Glynn Watson Jr. and the Huskers take on Illinois on Saturday afternoon.
Photo by Allyssa Hynes/Nebraska Communications

Huskers Look for Sweep of Illini

By NU Athletic Communications
GAME 22: AT ILLINOIS
Date: Sat., Feb. 2
Time: 1:15 p.m. 
Location: Champaign, Ill.
Arena: State Farm Arena
NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS
2018-19 Record: 13-8, 3-7 Big Ten
Head coach: Tim Miles
Record at Nebraska: 110-105 (7th year)
Career Record: 393-325 (24th year)
ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI
2018-19 Record: 6-15, 2-8 Big Ten
Head coach: Brad Underwood
Record at Illinois: 20-33 (2nd year)
Career Record: 129-60 (6th year)
BROADCAST INFO
Television: BTN
  Play-by-play: Brandon Gaudin    
  Analysis: Shon Morris
Internet: FOX Sports App and BTN2Go
Radio: Husker Sports Network, including 590 AM
(Omaha), 1400 AM (Lincoln) and 880 AM (Lexington)
  Play-by-play: Kent Pavelka
  Analysis:  Jake Muhleisen
Online Radio: Available online at Huskers.com, on the Huskers App and on TuneIn Radio and the TuneIn Radio App.
Satellite Radio: Sirius: 133 (Ill. feed)  XM: 386   Internet: 977
The Husker men's basketball team hits the road Saturday afternoon, as they travel to Champaign, Ill. to take on the Illinois Fighting Illini. 
Tipoff at the State Farm Center is set for 1:15 p.m. and Saturday's game will be televised nationally on BTN with Brandon Gaudin and Shon Morris on the call. The matchup will also be available on the Fox Sports App and BTN2Go with cable authentication.
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 both Sirius and XM Radio. The pregame show begins one hour prior to tipoff on many of the Husker Sports Network affiliates (affiliate list on page 7 of the game notes).
The Huskers (13-8, 3-7 Big Ten) look to return to their winning ways after dropping four straight, including a 62-51 loss to No. 24 Wisconsin on Tuesday night. Despite shooting a season-low 28 percent, the Huskers were still in position to win down the strech after overcoming a 14-point first-half deficit. NU led 40-37 after a Thomas Allen 3-pointer with 12 minutes left, but the Badgers went on an 18-4 run to seal the win. 
One bright spot for the Huskers was the performance of junior Isaiah Roby, who nearly posted a double-double with 18 points and nine rebounds, along with three assists and two blocked shots. Roby has played solid basketball over the last month, averaging 12.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game in that stretch, and will be counted on following the season-ending injury to Isaac Copeland Jr.
The Huskers head to Illinois looking to complete a season sweep after winning 75-60 in the Big Ten opener on Dec. 2.
Illinois (6-15, 2-8 Big Ten) looks to bounce back from an 86-75 loss at Minnesota on Wednesday evening. The Illini received a strong performance from Trent Frazier in a losing effort, as he scored a game-high 30 points on
10-of-14 shooting, including 5-of-9 from 3-point range, to lead three Fighting Illini players in double figures.
Frazier leads a young Illinois squad at 14.8 points per game, while freshmen Ayo Dosunmu (13.8 ppg) and Giorgi Bezhanishvili (11.1 ppg) both average double figures.
OPENING NUMBER
10 - Thorir Thorbjarnarson's 10 rebounds was not only a career high, but nearly doubled his season total of 13 entering the Wisconsin game. He is the fourth Husker to record at least 10 caroms in a game this season.
NUMBERS TO KNOW
2 - Number of Big Ten teams which average at least eight steals per game (Nebraska - 8.1; Illinois - 8.0).
+3.9 - Nebraska leads the Big Ten in turnover margin, but will be tested by an Illinois defense which forced a conference-high 17.1 turnovers per game. 
30 - Points that James Palmer Jr. needs to reach 1,000 points at Nebraska. Palmer has two 30-point games in his career (at OSU, 2018; Creighton, 2018). 
1.34 - Nebraska's assist-to-turnover ratio, which is on pace to be one of the best marks in school history and ranks 38th nationally. 

