Evan Taylor and the Huskers won 22 games in 2017-18.
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Huskers Enjoy 22-Win Season

By NU Athletic Communications

The 2017-18 season was a historic one for the Husker basketball program. Under sixth-year Head Coach Tim Miles, Nebraska enjoyed one of the most improved seasons in school history and returned to postseason play for the first time in four years.

The Huskers finished the year with a 22-11 record and tied for fourth in the Big Ten with a 13-5 record, setting a school record for most conference wins in school history. It was a far cry from the 13th-place finish the Huskers were tabbed with by the conference media prior to the season. The 10-win improvement was the largest by a Husker team since 1991, while the 13 Big Ten wins shattered a mark which had been in place for more than five decades. Nebraska's 22 wins was the most since a school-record 26 wins in 1990-91 and included wins over NCAA runner-up Michigan, as well the champions of the NIT (Penn State) and CBI (North Texas).

The improvement was sparked by a pair of newcomers in James Palmer Jr. and Isaac Copeland, who helped Nebraska enjoy its highest victory total in more than two decades and close Big Ten play by winning eight of its last nine games.

Palmer garnered first-team All-Big Ten honors by the conference coaches, averaging 17.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. He was fifth in the conference in scoring, including third in Big Ten action, and was in double figures in 31 of 33 contests. Palmer proved to have a flair for the dramatic, including a game-winning 3-pointer with 0.3 points left in a one-point win over Illinois and scoring 24 of his 26 points in the second half of Nebraska's four-point win over Maryland which gave the Huskers their 20th victory.

Copeland gave the Huskers an inside-outside threat, as he was second on the team in scoring (12.9 ppg), rebounding (6.1 rpg) and blocked shots (1.0 bpg) and ranked among the Big Ten leaders in all three areas. The 6-foot-9 junior had five 20-point performances, including a season-high 30 points on 12-of-14 shooting against North Dakota, and closed the regular season by reaching double figures in eight of NU's final nine regular-season contests.

While the two newcomers provided a shot in the arm for the NU attack, co-captains Evan Taylor and Anton Gill provided stability and leadership for a team which returned just two players who averaged 6.0 ppg from the previous year.

Taylor, one of two returning starters, played in all 33 games and averaged 6.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. Taylor was also the Huskers' top perimeter defender, and regularly hounded the opposition's top scorer. Gill, who missed all of Big Ten play in 2016-17 because of a knee injury, was fifth on the team in scoring at 8.1 points per game and led the Huskers with 54 3-pointers.

The influence of Taylor and Gill was worth far more than the numbers they produced, as both players' leadership in the locker room was vital.

“Those two kind of became the voice of our team, our voice of reason,'' Miles said. “It's like, ‘We've been other places. This is what a program looks like. Let's get this right, we've got the talent, let's go forward.'

“Those two have been critical pieces,” Miles said.

Glynn Watson Jr. was the other returning starter, and the junior from Bellwood, Ill., was one of the Huskers leaders in 2017-18. He was third on the team in scoring at 10.5 points per game while pacing the Huskers in both assists (3.2 apg) and steals (1.4 spg). Watson had four 20-point games, including a season-high 29 points and a career-high nine rebounds in a win over No. 14 Minnesota.

While Watson was one of the proven scorers, the development of Isaiah Roby down the stretch really helped the Huskers make strides in the Big Ten. Roby, who moved into the starting lineup midway through the season, led NU in both rebounding (6.3 rpg) and blocked shots (2.0 bpg) while averaging 8.7 points per game on 57 percent shooting. Roby finished the year with eight straight double-figure performances, including three consecutive double-doubles in Big Ten play.

Nebraska relied on a rotation which included senior Duby Okeke, who ranked among the Big Ten leaders with 1.0 block per game, sophomore Jordy Tshimanga (4.0 ppg, 4.6 rpg) and freshman Thomas Allen (3.2 ppg).

NUMBERS TO KNOW
.297/.425 - Nebraska's 3-point percentage defense in Big Ten play in 2017-18, which led the conference compared to last year, which ranked 14th in the same category.

