What to Know
Thursday night will mark the 28th time these two schools have met and the first time since, well, exactly one year ago to the date tomorrow. Iowa leads 18-9 in the all time series and has won five straight over the Huskers.
However, Nebraska has been the hottest team in the Big Ten so far this season. They are 2-0 with two big road wins over Indiana and Maryland. They shocked everyone by beating Indiana in the Big Ten opener and then went on a 14-0 run to end the game at Maryland to shock the Terrapins. They've been primarily guard driven behind Glynn Watson and Tai Webster. In fact, they've probably been the best guard duo in the Big Ten to start the season.
The Huskers are 8-6 overall despite the early 2-0 start in conference play. They have a brutal non-conference to thank for that. The Huskers played UCLA, Creighton, and Kansas as a part of their non-conference slate. Not to mention Virginia Tech and Clemson. So, the Huskers are plenty prepared for the talent the Big Ten is going to throw at them.
If you were just a casual fan looking through the statistics on the Big Ten's official website, it'd look like the Huskers were 0-2 as opposed to 2-0. They rank near the bottom in a lot of major statistical categories, but it hasn't mattered. They rank near the bottom in scoring offense, scoring defense, scoring margin, and field goal percentage. This can all be attached back to that tough non-conference schedule when they struggled with some notorious powers.
The Huskers have solid forwards, but like I said, are driven by their guards. They are going to go about 8 deep, but both Webster and Watson are going to play big time minutes. They did lose Anton Gill not too long ago to a season ending injury, he would've helped spell Watson and Webster.
The Huskers have been solid over the first two Big Ten games, but lack a lot of balance. If one of Webster or Watson struggles, they will find themselves in a bit of trouble.
Who to Know
It's Webster and Watson.
Webster averages 17 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists per game for Tim Miles' team and Watson pours in 14 of his own per game while recording 2 steals per, as well. They both get to the rim at will, but can hurt you from deep if you are not careful. Watson is second on the team in 3 point shooting percentage, making 40% of his three's.
Webster has been the one that teams have had trouble stopping when it comes to getting to the rim. In the back half of that Maryland game, Webster got to the rim quite a bit, which was a big reason for their comeback. If you're able to slow one of these two down, you have a good shot at winning the game.
The other name is Ed Morrow. He is third on the team averaging 10.4 points per game, but leads the team averaging 8.4 rebounds per game. Morrow is atop the conference in offensive rebounds per game, averaging almost 4 a game.
He's a guy that Iowa needs to keep off the offensive glass if they are planning on winning in Lincoln tomorrow. Like I said, they aren't too deep and these are their main guys. It's no secret as to who makes the Huskers go.
Stats to Know
The Huskers are shooting 43% from three point land in Big Ten play, which leads the conference. However, their season average is 31%, which is more telling of how the Huskers' non-conference went. They are atop the Big Ten in steals per game during Big Ten play, but again are right in the middle of things when it comes to nationally and over the course of the entire season. You can thank Watson for all the steals. He has 31 in 14 games.
Watson's backcourt mate, Webster, is coming off being named the Big Ten's co-player of the week after he averaged 19.5 points, 4 assists, and 3 steals in wins over Indiana and Maryland.
The Huskers are 5-2 at home this season, but do have a home loss to Gardner Webb early on.
Nebraska's Morrow and Iowa's Isaiah Moss were classmates at Simeon High School in Illinois during their prep careers, so they'll be meeting in Lincoln as well.
The last time these teams met, Dom Uhl dropped 10 points and 8 rebounds, so this could possibly be a coming out party for Uhl, who has struggled so far this season.