Amir Harris and the Huskers host Southeastern Louisiana on Sunday.
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Huskers Host Lions in Sunday Matinee

By NU Athletic Communications

GAME 2: SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA
Date: Sunday, Nov. 11
Time: 3:01 p.m.
Arena: Pinnacle Bank Arena
Tickets: Sold Out

No. -/25 NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS
2018-19 Record: 1-0, 0-0 Big Ten
Head coach: Tim Miles
Record at Nebraska: 98-97 (7th year)
Career Record: 381-317 (24th year)

SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA LIONS
2018-19 Record: 0-1, 0-0 Southland
Head coach: Jay Lander
Record at Southeastern Louisiana: 59-73 (5th year)
Career Record: Same

BROADCAST INFO
Television: ESPNU
Play-by-play: Jon Meterparel Color: Brooke Weisbrod
Internet Video: ESPN app
Radio: Husker Sports Network, including 590 AM (Omaha), 1400 AM (Lincoln) and 880 AM (Lexington)
Play-by-play: Kent Pavelka Color: Jake Muhleisen

Online Radio: Available online at Huskers.com, on the Huskers App and on TuneIn Radio and the TuneIn Radio App.

PROMOTIONS: 
1) Veterans, active, and retired military personnel will receive one standing room only ticket by showing their valid military ID at the Pinnacle Bank Arena box office.

2) Schedule magnets to the first 2,500 fans

3) Sunday is the annual Toys for Tots Day, as the Marines and volunteers will be collecting donations at locations around Pinnacle Bank Arena to benefit area youth.

The Nebraska men's basketball team continues its opening week schedule on Sunday afternoon, as the Huskers take on Southeastern Louisiana. Tipoff from a sold-out Pinnacle Bank Arena is set for 3 p.m. Any game returned tickets would be available at PBA beginning 90 minutes before tipoff.

Sunday's game will be carried nationally on ESPNU with Jon Meterparel and Brooke Weisbrod on the call. The game is also available on the ESPN app on most mobile devices, including Apple TV.

Fans can follow all of the action across the state of Nebraska on the IMG Husker Sports Network with Kent Pavelka and Jake Muhleisen on the call. The game will also be available on Huskers.com, on the Huskers app, on TuneIn Radio and the TuneIn Radio app and on SiriusXM radio.

Sunday's game is the second Lincoln Regional round of the Hall of Fame Classic Powered by ShotTracker. The championship rounds will be at the Sprint Center in Kansas City on Nov. 19-20 with NU, Texas Tech, Missouri State and USC comprising the four-team field.

Sunday's game is also the annual Toys for Tots game, as fans are encouraged to bring new, unwrapped toys along with cash donations for the Marines Toys for Tots program. Volunteers will be collecting donations at locations around Pinnacle Bank Arena to benefit area youth. In addition, Veterans, active, and retired military personnel will receive one standing room only ticket by showing their valid military ID at the Pinnacle Bank Arena box office on Sunday.

The Huskers, who are ranked 25th in the USA Today coaches poll, had little trouble in their opener, routing Mississippi Valley State, 106-37, on Tuesday evening. Glynn Watson Jr. led four Huskers in double figures with a game-high 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting, while James Palmer Jr. had 15 of his 17 points in the first half, as the Huskers built a 42-point halftime lead. NU emptied the bench as all 12 players who dressed played between six and 23 minutes. Nebraska's 69-point margin was the second largest in more than a century, while the 106 points marked the most by a Husker team since 2005.

Nebraska's defense forced 19 turnovers and harassed the Delta Devils into 19 percent shooting, including 1-of-15 from 3-point range. The 37 points allowed and 13 first-half points allowed were lows in the Tim Miles era.

Southeastern Louisiana comes into the weekend with a 0-1 record, as they will take on William Carey on Friday before coming to Lincoln. The Lions, who went 22-12 and reached the NIT for the first time in school history, lost to LSU in their opener on Tuesday. Freshman Parker Edwards led SELU with 25 points - all coming in a 10-minute span of the second half.

OPENING NUMBER
18 - Nana Akenten had a career-high 18 points off the bench in just 13 minutes on Tuesday. Akenten played just 21 minutes as a freshman, totaling seven points. He had five of Nebraska's 15 3-pointers, NU's highest total since hitting 15 against Miami on Dec. 20, 2006.