1.23 - Nebraska's 1.23-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio finished as the eighth-best ratio in school history, and the highest since the 2001-02 campaign. Here are the top-10 seasons dating back to the 1978-79 campaign. 

No.

Year

Asst.-to-TO ratio

1.

1984-85

1.81

2.

1985-86

1.64

3.

1983-84

1.34

4.

1981-82

1.29

5.

1979-80

1.28

6.

2001-02

1.25

7.

1982-83

1.25

8.

2017-18

1.23

9.

1993-94

1.22

10.

1989-90

1.21

2 - Number of opponents who shot over 50 percent against Nebraska during the 2017-18 season (UCF and Long Beach State). 

4 - Isaiah Roby became just the fourth player in school history to record 50 blocks and 50 assists in a season and the first since Aleks Maric in 2007-08. 

Player (Year)

Assists

Blocks

Rich King (1990-91)

90

68

Venson Hamilton (1998-99)

54

80

Venson Hamilton (1997-98)

58

66

Aleks Maric (2007-08)

64

57

Isaiah Roby (2017-18)

53

63


11.1 - Turnovers per game for Nebraska, which ranked 27th nationally. The Huskers finished the season with 10 or fewer turnovers in six of its final eight games, including a season-low five at Mississippi State.15 - Nebraska went 9-1 when recording 15 or more assists in a game. The only loss was a Dec. 9 loss at Creighton. 

16 - Nebraska's number of home wins which fell one shy of the school record for most home wins in a season. Nebraska went a perfect 9-0 in conference play, marking the Huskers' first unbeaten home conference mark since 1965-66.

20 - Margin of victory over NCAA runner-up Michigan, Nebraska's largest over a ranked team since a 28-point win over No. 25 Texas Tech on Feb. 24, 2004.

70 - Nebraska is 16-2 when scoring 70 or more points and 6-9 when held to under 70 points. Nebraska's only two losses when scoring 70+ points was a one-point loss to Kansas and a two-point OT loss at Penn State. 

104 - Nebraska's point total against UTSA on Dec. 20, its highest since scoring 107 against North Carolina A&T on Dec. 19, 2005. NU is now 36-4 all-time when scoring 100 or more points.

232 - Nebraska's 3-pointers this season which ranks third on the Huskers' single-season list and is NU's highest total in 11 years.

568 - James Palmer Jr. finished in eighth place on Nebraska's top-10 scoring list with 568 points. It marks the fourth time in the last five years that a Husker has scored at least 550 points in a season. 

15,805 - Nebraska's average attendance for its nine Big Ten games. The mark was the Huskers' highest attendance in school history.

NEBRASKA'S POSTSEASON HISTORY
The 2018 NIT marked Nebraska’s 25th postseason appearance in school history (seven NCAAs, 18 NITs) and first NIT appearance since the 2010-11 campaign.

  • Nebraska is 23-17 in 18 NIT appearances, winning the 1996 championship in Madison Square Garden. NU also reached Madison Square Garden in 1983 (semifinals) and 1987 (3rd place).
  • Tim Miles made his second appearance in the NIT, as he also reached the NIT at Colorado State in the 2010-11 campaign. 

PALMER EARNS ALL-DISTRICT HONORS
 Nebraska guard James Palmer Jr. earned a pair of all-district honors, as he was chosen by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) as a first-team all-district pick.

Palmer is the third Husker under Head Coach Tim Miles to earn recognition, joining Terran Petteway (2014) and Tai Webster (2017). Palmer helped the Huskers to 22 wins – the second-highest total in school history – and a school-record 13 conference wins.  Palmer finished his junior campaign ranked fifth in the Big Ten in scoring at 17.2 points per game, while also adding 4.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.0 steals per game. The 6-foot-6 junior guard from Upper Marlboro, Md., reached double figures in 31 of 33 games in 2017-18, including eight 20-point efforts. Palmer scored a career-high 34 points against No. 13 Ohio State and had 28 points at Wisconsin and against Iowa.

PALMER LEADS B1G HONOREES
A pair of Husker basketball players were honored, as the Big Ten Conference announced the All-Big Ten Team on Feb. 26.  James Palmer Jr. and Isaac Copeland were recognized for their roles in helping the Huskers to a fourth-place finish in the Big Ten.

