 schools this season, Boston College is 0-2 with an 11-point loss to Texas Tech and a 20-point loss to Providence this Sunday.
Nebraska is 89-11 in its last 100 home non-conference games, while Boston College hasn’t won a non-conference game on the road since the end of the 2015 season. The game will tip off at 8:15 tonight at Pinnacle Bank Arena. The game will be televised by ESPNU and will be streamed online at Huskers.com. Live radio will be provided by the IMG Husker Sports Network.
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