Huskers, ‘Jays to battle in the Nebraska Classic

Creighton makes their way to Lincoln this afternoon for the 38th meeting between the Blue Jays and the Cornhuskers. Nebraska currently holds the lead in the all time series having won 22 of the games including 13 of 17 in Lincoln. Unfortunately however, the Blue Jays have won the last five (regular season) meetings in the series.

At 7-1 Creighton will be another formidable foe on the early season schedule for the Huskers. After dropping two games, to UAB and Minnesota respectively, NU really needs to take advantage of this opportunity to right the ship if Coach Collier's bunch has any hopes of an at large berth into the NCAA Tournament this March.

Conversely, Dana Altman's Creighton team has already picked up quality wins against Big XII member Missouri, Ohio State, Xavier. With those quality victories it is difficult to imagine how they dropped their last game which was at home against Kent State.

Thus far the Blue Jays have been getting the job done in a number of different key statistical areas. They are currently averaging a very good 43.5% as a team from three, are out-rebounding opponents (though only slightly at 37.3-36.0), averaging more assists per game (17.3-13.8), fewer turnovers per game (12.8-16.3) and more steals per game than their opponents (8.3-6.4).

6'3" Jr. Guard Nate Funk leads the team in both scoring and rebounding with 16.3 points and 6.1 boards, while Sr. Guard Tyler McKinney leads them with an impressive 6.6 assists. Creighton is really stroking the three ball well this season so far as currently four different players are shooting better than 40% from beyond the arc.

Containing CU's three point attack will be pivotal if the Huskers expect to come out of the game with a victory. If NU allows them to spot up with uncontested looks from three then the game is already lost. Nebraska also must take advantage of the shooters they have in red much more than they did in the Minnesota game. Often times against the Gophers, Husker players would get caught dribbling the basketball far too much which forced them into taking bad shots as the clock wound down.

Another factor will be how the freshmen Joe McCray and Aleks Maric handle the intensity of the game. This should be the largest and most frenzied crowd the two have played in front of in their brief collegiate careers so it will be interesting to see how they respond. Currently the two have been among Nebraska's statistical leaders so it will be critical that they perform well. (McCray leads the Huskers in scoring with 15 ppg and Maric leads the Huskers in rebounding with 9 rpg.)

The "x-factor" for Nebraska could be Jason Dourisseau. The junior slasher from Omaha is the most athletic player on the team, can get off the floor and has a good wingspan. At 6'5" he is averaging over 7 boards per game and has the ability to be a very lethal weapon on the court. Though he has averaged 12 points per contest he has the ability to average much more. If he has a big game then the Huskers should prevail today against the Blue Jays.

Game time: 1:05 CST

Tickets: available by calling the Nebraska ticket office at (800) 8-big red or (402) 472-3111.

Radio:1140AM in Lincoln as well as 1100AM in Omaha. Check herefor a listing of all the affiliates throughout the state that will be carrying the game. Also available online here.

Television: Fox Sports Midwest

Around the Big XII:

On Friday the Cyclones fell to in state rival Iowa 70-63. Sr. Center Jared Homan lead Iowa State in scoring with 25 points….5th ranked Oklahoma State finished off the Blazers of UAB 86-73. Joey Graham paced the Cowboys with 20…..In today's action 5-1 Oklahoma takes on 2-8 Northern Colorado, 4-4 Missouri faces 3-3 Montana, unbeaten(5-0) Texas A&M goes against 3-3 Alabama A&M, 5-0 Kansas takes on 3-3 Louisiana-Lafayette, and 5-0 Kansas State challenges 4-2 Wyoming….Tomorrow Iowa State takes the floor once again as they face Howard.

Big Red Report Top Stories