Palmer garnered first-team All-Big Ten honors from the Big Ten Coaches, while earning second-team accolades from the Media. Palmer, a 6-foot-6 guard from Upper Marlboro, Md., became the second Husker to earn first-team accolades and the first since Terran Petteway in 2014. Palmer finished Big Ten play averaging 18.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game, ranking third in scoring and 11th in assists. He reached double figures in 17 of 18 contests, highlighted by a 34-point effort at No. 13 Ohio State. It was one of six 20-point efforts in Big Ten play, as his conference scoring average was the most by a Husker since Aleks Maric averaged 19.3 ppg in 2006-07.

Copeland received honorable-mention honors from both the coaches and media in his first season at Nebraska. He averaged 13.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game, ranking among the Big Ten leaders in 3-point percentage (.429, fifth), scoring (23rd), rebounding (17th) and blocks (14th). He closed the Big Ten season with a flourish, reaching double figures in eight of the last nine contests, including a pair of 23-point efforts. Copeland had two of his three double-doubles in conference action, including a 17-point, 12-rebound performance against Penn State to help NU win its 13th Big Ten game of the year.

In addition, senior Evan Taylor was NU’s nominee for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.  The student-athletes chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior.

FEELING 22
Nebraska enjoyed one of the most successful seasons in school history, finishing with a 22-11 record. With 22 wins, it marks just the sixth time in its 122-year history and first since the 1992-93 season that Nebraska won at least 20 games prior to the conference tournament. Only the 1990-91 team won more regular-season games than the 2017-18 team did during the regular season.

Nebraska now has 13 20-win seasons in school history, as this marks Nebraska's first since the 2007-08 campaign.  It is the first time Head Coach Tim Miles has enjoyed a 20-win season since the 2011-12 campaign at Colorado State, when his Rams went 20-12 and earned an NCAA Tournament appearance.

HUSKER BASKETBALL TURNAROUND
Nebraska's men's and women's basketball programs enjoyed significant improvement in 2017-18.

  • The 2017-18 season marked the fourth time in school history that Nebraska increased its win total by double digits and the first time since a 16-game improvement in 1990-91. The other double-digit increases came in 1919-20 (12) and 1965-66 (10).
  • The 2017-18 season marked just the fifth time in school history that both Husker programs won 20-or-more games in a season (also 1992-93, 1997-98, 1998-99 and 2007-08).
  • The 2017-18 season marks just the third time in school history that both the Husker men and women have won 10-or-more conference games. The others came in 2013-14 (Big Ten) and 1997-98 (Big 12). The Husker women went 21-11 and reached the NCAA Tournament.

