Maverick Maniac's Musings

November 18, 2012

2012-13 Omaha Men’s Basketball – Game 5 Preview – Nebraska

Filed under: College Sports,Men's Basketball,Omaha Mavericks — Jon Green @ 9:08 am

After a couple of 20+ point road losses Omaha is back in the state… but a trip down the road to Lincoln awaits. Nebraska isn’t known for their offense, so is there an opportunity here for Omaha to stay close?

Nebraska

The old University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Founded in 1869 as the University of Nebraska. How boring… only adding that one word over the years. It’s obviously in Lincoln, slightly smaller than Omaha but a nice city none the less. There are famous alumni left and right that you know all about. Long in the Big Eight (and predecessor conferences) but now in the Big Ten, the Huskers are a story I don’t need to write.  This is the final year in the Devaney Center for Nebraska, so that is an interesting storyline.

Nebraska Basketball is one of the all-time disappointments when it comes to major conference schools. The team has won six regular season conference titles, but four of those were between 1912 and 1916 and the other two were back-to-back… in 1949 and 1950. They won the Big Eight tournament in 1994, a year they were actually pretty good. They have made the NCAA tournament six times… and never won a game. That’s right, Omaha has the same number of NCAA tournament wins as Nebraska.

Tim Miles is the new head coach in Lincoln, and he has some history playing Omaha as he was the head coach at North Dakota State in their final years in the NCC and as they went D1. I do think he’s a good man for their job and could build a nice program there given some time.

Nebraska is 2-0 but doesn’t score a lot on offense. Of course they are very very good on defense so it really does balance out. Brandon Ubel and Ray Gallegos do most of the scoring for the Big Red. Nebraska is not necessarily a horrible offensive team, they just play such a slow game that their score totals are pretty low. They aren’t a world beater on the glass but they are on defense… which is just a bit concerning because of what Omaha is coming off.

Starters: 
Guard – Benny Parker – 5-9 – Freshman – Pleasant Grove, Alabama – Averaging 7.5 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists.
Guard – Ray Gallegos – 6-2 – Junior – Marietta, Georgia – Averaging 15 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1 steal.
Guard – Dylan Talley – 6-5 – Senior – Raleigh, North Carolina – Averaging 9 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists.
Forward – Brandon Ubel – 6-10 – Senior – Fort Worth, Texas – Averaging 19 points, 8.5 rebounds and 0.5 blocks.
Center – Andre Almeida – 6-11 – Junior – Prague, Czech Republic – Averaging 3 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks.

Omaha

Omaha is now 1-3 after losing to Tulane. They started to make progress in a few problem areas but were humbled by the shooting performance against the Green Wave. Is a repeat in the cards today, or can Omaha shoot the ball well and stay with Nebraska?

Starters:
Guard – CJ Carter – 6-0 – Sophomore from  Omaha, Neb. – Averaging 7.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3 assists.
Guard – Justin Simmons – 6-3 – Junior from Milwaukee, Wis. – Averaging 8.5 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2 assists.
Forward – Alex Welhouse – 6-7 – Senior from Kaukauna, Wis. – Averaging 8.5 points, 3.8  rebounds and 1 steal.
Forward – Koang Duluony – 6-4 – Senior from Omaha, Neb. – Averaging 4 points, 2.8 rebounds and 0.8 steals.
Center – John Karhoff – 6-8 – Junior from Omaha, Neb. – Averaging 12.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists.

3 Things to watch:
1) Offensive Flow – How exactly is Omaha supposed to score in this game? I think Nebraska’s size inside, the two starters are 6-11 and 6-10 could provide some problems in the paint for the Mavericks which means Omaha could be forced to hit outside jumpers. That’s not something I’m going to be betting on happening… Nebraska has given up 55 and 48 in the first two games and while I’d love to see Omaha blow those numbers out, it’s going to take some good offensive play to do that. Mavericks will need to stay active and keep moving the ball looking for good looks. They’ll want to get out and run in transition if they can to try to get some easy baskets in the fast break situations. It’ll be tough though.

2.) Omaha’s Achilles’ Heels (Turnovers and Defensive Rebounding) – Can’t leave this one out until Omaha can get past them, even if it doesn’t happen this year. Nebraska’s opponents have been slightly better than Omaha at keeping the ball and Nebraska is not a good offensive rebounding team with only 11 grabbed so far this year. Maybe, just maybe, Omaha can do a much better job today and not struggle in these areas quite like they have.

3.) Free Throws – In a game where Nebraska might only score 60 points and expect to win the Mavericks are going to need to claw for every single point they can find. A great place to find some of those would be at the FT line. Southern and Valparaiso didn’t get a crazy amount of FTs, but both also were able to get to the line. If Omaha can get 25 FTs and hit 80% of those it might make the difference in their upset bid.

Prediction: Nebraska should win this, but I think it will be close. Nebraska juts doesn’t blow people out that bad. Nebraska wins 60-48. Alex Phillips the lone Maverick in double figures with 11.

Linkage/MEDIA INFO!!!:
Omavs.com Preview
Omaha.com Preview – Story on Karhoff
Huskers.com Preview
Live Stats
Live Audio
Live Video ($10)
Radio – 1180 AM (Robert Ford on the call)

I think I’ll be at this one enjoying the view from the upper deck… yay!

I’d recommend following myself (@MaverickManiacs) or UNO’s Basketball twitter account (@UNO_Basketball) for updates.

Go Mavs!

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1 Comment »

  1. According to me… Nebraska is going to win…

    Comment by School Hoops — November 29, 2012 @ 1:09 am | Reply


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