Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports
Oregon looks to improve to 9-1 with a victory over the visiting Cornhuskers
The Oregon Ducks (8-1) return to the court in search of their ninth win of the season as they face a home test with the Nebraska Cornhuskers (6-2) of the Big Ten. The trips to Eugene marks Nebraska's second road trip of the season, the first being a 79-63 victory at Wake Forest in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Cornhuskers also hold a home victory over USC, but has been crushed in their own building by Creighton and Kent St.
Oregon defeated Nebraska in Lincoln last season, 83-76, though few meaningful players remain from that matchup. One is Cornhusker guard Dylan Talley, who hit four three-pointers and scored 18 points in last season's contest. Talley is Nebraska's leading scorer, netting 15.4 points per game. He shoots only 36% from the field, so he's not terribly efficient, but he's most dangerous from downtown, making threes at a 35% clip. The other major returnee is 6'10" forward Brandon Ubel., who scores 13.5 points and pulls down nine rebounds per contest. Other than that, this is a rebuilding program. Coach Tim Miles is in his first year after coming over from Colorado State, and has only eight scholarship players. Starting point guard Benny Parker is questionable with a knee injury.
Oregon should have a depth advantage, though not necessarily size advantage in the frontcourt. In addition to the 6'10" Ubel, the 'Huskers play Andre Almeida, who is possibly the biggest player in all of college basketball at 6'11" and 314 lbs. Other than that, its a pretty thin front line, and not a very tall one.
Despite the 6-2 record, the statistics suggest that Nebraska isn't all that good. Nebraska, given the lack of depth and talent, wants to slow things down. They rank last in the B1G in possessions, last in field goal attempts, last in rebounding, and shoot under 44% on the season (Oregon is over 48%). When they do shoot, it's usually jumpers as Nebraska rarely gets to the free throw line. In an average game, Oregon averages ten more possessions than Nebraska (71-61), telling you a lot about the teams' styles. What team sets the tempo will go a long way in this game. However, there is potential for the Ducks to win a half court game. If the game is fast-paced, Nebraska doesn't have the depth to keep up.
In all, the Ducks have a significant edge in this contest. In addition to being at home. The Ducks are more efficient, shoot the ball better, and have significant rebounding and depth advantages. If this team is who we think they are, a double digit victory should be imminent.
Game Time: 1:30 p.m. PT
TV: FSN National, ROOT