No.

Year

Asst.-to-TO ratio

1.

1984-85

1.81

2.

1985-86

1.64

-

2018-19

1.34

3.

1983-84

1.34

 

16 - Number of 20-point games for Husker players in 2018-19. James Palmer Jr. has 10 while Isaac Copeland Jr. (three), Isaiah Roby (two) and Glynn Watson Jr. (one) also enjoyed 20-point games this season.

SCOUTING ILLINOIS
Brad Underwood is in his second year at Illinois after previous coaching stops at Oklahoma State and Stephen F. Austin.  Last year, the Illini went 14-18 and 4-14 in Big Ten play. Underwood guided Oklahoma State to a 20-13 record and a berth in the 2017 NCAA Tournament in his only season in Stillwater. Prior to that, he led Stephen F. Austin to three straight Southland Conference titles and three straight NCAA Tournament appearances. Longtime Husker fans may remember him from his stint as an assistant for six seasons at Kansas State under Bob Huggins and Frank Martin. 
The Fighting Illini have faced one of the most difficult schedules in the country, ranking third nationally (Nebraska is 13th) according to KenPom as of Jan. 30. The Illini started 2-7 on the season and lost its first five Big Ten games before defeating Minnesota on Jan. 16. Illinois is 2-3 in the last five games, highlighted by a 78-67 win over Maryland at Madison Square Garden last Saturday. 
Sophomore Trent Frazier leads the Illini at 14.8 points per game, including 40 percent from 3-point range. Freshman Ayo Dosunmu is second on the team in scoring (13.8 ppg) while topping the Illini in assists. He is one of three newcomers among Illinois' top five scorers. Giorgi Bezhanishvili is averaging 11.1 points per game on 52 percent shooting while leading Illinois with 4.9 rebounds per game. Illinois forces 17 turnovers per game with its gambling defense, but allows opponents to shoot 47 percent.
SERIES HISTORY
Illinois leads the all-time series, 14-8, over Nebraska in a series that dates back to 1921. Nebraska is 6-7 against Illinois since joining the Big Ten, and is looking for its first-ever season sweep of the Fighting Illini. NU has won once in the State Farm Center, a 78-67 win in 2016. NU's other win in Champaign came in the first meeting of the teams back in 1921.  Prior to Nebraska joining the conference in 2011-12, the Huskers and Illini had played only once since 1976 - a 100-73 Husker victory in the 1990 San Juan Shootout.
LAST MEETING VS. ILLINOIS
James Palmer Jr. had a game-high 23 points to lead three Huskers in double figures, as Nebraska opened Big Ten play with a 75-60 win over Illinois in the Big Ten Conference opener for both teams on Dec. 2.
Isaac Copeland Jr. joined Palmer in double figures with 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting and added five rebounds, while Glynn Watson Jr. added 14 points and three assists.
Nebraska, which jumped out to a 13-2 lead and built a 16-point halftime cushion, saw the lead whittled to 45-36 after an Ayo Dosumnu 3-pointer with 15:07 left, but would get no closer, as Nana Akenten's jumper and two Palmer free throws stretched the lead back to 13. 
Illinois, which cut the deficit to nine on three occasions in the second half, was within 63-53 before Nebraska took control with a 7-0 run, capped by a Copeland 3-pointer and an Isaiah Roby dunk to make it 70-53 with 3:36 remaining.
LAST TIME OUT
The Huskers erased a 14-point deficit and led No. 24 Wisconsin in the second half, but Nebraska could not overcome a cold shooting night in a 62-51 loss to the Badgers Tuesday night at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
The Huskers made only 17 field goals and shot just 28.3 percent, both of which were season lows. The missed shots did lead to a season-high 18 offensive rebounds for the Big Red, but Nebraska was able to turn those into only seven points.
Isaiah Roby led the Huskers with a game-high 18 points – including 12 in the second half - and narrowly missed a double-double by grabbing nine rebounds. James Palmer Jr. added 14 points for the Huskers, while Thomas Allen scored 10 points, matching his career high for a Big Ten Conference game. Off the bench, Thorir Thorbjarnarson scored three points and grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds after entering the contest with 13 career rebounds. Nebraska enjoyed a plus-eight advantage overall on the glass.
Brad Davison led the Badgers with 14 points, including 11 in the second half. Ethan Happ and Nate Reuvers each added 10 points for Wisconsin.
COPELAND OUT WITH KNEE INJURY
University of Nebraska men’s basketball coach Tim Miles announced Jan. 26 that senior forward Isaac Copeland Jr. suffered a torn left anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during the opening minute of the second half of Saturday’s game against Ohio State.  The injury was revealed during MRI testing following the game.