ABOUT NEBRASKA

  • Nebraska's 22 wins tied for second in school history and was the most since the 1990-91 team won a school-record 26 games. The Huskers lost consecutive games just twice in 2017-18.
  • Nebraska's fourth-place finish matched its best since joining the Big Ten in 2011-12, and matched its best conference showing since a runner-up finish in the Big Eight in 1992-93.
  • NU set a school record with 13 conference wins with the win over Penn State on Feb. 25. It broke the previous mark of 12 held by the 1965-66 and 1915-16 squads. Tim Miles is the only coach in school history to have multiple teams win 11 or more conference games.
  • Nebraska went 16-1 at Pinnacle Bank Arena this season with the only loss coming in a one-point setback against then-No. 13 Kansas on Dec. 16.  NU's .941 home winning percentage is the best since the 1982-83 campaign, while the 16 home wins was one shy of the school record. The Huskers will open the 2018-19 season with an 11-game home win streak.
  • Nebraska went a perfect 9-0 at home in Big Ten play and won its two Big Ten home games against ranked teams by an average of 15.0 points per game. NU's 9-0 mark - the only unbeaten mark in the Big Ten - marked the first time the Huskers went unbeaten in conference play at home since the 1965-66 season. All of the other eight seasons with a perfect conference home record were between 1908 and 1921. 
  • Nebraska's defense has been its calling card in Big Ten action, as the Huskers finished Big Ten play second in field goal defense (.411) and first in 3-point defense (.297). Nebraska held seven opponents to under 40 percent while no team shot over 50 percent against Nebraska in Big Ten play. Overall, Nebraska allowed just two of 33 teams to shoot over 50 percent from the field.
  • The Huskers averaged 72.3 points per game in 2017-18, which was NU's highest scoring average since the 1996-97 season (72.9 ppg).
  • Nebraska relied on a pair of transfers in James Palmer Jr. (Miami) and Isaac Copeland (Georgetown), as the duo combined for more than 30 points per game. In all, 47.4 percent of the Huskers' offense this year has been by players in their first year in the program.
  • James Palmer Jr. became just the fifth Husker in the last 20 years to be a first-team all-conference selection, joining Tyronn Lue (1998), Venson Hamilton (1999), Aleks Maric (2008) and Terran Petteway (2014).      
  • Nebraska's biggest offensive strength was a balanced attack with three players averaging double figures, led by James Palmer Jr., who averaged a team-high 17.2 points per game to lead all Big Ten newcomers in scoring. Palmer's total is second only to Terran Petteway among first-year Huskers, as the top three first-year scorers have come during Tim Miles' six seasons at Nebraska.
  • Palmer's scoring average of 17.2 points per game is the highest by any Big Ten newcomer since D'Angelo Russell of Ohio State averaged 19.3 points per game in 2014-15.
  • Palmer has shown the ability to get to the foul line, as he led the Big Ten with 221 attempts in 2017-18, well ahead of Maryland's Anthony Cowan Jr. (191) and Wisconsin's Ethan Happ (191, who finished tied for second. Palmer's 221 attempts was second in school history.
  • Copeland earned honorable-mention All-Big Ten honors and played some of his best basketball down the stretch. In NU's last 11 games, he averaged 14.5 ppg on 51 percent shooting and 5.7 rebounds per game while also shooting 51 percent from 3-point range. He had reached double figures in nine of his final 11 contests.
  • Since returning to the team after missing two games in January, Jordy Tshimanga provided a spark off the bench. He averaged 4.7 points per game on 55 percent shooting and 4.0 rebounds per game in NU's final 13 games. 
  • Nebraska's 11-point deficit at Wisconsin on Jan. 29 was its largest comeback of the season (previous high was seven at Northwestern on Jan. 2) and the seventh time under Tim Miles that Nebraska has overcome a 10-point deficit. Over the past two years, NU has won three road games while overcoming a double-digit deficit, matching NU's total from the previous 20 years.
  • Palmer enjoyed one of the most prolific scoring performances in school history at No. 13 Ohio State on Jan. 22 with his 34-point effort against the Buckeyes. It marked the second-highest scoring effort in a road game in school history and the most on the road by a Husker since 2006.
  • Duby Okeke finished 13th among all active Division I players with 192 career blocked shots. Okeke had a season-high four blocked shots against Rutgers on Feb. 10.

FROM WORST TO NEARLY FIRST

Nebraska's defense made significant improvement from last season, and the biggest difference is in its 3-point defense. Last year, the Huskers were last in the Big Ten in defending the 3-pointer, as opponents shot nearly 40 percent from 3-point range, including 42.5 percent in conference play. In 2017-18, Nebraska finished second in the Big Ten, holding opponents to just 32.2 percent shooting from beyond the arc.

  • NU has improved from 345th to 31st nationally in 3-point percentage.
  • NU allowed just 597 3-point attempts, a total which was third in the Big Ten.
  • In Big Ten play, NU's defense was even better, limiting teams to a league-low 29.7 percent beyond the arc.

BUILDING BLOCK BY BLOCK
One of the biggest differences between previous seasons and 2017-18 is the Huskers' interior size and it has made a defensive impact for the Huskers.

