BOYS PREP BASKETBALL=
Amherst 61, Alma 22
Aquinas 43, Twin River 41, OT
Ashland-Greenwood 63, Platteview 56
Auburn 64, Nebraska City Lourdes 29
Battle Creek 62, West Point-Beemer 29
Boyd County 53, Ainsworth 39
Brady 63, Overton 57
Bridgeport 78, Leyton 22
Chadron 57, Hemingford 33
Chase County 59, Southern Valley 51
Columbus Scotus 66, Norfolk Catholic 60
Creighton 77, Summerland 49
David City 55, Raymond Central 50
Doniphan-Trumbull 64, Centura 56
Dundy County-Stratton 52, Hitchcock County 40
East Butler 67, Nebraska Lutheran 49
Fort Calhoun 55, Louisville 52
Friend 62, Dorchester 54
Fullerton 82, Elgin Public/Pope John 39
Garden County 55, Minatare 33
Gibbon 49, Blue Hill 35
Gordon/Rushville 55, Hay Springs 43
Grand Island Central Catholic 67, York 62
Grand Island Northwest 51, Hastings St. Cecilia 48
Hastings 49, Aurora 44
Heartland 71, Superior 65
Hershey 53, Sutherland 47
Homer 55, Pender 40
Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family 62, Wisner-Pilger 39
Kenesaw 34, Giltner 33
Kimball 67, Potter-Dix 34
Lexington 67, Kearney Catholic 61
Lincoln Christian 69, Boys Town 55
Lincoln Lutheran 69, Elmwood-Murdock 41
Logan View-Scribner-Snyder 68, Madison 42
Malcolm 38, Fillmore Central 33
Maxwell 61, Maywood-Hayes Center 50
McCool Junction 49, Harvard 33
Mead 53, Weeping Water 39
Mitchell 61, Sidney 44
Morrill 45, Bayard 29
Nebraska Christian 54, Osceola 51
Nebraska City 66, Conestoga 62
North Bend Central 73, Arlington 32
North Platte St. Patrick's 62, Mullen 37
Omaha Brownell-Talbot 64, College View Academy 28
Omaha Roncalli 71, Blair 38
Omaha South 81, Omaha Bryan 40
Osmond 68, Neligh-Oakdale 36
Palmer 61, High Plains Community 36
Pierce 53, Columbus Lakeview 25
Pleasanton 61, Central Valley 48
Ponca 68, Wakefield 56
Ravenna 52, Minden 33
Riverside 72, Burwell 45
Rock Hills, Kan. 62, Lawrence-Nelson 50
Sandhills Valley 63, Medicine Valley 62
Sandy Creek 33, Deshler 24
Scottsbluff 72, Cheyenne South, Wyo. 49
Shelby/Rising City 53, Centennial 51
Shelton 37, Arcadia-Loup City 35
Spalding Academy 59, Elba 37
St. Albert, Council Bluffs, Iowa 51, Elkhorn Mount Michael 48
Stanton 55, Plainview 54
Stuart 47, CWC 44
Wayne 53, Laurel-Concord/Coleridge 35
West Holt 59, Crofton 51
Winnebago 80, Emerson-Hubbard 30
Winner, S.D. 74, Valentine 57
Wynot 48, Niobrara/Verdigre 23
Yutan 52, Douglas County West 37
Falls City Sacred Heart 65, Johnson County Central 39
Palmyra 41, Freeman 25
Parkview Christian 64, Johnson-Brock 43
Tri County 69, Bruning-Davenport/Shickley 32
Diller-Odell 54, Lewiston 53
Exeter/Milligan 58, Meridian 32
Humboldt/Table Rock-Steinauer 47, Pawnee City 44
Southern 54, Sterling 35
GIRLS PREP BASKETBALL=
Alma 65, Amherst 45
Arcadia-Loup City 51, Shelton 42
Bancroft-Rosalie/Lyons-Decatur 67, Tekamah-Herman 43
Bayard 54, Morrill 49, OT
Beatrice 61, Waverly 25
Bennington 69, Omaha Duchesne Academy 43
Blue Hill 49, Gibbon 31
Boyd County 44, Ainsworth 37