Copeland, an All-Big Ten selection in 2017-18, had started Nebraska’s first 20 games this season, averaging 14.0 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-9 forward from Raleigh, N.C., is second on the Husker team in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots (0.9 bpg). He has started all 53 games since arriving at Nebraska two seasons ago and including his two-plus years at Georgetown, has totaled over 1,300 points and 600 rebounds. 
“I am broken hearted for Isaac,” Nebraska Coach Tim Miles said. “He is a young man who had every option available to him last spring, but wanted to come back and help lead the Huskers back to the NCAA Tournament and beyond. He has meant so much to our program and has been a valued leader in the Husker basketball family since arriving on campus two years ago. In typical Isaac fashion, he was the most vocal player in the huddle even after his injury, encouraging his teammates and showing leadership even though he was unable to play.”
WORTH NOTING
  • Husker coach Tim Miles will be looking for his 50th conference win at Nebraska on Tuesday. Only three Husker coaches (Joe Cipriano, Danny Nee and Moe Iba) won 50 conference games at the school.
  • Three of the Huskers' primary eight rotation players are from the state of Illinois in Glynn Watson Jr. (Bellwood), Isaiah Roby (Dixon) and Nana Akenten (Bolingbrook). In addition, all three Husker assistants (Armon Gates, Jim Molinari and Michael Lewis) have coached in the state previously. Illinois assistant Ron "Chin" Coleman was on Miles' Colorado State staff and came with him to Nebraska as Director of Player Development. 
  • Six of Nebraska's eight losses have been to teams who have been ranked in the top-15 at some point in the season (Texas Tech, Maryland, Iowa, Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin). In six of Nebraska's eight losses (all but Texas Tech and Wisconsin), it has been a two possession or less game within the final 2:30.
  • According to KenPom, Nebraska's strength of schedule is 13th nationally, as seven of the top 20 toughest schedules are by Big Ten teams.
  • Glynn Watson Jr. needs one steal to move into a tie for fifth on NU's career list (Ryan Anderson, 166). Watson will make his 99th career start on Saturday, which will tie him for seventh in school history (Sek Henry and Aleks Maric). He is two starts shy of becoming the seventh player in school history with 100 starts. 
  • Glynn Watson Jr. is one of six players currently on NU's top-10 list in both assists and steals, joining Brian Carr (1984-87), Cookie Belcher (1997-2001), Tyronn Lue (1996-98), Erick Strickland (1993-96) and Clifford Scales (1998-91). 
  • James Palmer Jr. has 10 20-point games this season, bettering his career total in 105 games entering this year. That total ranks among the highest 20-point games in a season under Tim Miles. 
  • Palmer is also racing toward becoming the 30th 1,000-point scorer in Nebraska basketball history. He has 970 points in his Husker career and is looking to join Dave Hoppen and Terran Petteway in reaching 1,000 points at Nebraska in two seasons or less. Petteway reached 1,000 points at NU in his 55th game, while Hoppen topped the plateau in his 58th contest. Saturday is Palmer's 55th game at Nebraska, as he has started a team-high 54 straight games since arriving on campus. 
  • The Big Ten is well represented in the latest NET released on Jan. 30, as seven teams are ranked in the top 30 (Michigan-4; Michigan State-6; Purdue-11; Wisconsin-12; Maryland-22; Iowa-30 and Nebraska-29).
  • As of the Jan. 30 NET, Nebraska has played 13 of its 20 Division I games against teams in the top two quadrants. Currently, every Big Ten team is in the top-125 of the NET.
  • The Huskers are averaging 75.1 points per game, which is fourth in the Big Ten and NU's highest scoring average after 21 games since the 1995-96 season (84.9 ppg). During the previous six seasons under Head Coach Tim Miles, NU's highest average after 21 games was 74.1 ppg in 2015-16.
  • Balance has been key for the Husker attack this season. When NU has at least three double-figure scorers, the Huskers are 12-5, but just 1-3 when less than three NU players are in double figures.
  • Nebraska's offense ranks in the top-40 nationally in a trio of categories, including turnovers per game (10.3, 11th), turnover margin (+3.9, 16th) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.33, 38nd).
  • NU has committed 10 or fewer turnovers in 11 of the last 15 contests dating back to Nov. 24, and Nebraska's average of 10.4 turnovers per game is on pace to be a school record. Four of the five lowest turnover per game totals have come under Tim Miles.  