NUMBERS TO KNOW
.912 - With Tuesday's win, Nebraska is now 31-3 under Tim Miles when scoring 80-or-more points.
10 - Number of times since WWII that Nebraska has returned a first-team all-conference performer. James Palmer Jr. became NU's first returning All-Big Ten player since Terran Petteway in 2014-15.
12 - Nebraska has won 12 straight at Pinnacle Bank Arena dating back to last season. With a win on Sunday, it would be the Huskers' longest win streak in the building since it opened in 2013.
13 - Rebounds for Brady Heiman in Tuesday's win over Mississppi Valley State. It was the most rebounds by a Husker freshman since Shavon Shields also had 13 boards vs. Michigan State on Feb. 16, 2013.
 106 - Nebraska's highest point total since scoring 107 against North Carolina A&T on Dec. 19, 2005. It is also NU's highest opening-game total since putting up 108 against Colgate to start the 1992-93 season.

SCOUTING SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA
Under fifth-year Head Coach Jay Lander, the Lions head into a pair of weekend games, as they will host William Carey on Friday before traveling to Lincoln. Lander's teams have improved their win total each season, culminating with a 22-12 record in 2017-18 when Southeastern Louisiana won the Southland Conference regular-season title and earned a berth to the NIT. The 22 wins were the most by the school since the 2004-05 season, and Southeastern Louisiana was picked second in the Southland Conference preseason poll.

The 2018-19 squad opened the year with a 94-63 loss at No. 23 LSU on Tuesday night. In that game, the Lions shot just 29 percent in the first half as LSU took a 48-18 lead into the locker room. Freshman Parker Edwards was the bright spot, coming off the bench with 25 points, including 6-of-8 from 3-point range, in just 10 minutes. Moses Greenwood also finished in double figures with 12 points and seven boards, while LSU limited Marlain Veal to one point in 26 minutes. Veal, who was a first-team All-Southland Conference selection, is coming off a knee injury after averaging 12.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game last season. Greenwood started 13 games last season and averaged 10.2 points and a team-high 5.6 rebounds per game while blocking a team-high 30 shots.

Series history: Nebraska won both previous meetings posting victories in 2010 and 2015. In the most recent matchup, NU posted a 92-65 win on Nov. 22, 2015. In that game, the Huskers scored the first 12 points as part of a game-opening 19-2 run. Glynn Watson Jr. led four Huskers in double figures with 14 points. The other meeting was a 77-59 Husker win on Jan. 5, 2010. The Huskers are 9-2 all-time against the current members of the Southland Conference.

LAST TIME OUT
Glynn Watson Jr. tallied 19 points to lead four Huskers in double figures, as the No. 25 (Coaches) Nebraska Cornhuskers blitzed Mississippi Valley State, 106-37, Tuesday evening in the opener for both teams.

Watson, who played just 19 minutes, was 7-of-10 from the field, including five 3-pointers, as Nebraska built a 24-5 lead in the first nine minutes and cruised to the win.
Nana Akenten came off the bench with 18 points, while James Palmer Jr. and Isaac Copeland added, 17 and 10 points, respectively. In all, 11 of the 12 players who dressed got into the scoring column, as no Husker played more than 22 minutes.

Nebraska limited MVSU to just 19 percent shooting on the evening, including 3-of-32 in the first half, and forced 19 turnovers that led to 32 Husker points.

WHAT IS BACK FOR THE BIG RED
The Huskers enter the 2018-19 season welcoming back three starters and nine letterwinners from a team that went 22-11 and finished tied for fourth in the Big Ten with a 13-5 mark. The group includes All-Big Ten performers James Palmer Jr. and Isaac Copeland and three-year starter Glynn Watson Jr., all of whom averaged double figures in 2017-18. NU also returns junior forward Isaiah Roby, who started 13 of NU’s final 14 games - all but Senior Night - and led NU in both rebounding (6.3 rpg) and blocked shots (2.0 bpg).

Nebraska returns 73.4 percent of its scoring, 61.4 percent of its rebounding, 71.5 percent of its assists and 67.2 percent of its blocked shots from last year. Last year, NU averaged 72.3 points per game, its highest average since the 1996-97 season (72.9 ppg). It is only the third time in the last 15 seasons that Nebraska returns at least 70 percent of its scoring from the previous season.