Bridgeport 55, Leyton 39
Burwell 54, Riverside 16
CWC 52, Stuart 35
Centennial 50, Shelby/Rising City 27
Chadron 57, Hemingford 23
David City 56, Raymond Central 30
Doniphan-Trumbull 51, Centura 45
Dorchester 44, Friend 26
Douglas County West 32, Yutan 29
Dundy County-Stratton 57, Hitchcock County 43
East Butler 69, Nebraska Lutheran 29
Elba 44, Spalding Academy 29
Elgin Public/Pope John 43, Fullerton 33
Elkhorn 64, Plattsmouth 34
Elmwood-Murdock 32, Lincoln Lutheran 28
Franklin 51, Red Cloud 16
Garden County 39, Minatare 35, 2OT
Giltner 50, Kenesaw 32
Gordon/Rushville 63, Hay Springs 28
Grand Island Central Catholic 67, York 62, OT
Grand Island Northwest 56, Hastings St. Cecilia 50
Guardian Angels 63, Bishop Neumann 40
Hampton 50, Heartland Lutheran 48
Hartington-Newcastle 47, Randolph 34
Hastings 29, Aurora 18
Heartland Christian, Iowa 54, Boys Town 48
Hershey 57, Sutherland 25
Homer 52, Pender 48
Howells/Dodge 64, Lutheran High Northeast 58
Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family 58, Wisner-Pilger 48
Kearney Catholic 51, Lexington 25
Kimball 61, Potter-Dix 8
Laurel-Concord/Coleridge 53, Wayne 46
Lawrence-Nelson 55, Rock Hills, Kan. 22
Logan View-Scribner-Snyder 41, Madison 33
Louisville 46, Fort Calhoun 38
Malcolm 38, Fillmore Central 33
Maywood-Hayes Center 60, Maxwell 28
McCool Junction 31, Harvard 26
Milford 39, Syracuse 34
Millard North 64, Omaha Marian 37
Mitchell 19, Sidney 16
Mullen 51, North Platte St. Patrick's 40
Nebraska Christian 59, Osceola 29
Nebraska City 52, Conestoga 50
Nebraska City Lourdes 31, Auburn 22
Neligh-Oakdale 45, Osmond 39
Norfolk Catholic 36, Columbus Scotus 22
North Bend Central 50, Arlington 20
Omaha Brownell-Talbot 52, College View Academy 24
Omaha Bryan 48, Omaha South 47
Omaha Concordia 54, Ralston 45
Omaha Roncalli 57, Omaha Skutt Catholic 46
Omaha Westside 45, Gretna 39
Overton 40, Brady 25
Palmer 35, High Plains Community 20
Pierce 40, Columbus Lakeview 38
Platteview 47, Ashland-Greenwood 36
Pleasanton 59, Central Valley 15
Ponca 64, Wakefield-Allen 46
Ravenna 56, Minden 49
Sandhills Valley 38, Medicine Valley 35
Sandy Creek 50, Deshler 48, OT
Scottsbluff 80, Cheyenne South, Wyo. 41
Southern Valley 44, Chase County 33
St. Paul 68, Central City 39
Stanton 48, Plainview 25
Summerland 58, Creighton 35
Superior 52, Heartland 24
Wahoo 46, Omaha Mercy 35
Weeping Water 65, Mead 24
West Point-Beemer 47, Battle Creek 32
Winnebago 91, Emerson-Hubbard 12
Winner, S.D. 66, Valentine 29
Wynot 58, Niobrara/Verdigre 30
Ohio State (12-5, 2-4 Big Ten) shot 54.5 percent on the night, the highest percentage by a Husker opponent this season. The Buckeyes were 30-of-55 from the field, including 10-of-22 from the 3-point line. CJ Walker, who scored 14 second-half points, paced six Buckeyes in double figures with a game-high 18 points. Kaleb Wesson added a double-double for Ohio State with 13 points and 14 rebounds.
