Postgame Notes and Quotes: NU vs. North Dakota
*-Nebraska’s 92 points is the most since scoring 93 in a double OT win against Iowa last season. It is NU’s highest total in regulation since also scoring 92 against Southeastern Louisiana during the 2015-16 campaign.
*-Isaac Copeland posted his first double-figure performance of the season with 30 points and eight rebounds, setting or tying season bests in both categories. Copeland went 12-of-14 from the floor, including a trio of 3-pointers, in reaching double figures for the first time this season. Copeland hit 8-of-9 shots from the floor in the first half, as he had 19 of his points in the first half.
*-Copeland’s 30 points is a season-high for any Husker. The previous high was 21 by Glynn Watson Jr. against Eastern Illinois. It was Copeland’s second 30-point game as a collegian, as he had 32 points vs. Marquette in 2015-16.
*-Anton Gill finished with a career-high 16 points, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range. Gill’s previous high was 15 against Florida International when he was at Louisville during the 2014-15 season. His previous high at NU was 10 on two occasions. Copeland’s 30-point game was the first by a Husker since Glynn Watson Jr. had 34 against Iowa last season.
*-Nebraska dished out 20 assists, its highest total since dishing out 22 assists against Rutgers on Feb. 6, 2016.
*-Evan Taylor’s five assists is a career high. His previous best was four on two occasions, most recently against Rutgers on Jan. 21, 2017.
*-Nebraska shot 60.6 percent in the first half, its best shooting half of the season.
Nebraska Coach Tim Miles
On Isaac Copeland and Anton Gill
“I am so happy for them. People realize that that two guys go through major surgery, back surgery (for Isaac) and the (knee) injury that Anton went down. I am just so happy for them because I know what a relief it is for them, and I know how exciting it is for them. They deserve it. They have worked every day. They have struggled without any groaning and griping and they just stayed with it. Hopefully this is that start of the beginning.”
On how much this was needed
“Eventually you figure there is going to be a return to a mean, and we are going to be okay. But, at the same time, you do not know. I am really happy with those two guys and see them bust out, and I am looking forward to other guys getting a better rhythm and our whole operation getting better, especially on offense. I thought we were solid defensively and to hold these guys to 70 is not that easy when they average 48 in the second half of their first three games.”
On the team’s depth
“I was asked ‘Is this what you hope this team can be? If Glynn or James does not have a good night but that other guys pick up?’ I said that this is what the team has to be, it is what we have not had. That is what the depth is that we have talked about all year because the depth has got quality and can make plays.
On North Dakota’s team
“I also want to say that I really like Brian Jones’s team. I really like his team. I am impressed with them. I think they are very scary offensively, and they are very athletic. He has got drivers and shooters. Evan Taylor did a tremendous job on (Geno) Crandall in the first half. I don’t think people realize how tough he is to guard one-on-one and. We had some guys helping him and we were able to shrink the floor. We did a great job on him. You can’t keep him down forever. That is a good basketball team. You can see why they won the Big Sky last year and you can see why they are one of the top teams in the Big Sky this year and so it was a good win.”
Junior forward Isaac Copeland
On breaking out with 30 points today
"It felt good. I have a good support system around me. My dad pretty much calls daily to let me know to keep working and stay positive, it's eventually going to happen. I didn't think it was going to be 30 points, but I mean I'll take it. I just wanted to be aggressive. To be honest, I'm taking a lot of the same shots, maybe more at the rim, but a lot of the same shots I've been taking. They just happened to fall today."
Senior guard Anton Gill
On his performance and being healthy
"Honestly, I'm just glad to be back playing after a year, after the groin (missing the first two games) and everything. All of this just feels great to be back doing something that I love so it is icing on the cake, but just to be back out there with my guys means everything to me."
On returning from injury
"I got cleared right before the season (practice) so I just had to get my legs back under me, just a lot of fatigue and stuff like that. I think missing those first two games was probably the best thing to happen for me. My legs feel great, they feel bouncy again. Now, I feel like I'm getting back to myself."
Sophomore forward Isaiah Roby
On offensive improvement
"That was big just because this team was similar to St. John’s in they played a lot of guards. They had four guards that drove to the rim. The fact that we could show that we made improvements since our one day of practice already is good for us. Offensively, we knew that it was going to come. We have a lot of talent. It helps to get stops. It helps your offense already so when we get our defense going, our offense is going to come too."
North Dakota Head Coach Brian Jones
“There were some bright moments. Obviously, I don’t think we came out valuing the basketball and that was one of our biggest keys. We had to value the basketball, we couldn’t turn it over and allow them to get some easy baskets, and they did. They scored 18 points in transition alone in that first half. You just can’t beat a team of that caliber, of that athleticism like that. The second half we cut it to ten, but Connor (Avants) picks two quick fouls and that kind of deflated our rhythm a little bit. Some of the things we tried to take away we did, some of the things we needed to take away we did not. So, it is a process with this group, a lot of new faces. I give them a lot of credit. They have not shot the ball even remotely or nearly as well as they had today. I think they have got guys kind of like us, guys who are coming off redshirt years and still finding a rhythm.”
On the season so far
"The first couple of weeks are good for our team with a lot of new faces just focusing on growth and coming together chemistry wise and understanding what this process is all about. That is what we were just talking about. It is a process and you have to embrace the habits every day otherwise you’re going to be very inconsistent on both sides of the basketball. The new guys have really got to embrace the habits that they need to have in order to bring that success."