  • Nebraska's 3,432 returning points ranks 13th nationally entering the 2018-19 season. Among Big Ten programs, only Iowa, which has 4,246 returning points has more points returning than the Big Red.
  • Entering the season, Nebraska's returnees have combined for 160 career starts for the Big Red and 214 games at the Division I level. Copeland (49 starts at Georgetown) and Palmer (five starts at Miami) both cracked the starting lineups at their previous schools before coming to Nebraska.
What’s Returning (Last Four Seasons)

Category

2018-19

2017-18

2016-17

2015-16

Pct. of scoring

73.4

50.0

45.8

40.0

Pct. of rebounding

61.4

44.9

51.9

33.3

Pct. of assists

71.5 

48.9

52.6

51.1

Pct. of blocked shots

67.2

47.4

64.3

15.6

Pct. of steals

68.0

61.1

51.6

52.6

Pct. of minutes

74.5

55.4

52.4

42.4

 

PALMER RECEIVES PRESEASON HONORS
Nebraska senior guard James Palmer Jr. has been lauded as one of the top returning players in college basketball. The 6-foot-6 guard comes off a junior season where he averaged 17.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game in leading the Huskers to a 22-11 record and an NIT berth. He is on the initial watch lists for the Wooden and Naismith Awards released earlier this week.
Last year, Palmer reached double figures in 31 of 33 games in his first season at Nebraska, including eight 20-point efforts. Palmer’s junior year was highlighted by a career-high 34-point effort at Ohio State. Palmer joins Purdue's Carsen Edwards as returning first-team All-Big Ten selections by the conference coaches.

He opened the year with a 17-point, five-assist performance in the win over Mississippi Valley State. Palmer scored 15 of his 17 points in the first half and played 20 minutes in the rout.
Palmer is one of only five returning power conference players who averaged 17.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg and 3.0 apg last season. In addition, Palmer averaged 18.8 points per game in Big Ten play last year, which is the highest average in conference play since Aleks Maric averaged 18.9 ppg in 2006-07.

Returning Power Conference Players who averaged 17.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game last season

Player

School

PPG

RPG

APG

James Palmer Jr.

Nebraska

17.2

4.4

3.0

Shamorie Ponds

St. John’s

21.6

5.0

4.7

Tres Tinkle

Oregon St.

17.6

7.2

3.7

Ethan Happ

Wisconsin

17.9

8.0

3.7

Ky Bowman

Boston College

17.6

6.8

4.7

 

HUSKERS LOOK TO CONTINUE BLOCK PARTY
Nebraska looks to continue a trend from last season when the Huskers were second in the Big Ten and seventh nationally in blocked shots at 5.5 per game. It is the highest total since the 1996-97 team blocked a school-record 6.1 shots per game. The Huskers blocked eight shots against Mississippi Valley State, led by a career-high three stuffs from James Palmer Jr., and had six in the exhibition win over Wayne State.

Nebraska returns a pair of players who averaged at least one block per game last year in Isaiah Roby (2.0 bpg) and Isaac Copeland (1.0 bpg). Roby’s 63 blocked shots were the most by a Husker since 2001, while Copeland had 33 blocked shots after recording just 39 in two-plus seasons at Georgetown.

IT (DOUBLE) FIGURES
Nebraska returns three double-figure scorers (James Palmer Jr., 17.2, Isaac Copeland Jr., 12.9 and Glynn Watson Jr. 10.5) for the first time since the 1992-93 season (Eric Piatkowski, 14.3; Derrick Chandler, 12.3; Jamar Johnson, 11.2). Prior to Tuesday, that was also the last season that Nebraska scored 100 or more points in an opener. During the 1992-93 season, the Huskers won 20 games and finished tied for second in the Big Eight Conference.

In Tim Miles' first six seasons, the Huskers returned a total of six double-figure scorers. With the return of junior Isaiah Roby, Nebraska brings back its top-four scorers for the first time since the 2003-04 campaign. NU's three returning double-figure scorers out-scored MVSU, 46-37, on Tuesday.

WATSON RETURNS AS 1,000-POINT SCORER
For just the second time this decade, Nebraska returns a 1,000-point scorer to the lineup, as Glynn Watson Jr. began his senior year with 1,041 career points. It is the 10th time in program history that the Huskers had a returning 1,000-point scorer and the first since Shavon Shields in the 2015-16 campaign.

Watson is one of two Huskers with 1,000 career points, as Isaac Copeland enters his senior year with 1,053 career points between his time at Georgetown and Nebraska.