Nebraska, which topped the 60-point mark for the first time in seven trips to Value City Arena, fell to 7-10 overall with the loss and dropped to 2-4 in Big Ten play. The Huskers shot 42.4 percent from the field and were 9-of-22 from the 3-point line. NU knocked down eight threes and shot 54.8 percent in the second half.
It was a balanced scoring night for the Big Red, as six Huskers had at least nine points. Thorir Thorbjarnarson led Nebraska with 15 points – all of which came in the second half – while knocking down a career-high five 3-pointers. He also led NU with six rebounds. Jervay Green, Cam Mack and Yvan Ouedraogo each added 10 points for the Huskers, with Mack adding six assists. Dachon Burke Jr. and Haanif Cheatham scored nine points apiece.
In the first half, Nebraska outscored the Buckeyes in the paint, had more second-chance points, more fast-break points and more points off turnovers, but shooting was the difference as Ohio State built a 13-point halftime lead. Ohio State shot nearly 54 percent from the field and was 5-of-10 from the 3-point line, while the Huskers shot just 31 percent and missed eight of their nine 3-pointers.
The Huskers held the Buckeyes scoreless for more than three minutes to open the game before Andre Wesson hit a trio of 3-pointers in less than a minute to quickly give Ohio State a 9-4 advantage. Three minutes later, the Buckeyes used an 8-0 run to build their first double-digit lead at 17-7.
NU was down nine with 6:49 remaining in the half before Kyle Young scored six straight points to push the lead to 15. The Buckeyes would stretch the lead to 16 before the Huskers scored five of the final seven points of the half, cutting the lead to 11 before Justin Ahrens hit a buzzer beater to send OSU into the locker room on top 38-25.
After making only one 3-pointer in the first half, Nebraska knocked down a pair of threes in the first two minutes of the second half, but Ohio State answered with baskets on five of its first six possessions to lead by as many as 18. Nebraska chipped away and cut the lead to 13 on Thorbjarnarson's third 3-pointer of the half, only to see Ohio State respond with a 12-0 run to take a 68-43 lead with 8:25 to play.
Nebraska then held Ohio State without a field goal for more than three minutes, but the Huskers were able to trim only five points off the lead during that stretch. Trailing by 20, Nebraska continued to fight with Green and Thorbjarnarson combining for 11 points during a 13-3 Husker run that cut the lead to 76-63 with 1:30 remaining. But the closest Nebraska could get was the 12-poitn final margin, as NU outscored Ohio State 43-42 in the second half.
Following a two-game road trip, Nebraska returns home to host Indiana Saturday night. Tipoff at Pinnacle Bank Arena is set for 6 p.m., and the game will be televised on BTN with a radio broadcast available, courtesy of the Husker Sports Network.
- Nebraska falls to 0-1 this season against ranked teams, as Ohio State was ranked No. 21 in the AP poll released Monday.
- Thorir Thorbjarnarson set a career high with five 3-pointers, topping his previous high of four at Creighton on Dec. 7. It is the fourth time this season he has hit at least three 3-pointers in a game.
- With five rebounds tonight, Yvan Ouedraogo has grabbed five-or-more rebounds in six of the last seven contests and 12 times this season.
- With six assists, Cam Mack upped his season assist total of 114, which eclipses the 112 that Glynn Watson Jr. had in 36 games a year ago. Mack now has at least five assists in eight straight games and 13 times this season.
Live television coverage will be provided by the Big Ten Network with Jason Knapp and Christy Winters Scott on the call for BTN.
Live radio coverage for Thursday's game can be heard on B107.3 FM and 1400 AM KLIN in Lincoln along with ESPN 590 AM in Omaha beginning at 6:45 p.m. (CT). Stations across the state will also carry the broadcast on the Learfield IMG College Husker Sports Network. Free live audio can be found at Huskers.com, the Huskers App and TuneIn.