  • Nebraska is one of seven teams in Division I ranked in the top 25 nationally in field goal defense, 3-point defense and scoring defense through Jan. 30, a list which also includes Virginia, Texas Tech, Houston, Georgia Tech, VCU and Texas State.
  • After opening the month with a pair of sub-par defensive efforts, the Huskers have been effective on that end of the court in the last six games. Since the loss to Iowa, NU is holding teams to 41 percent shooting, including 21 percent from 3-point range over the last six contests. That includes games against the top three shooting Big Ten teams.
  • Nebraska ranks ninth nationally in average attendance at 15,620 per game as of Jan. 30. Of the eight schools ahead of the Huskers, all eight play in facilities of at least 16,300 seats. NU's attendance is 104 percent of PBA's 15,000-seat capacity. 
  • The Huskers finished non-conference action with a 10-1 mark, including wins over Seton Hall, Clemson, Creighton and Oklahoma State. It marked just the fourth time since World War II that the Huskers finished non-conference play with one loss (10-1, 2003-04; 12-1, 1991-92; and 11-1, 1977-78). 
HUSKER OFFENSIVE NOTES
Nebraska comes into the Illinois game averaging 75.1 points per game after averaging 72.3 points per game last year.  NU has scored at least 70 points 14 times, including seven games of at least 80 points.
  • Nebraska is 25th nationally in offensive efficiency according to KenPom through Jan. 30. In the KenPom era, only the 2003-04 team (25th) ranked in the top-50 nationally in offensive efficiency.
  • Nebraska's 75.1 points per game would be NU's highest scoring average since the 1995-96 team averaged 80.2 points per game.
  • The Huskers are fourth in all games and seventh in conference play (68.9 ppg) in scoring offense. 
  • The Huskers are looking to break out of an offensive slump, as NU has averaged just 62.0 points per game on 37 percent shooting over the last five contests.
  • The Huskers scored 106 points in the opener against Mississippi Valley State, the Huskers' highest total since the 2005-06 campaign. 
  • Nebraska opened the season with four straight games scoring at least 80 points, marking the first time NU has accomplished that since the 1996 NIT.
  • Nebraska scored 94 points in the win over Creighton, its third-highest total in 52 meetings in the series.
  • The solid offensive effort is not surprising based on what the Huskers brought back from last year's team that went 22-11, as Nebraska brought back its top four scorers for the first time in 15 years, including three players who averaged double figures. 
  • Nebraska returned 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). 
  • Nebraska returned 73 percent of its scoring and 72 percent of its assists from last season. It marked the third time in the last 15 seasons that Nebraska returns at least 70 percent of its scoring from the previous year.
DOING IT WITH DEFENSE
For Nebraska, the biggest thing over the last two seasons - a stretch where the Huskers are 34-19 - has been improvements on the defensive end. 
Last season, NU went from 13th to sixth in the Big Ten in field goal percentage defense and from 14th to second in 3-point percentage defense.  That has continued during the 2018-19 season at the halfway point of the season.
  • NU ranks in the top-25 nationally in scoring defense (62.5 ppg, 14th), field goal defense (.392, 17th) and 3-point defense (.294, 21th) as of Jan. 30. The Huskers also lead the Big Ten in steals (8.3 spg) and are fifth in blocked shots (4.3 bpg).
  • Only one opponent has shot over 50 percent against Nebraska in the last 46 games dating back to last season. In 2018-19, NU has held 20 of its 21 opponents under 50 percent shooting, as only Minnesota has shot over 50 percent.
  • NU limited 10 opponents to under 0.85 points per possession. Mississippi Valley State and Southeastern Louisiana were held to 0.47 points per possession, the lowest number in Tim Miles' seven years at NU. On the season, the Huskers are 39th in Kenpom's adjusted defense through Jan. 27.
  • The Huskers have held six opponents to their lowest offensive total of the season.
  • In the loss to No. 6 Michigan State on Jan. 17, the Huskers held the Spartans to their second-lowest point total (70) and field goal percentage (.436) of the season at the time. 
  • Under Miles, the Huskers are 50-5 (.909) when holding opponents under 60 points, including 16-0 the past three seasons.
  • Under Miles, the Huskers are 58-17 (.773) when holding opponents under 40 percent shooting, including 21-3 (.875) the past three seasons. 
Charting Defensive Improvement