  • Watson will make his 100th career appearance and 79th career start against Southeastern Louisiana on Sunday.
  • Watson has a career 2.09-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio and has more steals (138) than turnovers (131) in his career.
  • With 19 points in Tuesday's opener, Watson moved up to 28th on Nebraska's career scoring chart. He now has 1,060 career points and is 21 shy of Cary Cochran for 27th place.
  • Watson broke a three-way tie for ninth on NU's steals list with 158 and needs 71 assists to crack the Huskers’ career top-10 list in that category.
  • Watson is one of three alumni of St. Joseph to reach 1,000 points at Nebraska, joining Carl Hayes (1,136, 1990-92) and Clifford Scales (1,136, 1988-91).
  • Watson's older brother Demetri McCamey was an All-Big Ten guard at Illinois during the 2009-10 season.

ROBY'S 50-50 CLUB
Junior forward Isaiah Roby is one of only two returning power conference players to total 50 blocks and 50 assists last season, joining Missouri’s Jontay Porter, who will miss the 2018-19 season with a torn ACL. Last year, Roby led the Huskers in blocked shots and was fourth in assists despite starting just 13 contests. He moved into the starting lineup during the second half of the season, as the Huskers won 10 of their last 12 Big Ten contests.

Roby is also one of four Huskers to ever have 50 blocks and 50 assists in a season, joining Aleks Maric, Venson Hamilton and Rich King. Roby's 63 blocked shots last season ranked 10th in school history and was the most by a Husker since Kimani Ffriend in 2000-01.

Roby played just 16 minutes in the win over Mississippi Valley State, but had six points, five rebounds and a pair of assists against the Delta Devils.

Returning Power Conference Players w/50 Assists & Blocks

Player

School

Assists

Blocks

Isaiah Roby

Nebraska

53

63

Jontay Porter

Missouri

74

55

Huskers w/50 Assists & Blocks

 

 

 

Player

Year

Assists

Blocks

Isaiah Roby

2017-18

53

63

Aleks Maric

2007-08

64

57

Venson Hamilton

1998-99

54

80

Venson Hamilton

1997-98

58

66

Rich King

1990-91

90

68

COPELAND ANCHORS FRONTCOURT
Isaac Copeland Jr. made a successful return to action following back surgery and put together a strong junior season. The 6-foot-9 forward was second on the team in scoring (12.9 ppg), rebounding (6.1 rpg) and blocked shots (1.0 bpg), setting personal bests in all three areas. In all, he reached double figures 23 times, including five 20-point performances. He turned in a solid effort in Tuesday's win with 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting and four rebounds in 23 minutes.

A top-20 recruit coming out of high school, Copeland earned honorable-mention All-Big Ten honors by averaging 13.5 points on 51 percent shooting, including 43 percent from 3-point range, and was in double figures in eight of his final nine Big Ten contests. Copeland graduated from Nebraska in May and is working on his Masters Degree.

FILLING UP PINNACLE BANK ARENA
Pinnacle Bank Arena will be full once again in 2018-19, as the NU Athletic Ticket Office announced on September 25 that general public season tickets are sold out for the upcoming season. It is the fourth time in the past six seasons that the Huskers have sold out their entire season allotment of tickets at Pinnacle Bank Arena. In all, nearly 15,000 season tickets have been sold for the 2018-19 season, including the Red Zone student section.

Since moving into PBA in 2013-14, the Huskers have ranked in the top-15 in attendance nationally all five years, and are one of only nine schools in the country to average 15,000+ fans per contest in that span.

In addition, 300-level seats are available for NU's games against Western Illinois (Nov. 24), Cal State Fullerton (Dec. 22) and Minnesota (Feb. 13). Every other remaining home game this season is sold out.

Pinnacle Bank Arena Attendance Since 2013-14

Season

Average (Rank)

2013-14 (1st year of PBA)

15,419 (13th)

2014-15

15,569 (10th)

2015-16

15,430 (11th)

2016-17

15,427 (11th)

2017-18

15,492 (11th)

PROTECTING THE VAULT
The Huskers have been strong at protecting its home court at Pinnacle Bank Arena since it opened in 2013-14.

  • NU enters Sunday's game with Southeastern Louisiana with a 12-game home winning streak, the longest among power conference schools and eighth-longest home win streak nationally.
  • With Tuesday's win over Mississippi Valley State, Nebraska tied its longest winning streak since moving into Pinnacle Bank Arena. NU won 12 straight between Jan. 20-Nov. 18, 2014.
  • NU has posted a 60-24 (.714) record in Pinnacle Bank Arena since it opened in August of 2013, including a 16-1 mark in 2017-18. Against non-conference foes, NU is 32-7 in PBA (.821). Since the start of the 2006-07 season, NU is 95-12 against non-conference foes (.888).
  • Nebraska went 16-1 at Pinnacle Bank Arena in 2017-18 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.
  • 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.