Nebraska slipped to 13-3 overall and 3-2 in the Big Ten with a narrow 69-65 loss at Rutgers on Sunday in Piscataway, N.J. The Scarlet Knights improved to 14-2 and moved into a tie for first in the Big Ten standings at 4-1 with the win over the Big Red.
Kate Cain, a Lisa Leslie Award candidate, has been a leader early for the Huskers in Big Ten play, averaging 10.2 points, 11.0 rebounds and 2.8 blocks through five games. Cain, a 6-5 junior from Middletown, N.Y., opened league play with three straight double-doubles.
Two-time All-Big Ten guard Hannah Whitish is averaging 10.4 points, 3.2 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.0 steal in league play. The 5-9 senior guard is the first Husker in history to reach the combined career milestones of 1,000 points (1,102), 400 assists (424) and 200 three-pointers (228).
Sophomore Sam Haiby leads Nebraska in scoring (12.8 ppg) and steals (2.0 spg) in Big Ten play while adding 3.3 assists in conference action.
Fellow sophomore Leigha Brown is a leading contender for Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year honors. The 6-1 guard/forward is averaging a team-best 13.4 points per game (10.4 ppg B1G) and is the only Big Ten player to rank among the top 30 in the league in scoring without making a start.
Freshman Isabelle Bourne put together her best week by averaging 10.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 1.0 steal off the bench for the Huskers last week. Bourne, a 6-2 forward from Canberra, Australia, is averaging 5.1 points and 5.1 rebounds through 16 games off the bench.
Nebraska Cornhuskers at No. 20/20 Maryland Terrapins
Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, 7 p.m. (CT)
Xfinity Center (17,950) - College Park, Md.
Live TV: BTN (Jason Knapp, Christy Winters Scott)
Live Radio: Husker Sports Network (6:45 p.m.)
Matt Coatney (PBP), Jeff Griesch (Analyst)
Lincoln - B107.3 FM & 1400 AM; Omaha - ESPN 590 AM
Huskers.com, Huskers App, TuneIn
Nebraska Cornhuskers (13-3, 3-2 Big Ten)
13 - Ashtyn Veerbeek - 6-2 - So. - F - 8.7 ppg, 5.4 rpg
31 - Kate Cain - 6-5 - Jr. - C - 10.1 ppg, 7.7 rpg
3 - Hannah Whitish - 5-9 - Sr. - G - 8.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg
4 - Sam Haiby - 5-9 - So. - G - 11.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg
5 - Nicea Eliely - 6-1 - Sr. - G - 8.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg
Off the Bench
32 - Leigha Brown - 6-1 - So. - F - 13.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg
34 - Isabelle Bourne - 6-2 - Fr. - F - 5.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg
14 - Grace Mitchell - 6-2 - Sr. - F - 1.9 ppg, 1.4 rpg
44 - Kayla Mershon - 6-3 - So. - F - 1.7 ppg, 2.4 rpg
2 - Trinity Brady - 5-11 - Fr. - G - 2.5 ppg, 1.5 rpg
11 - Kristian Hudson - 5-5 - RSr. - G - 1.5 ppg, 0.9 rpg
1 - Makenzie Helms - 5-8 - Fr. - G - 0.3 ppg, 0.5 rpg
Out for Season
33 - Taylor Kissinger - 6-1 - Jr. - G - 8.4 ppg, 2.8 rpg
Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998)
Fourth Season at Nebraska (55-52); 13th Season Overall (248-161)
20/20 Maryland Terrapins (12-4, 3-2 Big Ten)
24 - Stephanie Jones - 6-2 - Sr. - F - 10.0 ppg, 4.4 rpg
1 - Shakira Austin - 6-5 - So. - F - 11.3 ppg, 6.9 rpg
5 - Kaila Charles - 6-1 - Sr. - G - 13.9 ppg, 8.0 rpg
11 - Taylor Mikesell - 5-11 - So. - G - 10.4 ppg, 2.2 rpg
22 - Blair Watson - 6-0 - Sr. - G - 10.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg
Off the Bench
15 - Ashley Owusu - 6-0 - Fr. - G - 11.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg
14 - Diamond Miller - 6-1 - Fr. - G - 7.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg
13 - Faith Masonius - 6-1 - Fr. - F - 4.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg
32 - Sara Vujacic - 5-11 - Sr. - G - 3.9 ppg, 1.2 rpg
Head Coach: Brenda Frese (Arizona, 1993)
18th Season at Maryland (470-128); 21st Season Overall (527-158)
Scouting the Maryland Terrapins
• Coach Brenda Frese and her No. 20 Maryland Terrapins come into Thursday's game against Nebraska with a 12-4 overall record that includes a 3-2 Big Ten mark following a 77-49 run past Michigan in Ann Arbor on Sunday afternoon to complete a season series sweep of the Wolverines.