  • Nebraska finished seventh nationally and second in the Big Ten in blocked shots per game with 5.6 per outing. It is the highest total since the 1996-97 team blocked a school-record 6.12 shots per game. 
  • Nebraska had 183 blocked shots this season, which is third on NU's single-season list and the most blocks by a Husker team in 21 seasons.  Nebraska blocked five or more shots 21 times this season, including five games with at least nine blocks. The Huskers' 14 blocked shots at Northwestern on Jan. 2 broke the school record for most in a conference game (12 vs. Colorado, 2005). 
  • Nebraska had three players - Isaiah Roby (2.0 bpg), Isaac Copeland (1.0 bpg) and Duby Okeke (1.0 bpg) - averaging at least one block per game. In the previous five season under Tim Miles, only one Husker averaged at least one block per game. 
  • Isaiah Roby's 63 blocks were the most by a Husker since Kimani Ffriend blocked 74 shots 17 seasons ago. Roby is now 10th on NU's single-season list while only Mikki Moore (67, 1994-95) blocked more shots as a sophomore than Roby.
  • Roby blocked five or more blocks three times in 2017-18, including six blocks against Eastern Illinois, the most by a Husker since the 2005-06 season. He tied NU's conference tournament record with five blocks against No. 15 Michigan on March 2. 

HUSKERS FIND BALANCE IN 2017-18
Tim Miles believed that the 2017-18 Huskers were the deepest roster he has enjoyed in his six-year tenure and that played out during the course of the year. With eight players averaging at least 10 minutes per outing, Miles relied on the Huskers' depth. While James Palmer Jr. finished fifth in the Big Ten in scoring at 17.2 ppg, he was one of three Huskers who averaged double figures while three other players are averaged at least 6.5 points per game.

  • Nebraska's adjusted offensive efficiency is 75th nationally, the highest it has been in Tim Miles' six seasons at Nebraska. The only time since Kenpom started that Nebraska had a more efficient offense was in 2004, when NU was 24th nationally.
  • Nebraska's 72.3 points per game was its highest offensive total since 1996-97.
  • Under Miles, NU had three double figure scorers three times in the last six years (2012-13,  2015-16, 2017-18).
  • Nebraska is 19-6 this season when three or more players reach double figures.
  • Nine Huskers reached double figures in scoring this season, including 20-point efforts from Isaac Copeland, James Palmer Jr., Glynn Watson Jr. and Anton Gill.

SHARING THE BALL

For Tim Miles, a main offensive focus over the summer and during the preseason was better ball movement to create better offensive opportunities. Nebraska has shared the ball better than any previous Tim Miles' coached Husker team.

  • Nebraska's assists per game is the highest by a Husker team since 2009-10, and up more than two assists per game from last season.
  • NU was solid in both assist-to-turnover ratio (1.2-to-1, seventh) and turnover margin (+1.6, fourth).
  • Nebraska averaged assists on 54.4 percent of its baskets, which is the highest rate of Tim Miles' 13-year tenure as a Division I coach. The last time a Miles-coached team assisted on 50 percent of its baskets came during the 2011-12 season at Colorado State (50.1). That team won 20 games and earned an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament.
  • Nebraska dished out 20 or more assists four times this season, including 24 assists against Delaware State on Dec. 22. During the previous five years, it has occurred only once in 161 games.
  • Nebraska is now 26-3 under Miles when dishing out at least 15 assists, including 9-1 in 2017-18.
  • Glynn Watson Jr. (3.2 apg), James Palmer Jr. (3.0 apg) and Evan Taylor (2.2 apg) averaged at least 2.0 assists per game.

PALMER EMERGES INTO ONE OF BIG TEN'S BEST
This season, James Palmer Jr. emerged as one of the Big Ten's best performers. The 6-foot-6 guard capped his first season in the Big Ten by being named a first-team all-conference honoree from the Big Ten coaches. Palmer averaged a team-high 17.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game, ranking second on the team in assists and third in steals.