 

2016-17 Season

2017-18 Season

2018-19 Season

Category

Overall (Conf. Rk.)

Overall (Conf. Rk.)

Overall (Conf. Rk.)

PPG Allowed

73.0 (12)

68.6 (10)

62.5 (3)

FG Pct. Def.

.447 (13)

.423 (6)

.392 (3)

3-Pt. Pct. Def.

.399 (14)

.322 (2)

.294 (2)

NEW GAME, SAME NUMBER FOR PALMER
While senior guard James Palmer Jr. switched from No. 24 to No. 0 in the offseason, the All-American candidate continues to produce at a high level. Earlier this month, he was named to the midseason watch list for both the Wooden and Lute Olson awards. This season, the 6-foot-6 guard is averaging 19.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.3 steals per game entering the matchup with Illinois.
  • He is among the Big Ten leaders in scoring (second), steals (ninth), free throw percentage (.796, ninth), 3-pointers per game (2.0, 13th) and assists (3.2, 15th).
  • Palmer is challenging to be the first Husker to average 20.0 ppg since Tyronn Lue averaged 21.2 ppg in 1997-98. Only six Husker players have ever averaged 20.0 ppg in a season.
  • Palmer has shown the ability to get to the free throw line, as he ranks in the top-20 nationally in both free throws (121, 15th) and attempts (152, 16th), while shooting a career best 79.6 percent from the foul line. Entering this year, Palmer was a career 72 percent shooter.
  • His Husker career scoring average of 18.0 points per game is eighth among all power conference players spanning the last two seasons. The Big Ten features three of the top eight with Purdue's Carsen Edwards and Wisconsin's Ethan Happ. 
  • He is on pace to post one of the highest scoring averages in Nebraska history. Only two other players - Terran Petteway and Dave Hoppen - have averaged 18.0 ppg as a Husker during their career.
  • Palmer has reached double figures in 51 of 54 career games at Nebraska, including 18 20-point efforts and a pair of 30-point performances. 
  • Palmer had 24 points, including 11-of-11 from the foul line, and a team-high eight caroms against No. 6 Michigan State.
  • He put together one of his best all-around games at No. 25 Indiana with 11 points along with a career-high nine rebounds and season-high seven assists.
  • Palmer led NU with 26 points at Maryland while adding seven rebounds, four assists and a career-high five steals. 
  • Palmer shouldered the scoring load in the win over Oklahoma State with a game-high 29 points, including 14-of-15 shooting from the foul line. 
  • Palmer enjoyed one of the best performances of his career with a 30-point game against Creighton. The effort included a career-high six 3-pointers. 
  • He turned in a strong performance in the Huskers' win at Clemson, scoring 14 of his 20 points in the second half and also snaring a career-high nine rebounds. 
  • Finished with 29 points against Seton Hall, the third-highest scoring night in his career, as he scored 18 of his points in the second half. 
Last season, Palmer 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.  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. 
  • 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. It is also the most by a returning Big Ten player since Tim Frazier in 2012-13.
WATSON KEYS HUSKER ATTACK
Senior Glynn Watson Jr. is in his fourth year as Nebraska's starting guard and is putting together his best season as a Husker. He comes into the Illinois game averaging 13.0 points per game on 44 percent shooting, including 39 percent from 3-point range. He is also averaging career bests in assists (3.5 apg) and rebounds (4.1 rpg).
  • Watson has been in double figures 16 times this season, including his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 assists in the win over Cal State Fullerton.