• In her 17 seasons at Maryland, Frese has led the Terps to the 2006 NCAA title, three NCAA Final Four appearances and 15 NCAA Tournament bids. Last year, Maryland finished 29-5 overall and 15-3 in the Big Ten to capture its fourth regular-season conference title in five seasons since joining the league in 2014-15. The Terps lost in the NCAA second round for the second straight year.
• Maryland has struggled with its consistency early this season. The Terps have scored 90 or more points on six occasions, including four games with 105 points or more in non-conference play. However, Maryland has failed to score 65 points five times in 16 games, including twice in its last four contests - an 81-58 loss at Northwestern (Dec. 31) and a 66-61 loss at Iowa (Jan. 9).
• It is the first time since 2012-13 the Terps have failed to score 65 points five times in the same season - and that year Maryland was held to fewer than 65 twice each by UConn and Duke defenses.
• In Big Ten play, Maryland is averaging 67.6 points per game after averaging 88 points per contest while going 9-2 in non-conference play. Maryland's losses came at the hands of current No. 1 South Carolina (63-54) and current No. 9 NC State (66-59).
• Maryland still features an explosive and experienced lineup with the same five starters back from both wins over Nebraska last year. All five are averaging double figures in points this year.
• Preseason Big Ten Player of the Year Kaila Charles leads Maryland in scoring (13.9 ppg) and rebounding (8.0 rpg) and has turned up those averages to 17.6 points and 10.6 rebounds in Big Ten play. She is also averaging 2.6 steals in the league. Charles has averaged 17.8 points and 8.3 boards in six career games against Nebraska. The active Big Ten scoring leader (1,760 points), Charles also ranks No. 3 with 826 rebounds. She was a McDonald's High School All-American in 2016.
• Fellow senior Blair Watson has added 10.3 points and 4.3 rebounds, including 11.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.0 steals in league play. Watson joined Charles as a McDonald's High School All-American in 2016. Watson has averaged 12.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.3 steals in three meetings against Nebraska. She did not play in three games against the Huskers during her sophomore season in 2017-18 after suffering a season-ending injury.
• Maryland's third returning senior starter is Stephanie Jones (10.0 ppg, 4.4 rpg), who was ranked as the No. 35 player in the country by All-Star Girls Report and No. 51 by ESPN coming out of high school. Jones ranks 11th among active Big Ten career scorers with 1,100 points, and has managed 6.8 points and 5.2 rebounds in six career games against Nebraska.
• The Terps showcase a pair of talented sophomore starters in guard Taylor Mikesell (10.4 ppg, 2.2 rpg) and 6-5 forward Shakira Austin (11.3 ppg, 6.9 rpg). Austin was a McDonald's and WBCA All-American who was ranked as the No. 3 overall player in the nation coming out of high school at Riverdale Baptist - the same school as Kaila Charles. Mikesell was an honorable-mention WBCA All-American in high school and ranked as the No. 32 overall player in the country by ESPN.
• Mikesell, a 5-11 guard, was the 2018 Big Ten Freshman of the Year while Austin joined her on the Big Ten All-Freshman Team. Austin was also a member of the 2019 Big Ten All-Defensive Team.
