November 18, 2010

Huskers open Puerto Rico Tip-Off with Vanderbilt

Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Vanderbilt Commodores

Thursday, November 18, 2010 - 12:30 p.m. CT

Xavier MusketeersVanderbilt Commodores (1-0, 0-0 SEC)
Streak: Won 1
Last Game: Defeated Presbyterian 88-47
G Brad Tinsley (Recorded the first triple-double in school history against Presbyterian) Jr. 6-0 185
G John Jenkins (Scored 10 points in the opener and averaged 11.0 ppg last season) So. 6-4 215
F Andre Walker (Averaged 6.4 points and 5.4 rebounds last year) Jr. 6-7 220
F Jeffery Taylor (Scored 27 points and missed just one shot vs. PCU) Jr. 6-7 225
C Festus Ezeli (Heavily recruited nationally despite not playing high school basketball) Jr. 6-11 255

Nebraska CornhuskersNebraska Cornhuskers (2-0, 0-0 Big 12)
Streak: Won 2
Last Game: Win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff 83-40
G Lance Jeter (Averaging 9.5 points and 4.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists) Sr. 6-3 222
G Brandon Richardson (Averaging a team-best 2.0 steals per game) Jr. 6-0 190
G Toney McCray (Made his first start since Jan. 5, 2009 vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff) Jr. 6-6 210
F Jorge Brian Diaz (Made NU's freshman top-10 in points, rebounds and blocks last year) So. 6-10 235
C Andre Almeida (Had 20 points on 9-of-12 shooting and seven rebounds vs. USD) Jr. 6-11 310

Own the paint

For the first time since Aleks Maric, Nebraska will actually have a size advantage against the majority of its opponents this season. However, the new size has yet to see anything like what Vanderbilt will bring to the table today. The Commodores are a physical and aggressive bunch, and NU is going to have to step up and match their intensity in the post.
Produce on the perimeter

Nebraska's guards have been almost non-existent early on this season on the offensive end. Going against a Vandy team that loves to push the tempo and run the floor, the Huskers are going to have to get much better play from their back court if they're going to have any chance at keeping up. In particular, NU is going to have to shoot much better from beyond the arc.
Control the pace

With the way Vanderbilt is going to try and push the pace of this game from the opening tip, Nebraska's best chance at winning this game is to slow down the tempo and utilize the half-court offense for all it's worth. By working down the shot clock and moving the ball around to get a good look, NU can throw Vandy off its game and keep the game close into the final minutes.

Head Head coach Doc Sadler on the competition in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off:

"It's going to test our toughness. If we get lucky and play really well and get a win, are we going to be tough enough to come back that next day and play? If we play really well and things don't go well, are we going to be tough enough to put it behind us and get ready for that second game? This is a tournament atmosphere. In the Big 12 Tournament, if you're going to be any good you have to win three games in four days."
NU guard Lance Jeter on what a win could do for the Huskers:

"It's definitely a chance for us to get recognition. These are elite teams in an elite tournament. A lot of teams don't respect Nebraska, and that's something that we've got to make sure that we go down there and make them respect us. We've got to earn their respect, and that's something that we're going to try to do."

Vanderbilt 76-68

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