  • His on-ball defense has been instrumental in Nebraska ranking among the national leaders in field goal and scoring defense.
  • He put together an 18-point performance against Ohio State, which included a season-best 7-of-7 performance from the foul line.
  • Watson had 14 points, four assists and five rebounds in the loss to Rutgers.
  • He turned in a strong effort at No. 25 Indiana, scoring 12 of his 15 points in the second half, while adding five rebounds and two steals.
  • Watson led NU to a win over Penn State with 19 points and three assists. He scored eight straight Husker points late in the second half to extend a one-point lead. 
  • He guided the Husker attack in the win over Creighton with 13 points, five assists and a season-high three steals, while holding Creighton's Ty-Shon Alexander to just 2-of-10 shooting.
  • Watson led NU with a season-high 20 points and a career-high nine boards against Western Illinois.
  • He showed his playmaking ability by dishing out eight assists and totaling 14 points in the win over Seton Hall. 
  • His older brother Demetri McCamey was an All-Big Ten guard at Illinois during the 2009-10 season.
  • 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). All three played for legendary high school coach Gene Pingatore, who is in his 50th year as coach at St. Joseph and has won over 1,000 games at the school. 
COPELAND'S STRONG SENIOR CAMPAIGN DERAILED BY INJURY
Senior forward Isaac Copeland Jr. was putting together a strong senior year before suffering a torn left ACL on Jan. 26 against Ohio State. Copeland will have surgery in the near future.
After earning honorable-mention All-Big Ten honors as a junior, Copeland raised many of his numbers in 2018-19, averaging 14.0 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.1 steals and 0.9 blocks per contest. 
  • Copeland reached double figures 16 times this season, including a trio of 20-point efforts (vs. Missouri State, vs. Texas Tech and at Iowa).
  • He had 11 career 20-point games (7 at Nebraska, 4 at Georgetown), including a pair of 30-point games. Copeland had 30 points on 12-of-14 shooting against North Dakota last year and a career-high 32-point night against Marquette during his sophomore year at Georgetown. 
  • Copeland averaged 17.0 points and 6.3 rebounds in NU's first three games against ranked opponents this season. 
  • He led NU with a season-high 24-point effort at No. 25 Iowa while adding six rebounds and two steals.
  • He earned a spot on the Hall of Fame Classic All-Tournament Team, averaging 21.5 points per game on 61 percent shooting, 7.5 blocks and 3.0 assists per game. He was in double figures in both contests, including 23 points against Missouri State and 20 points and eight boards against Texas Tech.
  • Copeland collected his fifth career double-double in Nebraska's win over Seton Hall with 18 points and 10 rebounds. He had one during his redshirt year at Georgetown (2016-17) and three in 2017-18. 
  • Copeland earned his undergraduate degree in sociology last May and is working on his Master's Degree. He comes from a basketball family, as his father (Ike) played collegiately at East Carolina. As a senior, he helped East Carolina make the NCAA Tournament.
ROBY FILLS STAT SHEET
Isaiah Roby compliments the Husker attack with a unique skill set. The 6-foot-8 junior averages 10.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.6 blocks and 1.4 steals per game.  He leads the Huskers in blocked shots and rebounding and is the only Big Ten player ranked in the top 10 in the conference in both blocked shots and steals as of Jan. 30.
  • He is one of only six players nationally and three in power conferences averaging 1.4 blocks and 1.4 steals per game as of Jan. 30. Only three Big Ten players have accomplished the feat over the last 25 seasons.