• A dangerous long-range shooter, Mikesell has hit 40 percent (42-115) of her threes this season after ranking second in the league at 41.1 percent and leading the Big Ten with 2.8 threes per game last season. However, in 2020 Big Ten play, Mikesell has hit just 7-of-31 (.226) of her three attempts.
• While Austin ranks third on the team in scoring and second in rebounding, she has managed just 6.6 points and 6.0 rebounds in Big Ten play, hitting just 32.4 percent (12-37) of her shots, while averaging 3.6 turnovers and 3.6 fouls in 21.4 minutes per game.
• All five Maryland starters were ranked among the top 35 players in the nation coming out of high school and the Terps feature more talent off the bench. Freshman Ashley Owusu was a 2019 McDonald's All-American and voted the No. 1 point guard in the nation by ESPN. She started Maryland's first 14 games, but has come off the bench the last two. She ranks second among the Terps with 11.4 points while leading the team with 4.9 assists. In Big Ten play, she has averaged 8.8 points and 2.6 assists. Owusu had 18 points, six assists and six turnovers in Sunday's win over Michigan.
• Another McDonald's All-American, freshman guard Diamond Miller was was one of the top 20 players in the nation by both ESPN and Blue Star coming out of high school as the New Jersey Gatorade Player of the Year. Miller (7.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg) had 15 points and five rebounds in Sunday's win over Michigan to up her averages to 6.2 points and 2.8 rebounds in league play.
• A third freshman, Faith Masonius, was one of the top 50 players in the nation coming out of high school in New Jersey. She has added 4.4 points and 3.6 boards on the year, including 2.4 points and 1.6 rebounds in the Big Ten.
Nebraska vs. Maryland Series History
• Maryland leads the all-time series with Nebraska 11-0, including an 89-63 loss in College Park last season (Feb. 14, 2019). Four of the last five games in the series have been away from Lincoln.
• Last season, Maryland closed the third quarter on a 16-0 run over the final 3:06 in the period and stretched it to 20-0 at the start of the fourth quarter. That run began with a rare seven-point possession for the Terps.
• The Terps opened on a 9-0 run, but the Huskers cut the margin to 29-26 in the second quarter.
• Maryland's No. 20 ranking this week is the lowest ranking the Terrapins have held entering a game with Nebraska (previous low, No. 17, Big Ten Tournament, March 3, 2018). The Terps have been ranked in the top 10 in six of the previous 11 meetings, and in the top 15 on 10 occasions.
• Two seasons ago, Nebraska took No. 13 Maryland to the wire at the Xfinity Center in College Park before falling 77-75. The Huskers trailed by 14 points in the third quarter before rallying to take a 75-74 lead with 48 seconds left. Hannah Whitish led Nebraska with 14 points, including four three-pointers. She also got a good look at a three from the right wing to win in the closing seconds that caught back iron. Kaila Charles led Maryland with 19 points and 11 rebounds.
• One week later, No. 17 Maryland eliminated Nebraska from the Big Ten semifinals with a 66-53 win in Indianapolis. Brianna Fraser (18) and Kaila Charles (14) led Maryland.
• Nebraska's first meeting with Maryland came in the 2008 NCAA Tournament second round in College Park - a 76-64 Maryland win. NU is 0-9 against the Terps as Big Ten foes.
• Kate Cain owns Nebraska's longest streak of consecutive starts (77).
• Nicea Eliely owns Nebraska's second-longest streak of starts (72).
• Kate Cain has recorded at least one block in all 16 games this season, and has blocked a shot in 18 straight games dating back to last season.
• As a team, Nebraska has blocked at least one shot in 85 consecutive games.
• Nicea Eliely and Leigha Brown are the only Huskers to score points in each of Nebraska's first 16 games this season.
• Kate Cain, Nicea Eliely and Isabelle Bourne are the only Huskers to record at least one rebound for the Huskers in all 16 games this season.
• Eliely was the only Husker to score in all 30 games last season, and the only Husker to score in all of Nebraska's games against Big Ten Conference foes. She has scored in 50 consecutive games overall. She did not score in a win over Penn State on Feb. 22, 2018, the only time in the past three seasons (including 2019-20, 72 games) that Eliely was shut out.