HUSKERS RECEIVE FIRST RANKING SINCE 2014
For the first time since 2014, the Nebraska men’s basketball team is nationally ranked, as the Huskers are ranked No. 25 in the preseason USA TODAY Sports coaches poll released Oct. 25.
The Huskers return three starters, including All-Big Ten selections James Palmer Jr. and Isaac Copeland Jr, and their top four scorers from a team that went 22-11 and reached the NIT last season. In 2014-15, the Huskers were ranked in the first two coaches polls and were ranked 21st on Nov. 17, 2014.

Nebraska is one of four Big Ten teams in the preseason coaches poll, joining Michigan State (10), Michigan (18) and Purdue (22). In addition, the Huskers’ ACC/Big Ten Challenge opponent is also ranked as Clemson enters the poll at No. 23. The Huskers were receiving votes in the AP poll released earlier this month.

GATES JOINS HUSKER STAFF
The only new face on the Husker bench is a familiar one to Big Ten fans, as Armon Gates joined the Husker coaching staff this past May. Gates, a native of Chicago, returns to the Big Ten after recently serving as associate head coach at the University of Florida under Mike White. Gates has coached and developed all-conference performers at three schools during his coaching career.
For the past five seasons (2013-18), Gates was at Northwestern under Chris Collins, helping the Wildcats to a pair of 20-win seasons, including the program’s first NCAA Tournament appearance in 2017. He also helped bring a top-30 recruiting class to Northwestern in 2014, while the 2018 class is listed as high as 24th nationally by 247Sports.

THORBJARNARSON REPRESENTS ICELAND AT EUROPEAN U-20 CHAMPIONSHIPS
Husker sophomore Thorir Thorbjarnarson spent part of the summer representing his native Iceland for the U-20 National Team. At the FIBA U-20 European Championships, he averaged 9.4 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.6 steals per game, ranking second on the team in scoring and first in assists. He closed tournament action with three straight double figure efforts and averaged 18.5 points on 67 percent shooting, including 55 percent from 3-point range, in Iceland’s final two contests. Thorbjarnarson was solid in NU's opener, tallying career highs in both points (nine) and rebounds (four) vs. MSVU.

National Team Members under Miles

Player

Country

Thorir Thorbjarnarson

Iceland

Jack McVeigh

Australia

Shavon Shields

Denmark

Tai Webster

New Zealand

Leslee Smith

British Virgin Islands

 

CHASING WIN #100
Nebraska Coach Tim Miles is poised to become just the fourth Husker coach to win 100-or-more games at Nebraska in the coming weeks. Miles enters his seventh season needing only 10 wins to pass both Doc Sadler and Moe Iba for third place on NU’s career wins chart.

No.

Coach

Years

Wins

1.

Danny Nee

1987-2000

254

2.

Joe Cipriano

1964-80

253

3.

Moe Iba

1981-86

106

4.

Doc Sadler

2007-12

101

5.

Tim Miles

2013-Present

98

 

DEFENSIVE IMPROVEMENTS
Nebraska’s biggest improvements came on the defensive end in 2017-18, going from 13th to 6th in the Big Ten in field goal percentage defense and from 14th to 2nd in 3-point percentage defense. NU ranked in the top-75 nationally in both field goal defense (74th) and 3-point percentage defense (32nd) last season.

The defense has been stout in the early going of 2018-19, as Nebraska held Wayne State (exhibition) and Mississippi Valley State to a combined 21.3 percent shooting, including just 6-of-37 from 3-point range. NU allowed just 37 points in its opener, the sixth-lowest total allowed in school history.

Defensive Improvement

 

2016-17 Season

 

2017-18 Season

 

Category

Overall (Rk.)

B1G (Rk.)

Overall (Rk.)

B1G (Rk.)

PPG Allowed

73.0 (12)

76.4 (12)

68.6 (10)

66.5 (5)

FG Pct. Def.

.447 (13)

.459 (13)

.423 (6)

.411 (2)

3-Pt. Pct. Def.

.399 (14)

.425 (14)

.322 (2)

.279 (1)

 

ALLEN MAKES IMPACT FOR LINCOLN KIDS
Sophomore guard Thomas Allen coordinated a back-to-school drive for the kids of Everett Elementary School in Lincoln. Allen spearheaded the efforts, using traditional and social media to get the word out on the event, which took place on Aug. 4. In all, more than five vans of materials were donated that day with other Husker teams and university staffers making contributions for the event.

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