Illinois vs Nebraska Basketball Preview and Prediction
Illinois vs Nebraska Basketball Preview
Illinois (2-5) and Nebraska (6-1) open Big Ten conference play in a Sunday evening clash that features one of the more experienced teams in the country against one of the most unknown.
Record: Illinois leads 14-7
Streak: Illinois W-1
Record in Lincoln: Tied, 4-4
Streak in Lincoln: Nebraska W-1
Last Season’s Meetings: NEB 64, ILL 63 (1/15/18 @NEB) // ILL 72, NEB 66 (2/18/18 @ILL)
The teams split the season series last year, with both teams protecting home court. The Huskers won in Lincoln on a James Palmer Jr. 3-pointer at the buzzer, and the Illini were victorious in the final game of the season at State Farm Center, snapping a six-game NU win streak.
Nebraska is third nationally in field goal defense, allowing opponents to shoot just 34.5 percent from the field. The team has not allowed an opponent to shoot over 50 percent in 33 straight games dating back to last season, including 16 straight foes held to under 50 percent shooting.
The Huskers have allowed one team (No.20 TTU) to score 70 points, holding every other opponent to 66 or less. Two of those teams failed to score 40 points.
Illinois’ Difficult Road
The Fighting Illini have gotten off to a slow start, as they have played a difficult non-conference slate, including games against Georgetown, Gonzaga, Iowa State, Xavier and Notre Dame. Illinois is coming off a 76-74 loss at Notre Dame on Tuesday. In that contest, Aaron Jordan had 23 points, including five three-pointers, while Giorgi Bezhanishvili had 22 points and six rebounds.
Sophomore Trent Frazier leads the Illini at 15.7 points per game, including 39 percent from three-point range. Freshman Ayo Dosunmu is second on the team in both scoring (13.6 ppg) and rebounding (5.0) while topping the Illini in assists. He is one of three newcomers among Illinois’ top five scorers in the early going.
Illinois Probable Starters
|G||1||Trent Frazier||6-1||170||So.||15.7||1.5||3.3||3.0 3FG/gm|
|G||10||Andres Feliz||6-2||185||Jr.||7.4||2.1||2.9||7 STL|
|G||11||Ayo Dosunmu||6-5||185||Fr.||13.6||5.0||3.3||52.0% 3FG|
|G||23||Aaron Jordan||6-5||210||Sr.||12.0||5.1||2.0||50.0% 3FG|
|F||15||Giorgi Bezhanishvili||6-9||235||Fr.||9.4||4.7||1.7||2.8 OREB/G|
Nebraska Probable Starters
|G||5||Glynn Watson Jr.||6-0||180||Sr.||14.8||4.4||3.8||1.1 SPG|
|G||24||James Palmer Jr.||6-6||207||Sr.||17.6||4.4||2.4||2018 First-team All-Big Ten pick|
|G||12||Thomas Allen||6-1||184||So.||6.6||2.3||2.3||Only underclassmen in the starting lineup|
|F||14||Isaac Copeland Jr.||6-9||225||Sr.||15.0||6.0||1.9||1.1 BPG and 1.6 SPG|
|F||15||Isaiah Roby||6-8||230||Jr.||8.3||5.6||1.9||1.4 BPG and 1.4 SPG|
LINE: -11.5 Nebraska
Something’s Gotta Give: Illinois has scored at least 74 points in six of its first seven games and Nebraska has allowed one opponent to hit 70 all season.
Pinnacle Bank Arena will be rocking with another sellout crowd and the Huskers home winning streak will be on the line. I don’t see that streak stopping tonight.
Nebraska 72 Illinois 54