• The Huskers have knocked down at least one three in 358 straight games dating back to a loss at UTEP on Dec. 20, 2008. Nebraska has hit at least two three-pointers in 237 consecutive games.
Numbers to Watch
(2) Kristian Hudson needs two assists to reach 400 in her career (383 at FIU).
(7) Kristian Hudson needs seven rebounds to reach 400 in her career (372 at FIU).
(12) Kate Cain is 12 blocked shots away from matching the Nebraska career block record held by Janet Smith (238, 1979-82).
(17) Sam Haiby is 17 points away from 500 in her career.
(31) Hannah Whitish is 31 points away from the top 20 on the Nebraska career scoring list (1,133).
• Nebraska's 13-3 start is its best 16-game start under Coach Amy Williams and NU's best start since opening 13-3, including 3-2 in the Big Ten during an 18-game conference season in 2014-15.
• Nebraska ranks No. 15 nationally in total home attendance (46,601).
• Nebraska is No. 34 in the Massey Ratings (Jan. 7). Ten other Big Ten teams are in the top 64, including: Indiana (9), Iowa (18), Northwestern (19), Maryland (20), Rutgers (24), Purdue (36), Ohio State (37), Michigan (43), Minnesota (52) and Michigan State (61).
• Through 16 games, Nebraska is allowing an average of 61.1 points per game (including 59.3 ppg in regulation), after allowing 70.1 points per game last season. NU's 2018 NCAA Tournament team allowed 63.6.
• Opponents are shooting 35.3 percent from the field and 28.8 percent from three-point range against NU. Last year, Husker foes hit 41.1 percent, including 33.4 percent from three. In 2017-18, Nebraska led the Big Ten in field goal percentage defense (.371) and three-point field goal percentage defense (.299).
• Nebraska has held eight opponents to 55 points or less this season. Last year, NU held only two foes (Radford-39, Kansas-52) to 55 or less. NU held 11 opponents to 55 or less in 2017-18.
• NU's bench has outscored opponent reserves in 15 of 16 games (not Michigan State) in 2019-20. The Husker bench has outscored opposing benches in 43 of the last 46 games, including double-digit edges 32 times.
• This season, NU's bench has outscored opposing benches 418-219 (26.1-13.7 ppg).
• Nebraska has hit 10 or more threes 18 times in the last three seasons (77 games), including three times in the last eight contests. Through the first 20 seasons with the three-point shot in women's basketball (1988-2007), Nebraska hit 10 threes in a game just six times (311 games).
|GAME 17: NEBRASKA @ OHIO STATE|
Date: Tuesday, Jan. 14
Time: 5:30 p.m. (CT)
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Arena: Value City Arena
2019-20 Record: 7-9 (2-3 Big Ten)
Head coach: Fred Hoiberg
Record at Nebraska: 7-9 (1st year)
Career NCAA Record: 122-65 (6th year)
No. 21/19 OHIO STATE BUCKEYES
2019-20 Record: 11-5 (1-4 Big Ten)
Head coach: Chris Holtmann
Record at Ohio State: 56-29 (3rd year)
Career Record: 170-113 (9th year)
Play-by-play: Brandon Gaudin
Analyst: Jim Jackson
Online Broadcast: Fox Sports App
Radio: Learfield IMG College Husker Sports Network, including 590 AM (Omaha), 1400 AM (Lincoln) and 880 AM (Lexington)
Play-by-play: Kent Pavelka
Analyst: Jake Muhleisen
Online Radio: Available on Huskers.com, Huskers App, TuneIn.com/Huskers and TuneIn App.
SiriusXM (Internet): Ch. 971 XM: Ch. 381
Nebraska (7-9, 2-3 Big Ten) nearly rallied from an 18-point first-half deficit before falling 62-57 at Northwestern on Saturday. The Huskers shot just 31 percent from the floor, but out-scored Northwestern 30-20 in the second half to climb back into the contest.
