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3 keys and a prediction for Nebraska Basketball vs Iowa



Nebraska Basketball
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska basketball will close out its regular season at Iowa on Sunday and here are the keys, as well as a prediction.

There’s no doubt about it, the loss to Michigan State was a killer for Nebraska basketball. The Huskers had a 15-point lead and a win would have put them two games above .500.

That’s important because Nebraska basketball needs to finish with a winning record or at least even to make the NIT. It’s not a requirement, but it’s also not easy to make the field. They don’t give out bids to big-name leagues anymore — and if you don’t have 20 wins, you better have a solid resume.

Nebraska could certainly add to its resume Sunday. But it has beaten Creighton, Iowa, Penn State, Rutgers, Wisconsin, and Maryland. The Huskers have beaten multiple teams that will be playing in the NCAA tournament. They will get another shot on Sunday and here are three keys plus a prediction for Nebraska basketball vs Iowa.

Control the tempo

Iowa is the best offensive team in the Big Ten with over 80 points per game and also the worst defensive team allowing over 76 per game. The Hawkeyes love to play fast, shoot a ton of 3-pointers and get out in transition.

In the first meeting, Nebraska did an exceptional job of controlling the tempo. It was a slugfest and the Huskers need to make it that kind of game again. I’m not saying they shouldn’t run when they get a chance, but working the shot clock, taking the air out of the ball, and making it a half-court game is vital.

Of course, you have to be able to score. However, the Huskers shouldn’t have an issue there. Iowa doesn’t have anyone that can guard Derrick Walker one-on-one and Keisei Tominaga has been electric, scoring 20 or more in six of seven games.

Today, Tominaga will make it seven of eight. But if the game is a shootout, it plays right into Iowa’s hands.

Walker and Griesel need to take over

Walker has to avoid foul trouble and he has to be able to score down low. He was 5-of-9 from the field in the first game with eight rebounds. He didn’t have any assists and if Iowa doesn’t double-team, he just needs to take advantage. The same can be said about Sam Griesel.

Griesel should plenty a good amount of time in the post. It’s not something Nebraska has used as much in recent weeks but Griesel and Walker in the post is a good way to run the offense. Both are excellent passers and frankly, the Huskers are going to need their shooters — Tominaga, CJ Wilcher, and Jamarques Lawrence to knock down some shots.

The Huskers made eight 3-pointers in the first game compared to seven for Iowa. That’s not likely to happen again, so the Huskers have to win the 2-point battle, which starts with Walker and Griesel scoring at the rim.

Better 3-point defense

Nebraska’s defense fell apart in the second half against Michigan State. The Spartans got a bunch of really good looks and made them. That’s what good shooting teams will do.

In the first meeting vs Iowa, the Hawkeyes shot 25 percent from deep. But it wasn’t because they didn’t have good looks — they did — they just missed.

I don’t see Iowa shooting 25 percent again at home. Nebraska has to do a better job of keeping track of shooters and closing out. If they don’t, Iowa is going to cover the 11.5-point spread easily.

Nebraska basketball vs Iowa prediction

As I’ve said, I don’t see Iowa struggling to shoot again. Keegan Murray has been outstanding and the Hawkeyes are very difficult to beat at home. I do think Nebraska is going to battle with the NIT berth potentially on the line. I think they will cover the spread and lose 81-72.

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Nebraska Basketball: Guard Denim Dawson enters transfer portal



Nebraska basketball redshirt freshman Denim Dawson entered the transfer portal on Wednesday, as more moves continue to be made within the basketball team. This was first reported by 247Sports’ Travis Branham.

Dawson had his moments for Nebraska basketball this season. He made his first start against Purdue back in December. He had three rebounds and two assists in 25 minutes of play. He then was able to continue his strong play in the second half of the season when he had seven points and eight rebounds in 30 minutes. Dawson was active on the glass against Penn State when he recorded nine rebounds.

It could be said that Dawson never had a fair chance to crack the rotation due to the players in front of him. Nevertheless, Dawson had raw athletic ability, and it was easy to see why he was recruited to the program.

Dawson was a three-star recruit and was the 32nd overall player in the state of California for the 2022 class.

What does this move mean for Nebraska basketball?