  • Palmer and Isaac Copeland Jr. joined a group of former Miles players to earn all-conference honors in their first season of action under Miles, joining Andy Ogide (CSU, 2009), Terran Petteway (NU, 2014) and Andrew White III (NU, 2016).
  • Finished fifth in the Big Ten in scoring and is the only Big Ten newcomer averaging more than 13.0 points per game.
  • Was the highest scoring newcomer in the Big Ten since Ohio State's D'Angelo Russell averaged 19.3 points per game in 2014-15.
  • Finished eighth on Nebraska's single-season list with 568 points this season.
  • Led Nebraska in double-figure games (31) and 20-point games (eight), highlighted by a career-high 34-point effort at No. 13 Ohio State. In his two seasons at Miami, Palmer reached double figures six times in 72 contests.
  • Averaged 19.9 ppg, 4.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game over Nebraska's final 14 games.
  • Carried the Huskers to a win over Maryland on Feb. 13, scoring 24 of his 26 points in the second half, as he also had five assists and four rebounds. His 24 second-half points tied a school mark for most points in a half. His 24-point second half tied a school record for most points in a half, last set exactly 10 years earlier.
  • Enjoyed the best performance of his career, as he had 34 points, including 5-of-9 from 3-point range, at No. 13 Ohio State on Jan. 22. His 34-point effort was the most by a Husker in a road game since 2006.
  • Nearly turned in a double-double at Minnesota on Feb. 6, finishing with 19 points along with career highs in both assists (nine) and rebounds (eight).
  • Sparked NU to a comeback win at Wisconsin on Jan. 29, scoring 21 of his 28 points in the second half, as he also grabbed a season-high eight rebounds.
  • Had a game-high 28 points, including 11-of-14 from the foul line, and five assists in the win over Iowa on Jan. 27.
  • Garnered Big Ten Co-Player of the Week on Jan. 22, as he averaged 21.5 ppg on 56 percent shooting in wins over Illinois and No. 23 Michigan.
  • Provided the heroics in Nebraska's 64-63 win over Illinois on Jan. 15, scoring 24 points, including a game-winning 3-pointer with 0.3 seconds remaining.
  • A former top-100 recruit, Palmer played at the University of Miami for two seasons, averaging 3.4 points on the Hurricanes' Sweet 16 team in 2015-16.

COPELAND FINDS HIS GROOVE
Entering the season, junior Isaac Copeland was an X factor for the Huskers after undergoing back surgery last February. The 6-foot-9 forward averaged just 7.0 ppg in NU's first three games, but a 30-point effort against North Dakota on Nov. 19 kick-started his season.

Copeland, who earned honorable-mention All-Big Ten honors, has emerged as a vital offensive cog for the Huskers down the stretch. He ranks first or second on the team in scoring (12.9 ppg, second), rebounding (6.1 rpg, second) and blocked shots (1.0 bpg, second) in his first season as a Husker, setting personal bests in all three areas.  Copeland ranks 13th in blocked shots and 17th in rebounding.

  • Played some of his best basketball over NU's final 11 games, averaging 14.5 ppg on 51 percent shooting and 5.7 rebounds per game while also shooting 51 percent from 3-point range.
  • Reached double figures 23 times and NU is 17-6 in those games.
  • Had third double-double of the year against Penn State with 17 points and a season-high 12 rebounds while also dishing out four assists. He got Nebraska going by scoring the Huskers' first seven points as NU led wire to wire.
  • Led NU with 17 points and added five rebounds and two blocked shots at Illinois on Feb. 18, a game where he went over 1,000 career points.
  • Finished with 23 points and 11 rebounds against Iowa on Jan. 27, scoring 15 of his 23 points in the first half to help NU build a 14-point halftime lead.
  • Carried the Huskers to a win at Rutgers on Jan. 24 with a game-high 23 points on 9-of-15 shooting, seven rebounds and two blocked shots.
  • Tied for team-high honors with 21 points and eight rebounds in the overtime loss to Penn State on Jan. 12. He scored 19 of his 21 after halftime, as Nebraska rallied from a 16-point deficit.
  • Finished with 16 points at No. 13 Purdue on Jan. 6, hitting 7-of-12 shots from the field.
  • Totaled 13 points on just nine shots, eight boards and three blocked shots against Northwestern.
  • Posted his second career double-double in the loss at Creighton on Dec. 9, as he led NU with 20 points and 11 rebounds while adding two blocks and two steals.

WATSON RUNS THE POINT
Glynn Watson Jr. may be one of the most underrated guards in the Big Ten Conference. A three-year starter in the backcourt, he averages 10.5 points, 3.2 assists and 1.4 steals per game.

