At a Glance: Nebraska

A quick look at Illinois' Wednesday opponent - the Nebraska Cornhuskers

Illinois (14-5, 1-4) @ Nebraska (10-9, 1-5)
Tuesday, Jan. 22, 7:30 p.m. - Lincoln, Neb. - Devaney Center (13,595)
BTN (Announcers: Kevin Kugler, Eddie Johnson)

Notes (from Nebraska sports info):

- The Huskers (10-9, 1-5 B1G) picked up that elusive road win on Saturday, posting a 68-64 win at Penn State. Nebraska used an 11-0 second-half to take the lead for good and held on down the stretch. Freshman Shavon Shields put together the finest performance of his young career with 29 points on 10-of-11 shooting and six rebounds. His point total was one off of Nebraska's freshman record and capped a strong week where he averaged 23.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game to earn Big Ten Freshman-of-the-Week honors.

- Shields' emergence has helped the Huskers in recent games, as Nebraska has averaged 60.0 ppg in the last three games after averaging just 44.0 ppg in the Huskers' first three Big Ten contests.

- With four new starters from last season and an eight-player rotation which includes only three players who saw action last season, there have been some bumps along the way, as the Huskers install a new offensive system and the headline has been a common mantra of Coach Miles during his first season on the job.

- After getting blown out in its Big Ten opener at No. 8 Ohio State, Nebraska has had opportunities in each of its last five Big Ten games. NU has made it a two-possession game in the last seven minutes of each of the last five games, including a chance to tie or take the lead against Wisconsin and at Michigan State. While NU was not able to pull out wins in the first four games, the Huskers found a way down the stretch against Penn State. In the final seven minutes at Penn State, the Huskers hit 60 percent of their field goals and went 9-for-9 from the foul line to earn a four-point win. With the win, Nebraska now improves to 4-0 on the season in games decided by five points or less after going 4-3 in games decided by five points or less last season.

- One of the biggest keys to success for the Huskers has been finding multiple scoring options. Nebraska has three players averaging in double figures on the season, while six players (Brandon Ubel, Dylan Talley, Ray Gallegos, Andre Almeida, David Rivers and Shavon Shields) have all scored at least 20 points at least once this season.

Projected starters:

David Rivers - F, Soph., 6-7, 191 - 5.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg
Ray Gallegos - G, Jr., 6-2, 181 - 13.2 ppg, 3.2 rpg
Dylan Talley - G, Sr., 6-5, 216 - 12.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg
Shavon Shields - F, Fr., 6-6, 214 - 7.9 ppg, 4.9 rpg
Andre Almeida - C, Sr., 6-11, 314 - 5.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg

Off the bench:

Brandon Ubel - F, Sr., 6-10, 234 - 12.1 ppg, 6.8 rpg
Benny Parker - G, Fr., 5-9, 164 - 3.0 ppg, 2.4 apg
Mike Peltz - G, Jr., 6-2, 199 - 1.1 ppg, 2.1 rpg

Series history:

Series record: Illinois leads 8-3
Series streak: Nebraska W-1
Record @ Lincoln: Illinois leads 2-1
Last year's meetings:
Illinois 59, Nebraska 54 (Jan. 7, 2012 @ Champaign)
Nebraska 80, Illinois 57 (Feb. 18, 2012 @ Lincoln)
Groce vs. Nebraska: First meeting

Notable quotables:

"It starts with (Dylan) Talley and (Ray) Gallegos. Those guys can put big numbers up. Both guys can get you for 25 or 30 on a given night. They're both very explosive scoring. (Brandon) Ubel is back after being out for two weeks with a fractured elbow. He played his first game back over the weekend in their win. They've been very competitive in other games as well, whether it was in East Lansing or Wisconsin at home. They were right there in those games that I watched on tape. I think they play really hard. I think they defend. One of the things that's really happened for them is with Ubel being out, (David) Rivers as well as Shavon Shields really had to kind of amplify their role a little bit. Shavon Shields is averaging 24 points a game in the last two games. Rivers went 8-for-8 from the field and was a big reason why the game in East Lansing against Michigan State went right to the wire. So he's gotten better, Shields has gotten better, and now they add Ubel back who is a double figure scorer and 6-foot-10. I think they're, they've got to probably feel pretty good when they fought through that deal when Ubel was out. You can tell that they're getting better, and I'm sure they've got a lot of confidence coming off their win on Saturday." -- Illinois coach John Groce

Nebraska team info:


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