This move makes sense for Dawson, as Nebraska basketball has several guards on the roster already. Jamarques Lawrence is one of them, and he was able to take on a big role for the program. This is a case of there being too many mouths to feed on the roster. The emergence of Lawrence also probably played a bit of a role as the latter looks to be a staple for the program.

It will be interesting to see where Dawson ends up. He is certainly a talented player, but Nebraska basketball was not the right fit for him at this time.

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Podcast: What’s next for Nebraska Basketball after missing NIT?



Nebraska basketball
Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Our latest podcast discusses whether Nebraska Basketball should have missed the NIT, look at what’s next, and more.

It’s the start of another week, Husker fans, and in terms of the Nebraska basketball team, we got some disappointing news on Sunday night.

Nebraska was on the NIT bubble even before its loss to Minnesota last week in the Big Ten tournament. While some NIT projections had the Huskers barely making it in the field, Nebraska basketball was left on the outside looking in.

Chris Peterson and Danny Jaillet are each on the show in their usual spot and offer up their thoughts on whether Nebraska basketball was treated fairly. The loss to Minnesota was bad, but Nebraska also beat Maryland, Penn State, Creighton, and Iowa (twice) — all teams that made the NCAA tournament.

The Huskers also beat Wisconsin and Rutgers, two teams that made the NIT. The loss to Minnesota was bad but the Huskers had a quality resume. However, their 16-16 record wasn’t all that impressive and again, that’s where the loss to Minnesota hurt.

What’s next for Nebraska basketball?

Now that the season is officially over for the Huskers, we can look toward the future. The biggest question is what will Keisei Tominaga do? Will he return for another season, or go to Japan?

There is hope the Huskers can do some things with NIL, although Keisei is limited to earning “passive income” such as money from jersey sales. He can’t actively promote products. It’s always possible things could change with those NIL rules, but at the end of the day, if money is the driving factor, Japan is probably the best bet.

Tominaga has become a star over there. He’s also a star to Nebraska basketball fans and could have as big a following next season as any Husker — ever.

I’m not saying he would be the best player by any means, but social media didn’t exist when Tyronn Lue was around for instance. It would be fun regardless. Nebraska basketball also needs to add some transfers.

We talk about all that and more. We also touch on Nebraska football recruiting, so check out the full episode of the Husker Big Red Podcast below:

For More Nebraska content, follow us on Twitter, like our Facebook Page, and Subscribe to the Husker Big Red YouTube Channel. You can also find out podcast on Apple or Spotify


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Nebraska Basketball season ends with defensive thud vs. Gophers



Nebraska basketball lost to the Minnesota Golden Gophers by a 78-75 margin on Wednesday night. There were several crucial plays towards the end of the game. The basketball bouncing off of Sam Griesel while Nebraska tried to score was a difficult break. Two illegal screens in a row also did not help matters. Nevertheless, there was one major theme. The defense struggled throughout the evening.

It wasn’t as if Nebraska had answers for Minnesota either. Minnesota shot 51.9% from the field and 41.7% from beyond the arc.

One of the biggest problems for Nebraska on Wednesday night was being able to stop scores from the inside. Minnesota was able to have their way inside in several aspects. Minnesota freshman Pharrel Payne had six points and four rebounds on the evening. On the other end of the floor, he played solid defensively, shutting down Nebraska big man Derrick Walker.

Jaden Henley and Dawson Garcia had their way inside as well. They finished with 14 and 18 points respectively. They were able to pick apart the Nebraska basketball defense with quick passes and their ability to muscle inside. To be frank, Nebraska basketball had no answer for the inside game, and it became clear that this was going to be a major problem throughout the course of the game.

The defense inside the paint was not the only problem. Nebraska basketball struggled all night in terms of rotations and not getting to the shooter quick enough. They were unable to close out on a player such as Garcia, and he made them pay, going seven-of-13 from the field. He gave Minnesota the lead on a three-ball with 8:35 left in the first half, and the Gophers never looked back.

The aggressive rotations and aggressiveness overall that Nebraska displayed all season defensively was missing. They did not have the defensive energy to match Minnesota and it was noticeable early on. Minnesota was able to play however they wanted offensively, and they were able to establish their dominance inside, opening up space for perimeter shooters. It looked like a cat playing with a mouse.

It was a defensive thud to end the season for Nebraska basketball. Now the offseason begins and questions remain unanswered.

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