  • Was sixth in the Big Ten in steals per game, eighth in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.2-to-1) and 13th in assists.
  • Reached double figures 17 times this season, including four 20-point games.
  • With 1,041 career points, he became the 29th Husker to eclipse 1,000 career points and is the fourth Husker in six seasons to reach that plateau. Watson reached the 1,000-point mark on Feb. 13, hitting a pair of free throws with six seconds left to give NU a three-point lead over Maryland.
  • Became the third Husker from Winchester St. Joseph High School to reach 1,000 points at Nebraska, joining Carl Hayes (1990-92) and Clifford Scales (1988-91). All three played for legendary coach Gene Pingatore, who is in his 49th season at the school.
  • Had 10 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, four rebounds and two assists in the loss to No. 15 Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament.
  • Came off the bench on Senior Day against Penn State and had 11 points, five rebounds and three assists.
  • Helped NU overcome an 11-point deficit at Wisconsin on Jan. 29, finishing with 15 points and five assists. 
  • Made a trio of big plays in the final three minutes at Rutgers on Jan. 24, hitting two big baskets after Rutgers cut the deficit to two and took a charge with 14 seconds left to preserve NU's 60-54 win.
  • Keyed Nebraska's win at Northwestern on Jan. 2 with 19 points, six rebounds and six assists, while guiding a Husker attack that shot 59 percent after halftime against the Wildcats.
  • Was masterful in NU's 78-68 win over No. 14 Minnesota on Dec. 5, totaling a season-high 29 points and a career-best nine rebounds. He hit 9-of-17 shots from the field, went a career-best 9-of-10 from the foul line and added three steals.
  • Shined in the win over Long Beach State with a then-season best 26 points and a career-high six steals, as he helped force LBSU into 21 turnovers.
  • Has four career games with five or more steals, including a career-best six against Long Beach State on Nov. 26. Watson's six steals that game were the most by a Husker since 2012.
  • Proven to be a clutch performer, as he shot 40 percent from 3-point range, 85 percent from the foul line and had a 3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio in the last four minutes and OT last season. In his career, Watson is a career 83 percent shooter in the last four minutes, including 32-of-39 this season.
  • Is the younger brother of Demetri McCamey, a first-team All-Big Ten performer for the Fighting Illini in 2010.

GILL RETURNS BETTER THAN EVER
After a junior season where he battled a pair of knee injuries, including a ruptured right patella tendon on Christmas night, senior Anton Gill is healthy and showing the ability that made him a top-50 recruit coming out of high school. Gill is averaging 8.1 points per game, as he moved into the starting lineup in the last 13 games, helping NU to a 10-3 record in that stretch.

  • His team-high 53 3-pointers this year more than doubles his total for his first three collegiate seasons (25).
  • Reached double figures nine times this season, including a career-high 21 points in the win over UTSA on Dec. 20. In that game, he hit four 3-pointers and scored six straight points as part of a late 9-0 run after UTSA tied the score at 86.
  • Grabbed a season-high five rebounds and scored six points in the loss to No. 15 Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament.
  • Finished with nine points, including a pair of 3-pointers, in the win over Penn State.
  • Totaled eight points and a pair of assists in the win over Maryland and eight points and four rebounds at Illinois.
  • Had 12 points in the Huskers' win over Minnesota on Feb. 6.
  • Matched or topped the bench total of the opposition seven times when he was coming off the bench, including UCF, Kansas, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Penn State.
  • Had 10 points, including a game-tying 3-pointer with 13 seconds left in overtime, in the loss at Penn St. on Jan. 12.
  • Scored a then-career-high 17 points against Marist on Nov. 24, hitting 5-of-7 3-pointers against the Red Foxes and added 13 points in the win over Long Beach on Nov. 26, marking the first consecutive double-figure performances of his college career.
  • Posted his first double-figure effort of the year against North Dakota on Nov. 19, when he set then-personal bests in points (16), field goals (six), 3-pointers (four) and assists (three) in 24 minutes.
  • In all, 13 of Gill's 15 career double-figure performances have come off the bench, as he had four during his tenure at Louisville and two last year.

