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January 26, 2013

Hoops Gameday: Nebraska vs. Northwestern

Nebraska Cornhuskers

vs. Northwestern Wildcats
Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013 - 2:00 p.m. CT
TV: ESPNU / RADIO: IMG Husker Sports Radio Network

Northwestern (12-8, 3-4 Big Ten)
Streak: Won 1
Last Game: Defeated Minnesota 55-48
G Dave Sobolewski (averaging 11.0 ppg and 4.5 apg) So. 6-1 190
G Tre Demps (scoring 7.0 points per game) RFr. 6-2 200
G Reggie Hearn (leads team with 14.4 ppg, second with 4.6 rpg) Sr. 6-4 210
F Jared Swopshire (averaging (9.6 ppg and a team-best 6.1 rpg) Sr. 6-8 210
C Alex Olah (scoring 6.0 ppg with 4.2 rpg) Fr. 7-0 275

Nebraska CornhuskersNebraska Cornhuskers (10-10, 1-6 Big Ten)
Streak: Lost 1
Last Game: Lost to Illinois 71-51
G Dylan Talley (ranks 15th in Big Ten in scoring playing primarily PG) Sr. 6-5 216
G Ray Gallegos (had 5 points vs. Illinois, his lowest total of the season) Jr. 6-2 181
G/F Shavon Shields (averaged 11.2 ppg and 6.3 rpg last 6 games) Fr. 6-6 215
F David Rivers (has started last four games) So. 6-7 191
F Brandon Ubel (had 10 points and 6 rebounds vs. Illinois) Sr. 6-10 235

Defend the Princeton

There might not be a team in the country right now that runs the Princeton style offense better than Northwestern is right now under head coach Bill Carmody. With continuous backdoor cuts, screens both on and off the ball and always looking to kick it out to an open man for a 3-pointer, the Wildcats are capable of giving teams fits defensively when their opponents aren't mentally prepared. That's obviously been one of the main points for head coach Tim Miles this week, as the Huskers have spent as much time doing scout work than ever trying get ready for all the challenges this unique offense brings.
Rebound, rebound, rebound

It's not often Miles openly calls out his team after a loss, but with the effort Nebraska showed on the glass on both ends of the floor in its 20-point loss to Illinois on Tuesday, it was almost impossible for him not to. The Huskers were out-rebounded 40-28 in the loss, including a complete domination by the Fighting Illini on the offensive glass from the opening tip. Miles said that was an area that could only be fixed with effort and playing with more pride, and you can bet he's been driving that point home to his players the past three days of practice to make sure something like that never happens again.
End the home slump

For whatever reason, Nebraska has been downright average playing in the Devaney Center this season. The Huskers are just 7-5 at home this year and haven't had a home win since Dec. 29. With two straight frustrating home losses after impressive performances on the road, NU has been searching for answers as to how to replicate the way it's played on the road and do the same at home. If Nebraska is going to have any shot at being competitive in the Big Ten this season or beyond, it has to find a home-court advantage, otherwise it won't stand a chance.

Head coach Tim Miles Northwestern's Princeton offense:

"(Assistant) Craig Smith, who's doing the scout, claims that this is the purest form of Princeton he's seen… Carmody's done a good job of mixing other blends in, and you'll see a little of what they call the dribble drive stuff in there and just good actions too. They prey on any weakness. They prey on any lack of discipline. They're going to prey on any lack of effort, because they can grind the entire shot clock. You've just got to eat it up. You've got to love every second of it, and we love it. I love preparing for it, because it's a lot of fun. It's like a testament of willpower. It'll be a good test for our guys to see where they stand from that element."
Senior forward Brandon Ubel on how NU has handled zone defenses this season, such as the Wildcats' 1-3-1 zone:

"At times it kind of gets us off the attack, so we've worked a lot on that. When a team does go zone, to keep driving in the lane, keep trying to attack lanes in that zone and not let it makes us hesitant at all."

Nebraska 64-60

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