  • Roby has played some of his best basketball since conference play began in December, averaging 12.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game over his last 12 contests dating back to Dec. 5.
  • Roby put together a strong effort against No. 24 Wisconsin on Tuesday with 18 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots. 
  • He put together his best performance of the year in the Huskers' win over Penn State, totaling 22 points on 8-of-9 shooting, along with season bests in rebounds (11) and blocked shots (four).
  • He enjoyed a solid performance against Iowa, finishing with 17 points on 8-of-10 shooting and a season-high nine rebounds despite foul trouble.
  • He scored a then-career-high 20 points against Cal State Fullerton while also topping the Huskers with eight rebounds and two blocked shots. 
  • Roby put together a complete game in the win over Creighton, with 15 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
  • His dunk against Seton Hall on Nov. 14 marked the fourth time he's had a top-10 play on SportsCenter at NU, including highlight dunks vs. Rutgers (2018) and at Indiana (2016). 
  • 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. Roby is also one of four Huskers to have 50 blocks and 50 assists in a season, joining Aleks Maric, Venson Hamilton and Rich King. 
ALLEN ANSWERS STARTERS BELL
Sophomore Thomas Allen has emerged during his sophomore campaign, averaging 8.5 points per game on 45 percent shooting, including 38 percent from 3-point range, while chipping in 2.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.8 steals per game. He has been in double figures seven times after reaching double figures twice as a freshman.
  • Allen is third in the Big Ten in steals per game and leads the team in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.47-to-1).
  • He has been in double figures in six of NU's last 12 games after reaching double figures once in the Huskers' first nine contests.
  • Allen had a career-high 18 points, five assists and four rebounds against Creighton and had 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting against Oklahoma State after missing most of the week with an illness. 
BENCH LOOKS TO CREATE A SPARK
With the loss of Isaac Copeland Jr., the Husker bench will be counted on to make a significant impact. NU's bench features sophomores Nana Akenten and Thorir Thorbjarnarson and freshmen Amir Harris and Brady Heiman. 
  • Akenten has started twice and is averaging 4.4 points and 2.5 rebounds per game. He is fifth on the team with 20 3-pointers and has a pair of double-figure efforts. He had a career-high 18 points off the bench against Mississippi Valley State, including five 3-pointers, in just 13 minutes. He also had 11 points in the win over Missouri State and nine points in a start against Cal State Fullerton.
  • Thorbjarnarson has played in 11 games, averaging 1.3 points and 2.1 rebounds per game. He comes off one of the best games of his career, totaling 10 rebounds and adding three points in 17 minutes against Wisconsin. 
  • Harris has played in 14 games, averaging 1.1 points and 2.1 rebounds per game. He missed nearly a month of action with mono and has played in NU's last five contests. He had season bests in points (six) and rebounds (five) against Mississippi Valley State in the opener. 
  • Heiman has played in 18 games, averaging 2.5 points and 2.6 rebounds per game in just under 10 minutes per contest. He had 10 points against Southeastern Louisiana and nine points at Minnesota. He grabbed 13 rebounds in NU's opener against MVSU.

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