THE BOOK OF ISAIAH
Sophomore Isaiah Roby made the biggest jump among the Husker returnees in 2017-18 and became a significant factor with his all-around game. After averaging just 3.1 points and 2.9 rebounds as a freshman, Roby added nearly 20 pounds, and the additional strength allowed him to showcase his skill set.

  • He averaged 8.7 points on 57 percent shooting and team highs in both rebounds (6.3 rpg) and blocks (2.0 bpg). He is fourth in the Big Ten in blocks, as his 63 blocks are the most by a Husker since 2001.
  • Is one of 18 players in Division I, including just seven major conference players, to have at least 50 blocks and 50 assists this season.
  • Came into his own down the stretch, averaging 13.0 points on 63 percent shooting along with 8.8 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game over his final eight games. He reached double figures in each of his last eight contests.
  • Reached double figures 16 times after hitting double figures once in 30 contests as a freshman.
  • Led Nebraska in scoring (16), rebounds (seven) and blocked shots (five) in the loss to No. 15 Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament. His five blocked shots matched the school record for most blocked shots in a tournament game.
  • Recorded double-doubles in three straight games (10 points/11 rebounds vs. Rutgers; 11 points/10 rebounds vs. Maryland; 14 points/10 rebounds at Illinois) from Feb. 10-20. The three straight double-doubles is the longest streak since Aleks Maric had five straight in 2007-08.
  • Leads NU with four double-doubles, which is the most since Brandon Ubel had four in the 2012-13 season.
  • Enjoyed one of the best performances of his career against Minnesota on Feb. 6, finishing with a career-high 19 points, eight rebounds and five blocked shots in the win over the Golden Gophers.
  • Posted 17 points along with eight rebounds, three blocks and two steals in the win over Iowa on Jan. 27.
  • Nearly recorded a double-double in his first start of the season against Illinois on Jan. 15 with nine points, 10 rebounds, a career high four steals and two blocked shots.
  • He opened the year with the best performance of his career, an 11-point, 13-rebounds, six-block performance against Eastern Illinois, setting personal bests in all three categories. His six blocks were the most by a Husker since 2011.

TAYLOR SUPPLIES STEADINESS
Senior Evan Taylor quietly put together a solid senior year. The 6-foot-5 guard averaged 6.4 points per game while usually guarding the opponent's top scoring threat. Taylor has raised his number in nearly every category and has reached double figures seven times after having six double-figure games in his first season at NU.

The biggest improvement in Taylor's game has been his shooting, as he is at 44 percent from the field, including 16-of-36 from 3-point range. Last year, he had just six 3-pointers in 31 contests. Taylor came off the bench for 11 straight games and was productive with a 13-point game against Illinois on Jan. 15, a seven-point, seven-rebound effort vs. Indiana on Feb. 20 and seven points and six rebounds at Minnesota on Feb. 6. Taylor returned to the lineup on Senior Day and had seven points, six rebounds and three assists vs. Penn State.

Season

Avg. (Rk.)

2013-14 (1st year of PBA)

15,419 (13)

2014-15

15,569 (10)

2015-16

15,430 (11)

2016-17

15,427 (11)

2017-18

15,492 (11)

HUSKERS ARE A BIG DRAW AT PBA
Nebraska basketball has become one of the toughest tickets in the Big Ten since the program moved into Pinnacle Bank Arena, a $179 million dollar facility in downtown Lincoln, prior to the 2013-14 season.

  • Nebraska finished 11th in attendance this season, averaging 15,492 fans per game.
  • The 2017-18 campaign marked the fifth straight year the Huskers have finished in the top-15 nationally in attendance.
  • NU is one of only nine programs in the country to average 15,000 fans per game in each of the past five seasons (2014-18), a list which also includes Kentucky, Syracuse, Louisville, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas and Creighton.
  • NU has posted a 59-24 (.711) record in the building since it opened in August of 2013, including a 16-1 mark in 2017-18.
  • The 16 wins this season was one off the school record set in 1982-93 (17-1) and 2007-08 (17-3).
  • Five of the top 15 average attendances and 11 of the top 34 are by Big Ten schools, as the Big Ten led the nation in basketball attendance for the 42nd straight season in 2017-18.

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