NU trailed 60-57, but Dachon Burke's game-tying 3-pointer was off the mark and Miller Kopp hit a pair of free throws for the final margin. Cam Mack had 11 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, while Haanif Cheatham added 10 points in the losing effort.
Mack has been one of the Big Ten's top newcomers, averaging 12.7 points, 6.8 assists and 4.9 rebounds per game, as the sophomore is third in the conference in assists and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.5-to-1). He has raised his play in Big Ten action, averaging a conference best 9.0 assists per game and posting a 3.5-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. The 6-foot-2 sophomore guard also has four double-doubles, including the first triple-double in school history, in his first five Big Ten games.
Ohio State (11-5, 1-4 Big Ten) was ranked 11th and 12th respectively in the national polls last week before losses at Maryland and Indiana. Against the Hoosiers, Andre Wesson had 15 points, while Kaleb Wesson finished with 11 points and 10 boards. The Buckeyes shot just 33 percent from the floor and committed 16 turnovers which led to 16 Indiana points. Ohio State has the Big Ten's best defense, averaging 59.4 points per game and holding opponents to 36.5 percent shooting.
Freshman Kevin Cross averaged 10.0 points and 5.0 rebounds per game in Nebraska's two games last week. Cross, who has been the Huskers' first sub off the bench, is averaging 7.3 points and 4.4 points per game while playing 19 minutes per game.
NUMBERS TO KNOW
.458- Thorir Thorbjarnarson is third in the Big Ten in 3-point percentage entering Tuesday's game. He is 22-of-48 from long range this season after going a combined 6-of-28 behind the 3-point stripe in his first two years.
+3.0 - Nebraska enters the weekend leading the Big Ten in turnover margin at +3.0 per game. NU has committed 12 or fewer turnovers in each of the last eight contests.
4 - Double-figure assist games for Cam Mack, which is the most by a Husker since Brian Carr had five in the 1985-86 season. Mack's four games with 10+ assists rank sixth nationally.
6.4 - Rebounds per game for freshman Yvan Ouedraogo, which is fourth among all Big Ten freshmen. His rebounds per game is on track to be the highest by a Husker freshman since Aleks Maric grabbed 6.3 rebounds per game in 2004-05.
8 - Nebraska has had eight of its 10 eligible scholarship players reach double figures this season, a total which includes former walk-on Charlie Easley. The Huskers have three players currently averaging double figures.
12 - Double figure scoring runs that Nebraska has had in 2019-20.
50 - Returning point total from last season, all by Thorir Thorbjarnarson. That is the lowest by any power conference team since the 2009-10 season.
SCOUTING OHIO STATE
Under the direction of third-year coach Chris Holtmann, Ohio State has been ranked for most of the season and spent most of the year in the top 10. Holtmann is looking to guide OSU to its third straight NCAA appearance after OSU went 20-15 and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Prior to taking over the OSU program, Holtmann spent the previous three seasons at Butler, guiding the Bulldogs to three straight NCAA Tournament appearances, including a Sweet 16 appearance in 2017. Last year, the Buckeyes went 25-9 and finished second in the Big Ten before losing to Gonzaga in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
This year's Buckeyes opened the year with nine straight wins, including victories over Cincinnati, Villanova, North Carolina and Penn State before falling at Minnesota. OSU rebounded with a win over Kentucky, but has dropped four straight contests, including the loss to Indiana. OSU's strength is on the defensive end, where the Buckeyes lead the Big Ten in both field goal defense (.365) and points per game (59.4). OSU also leads the conference in 3-pointers and 3-point percentage (.377). Junior center Kaleb Wesson anchors a balanced Buckeye attack with 14.5 ppg and 9.5 rpg. Duane Washington Jr. (10.7 ppg) and D.J. Carton (10.0 ppg) also average double figures as OSU has eight players averaging at least 6.5 points per game.
Ohio State leads the all-time series, 16-4, in a series that dates back to 1936. The Buckeyes are 12-2 against the Huskers since Nebraska joined the Big Ten with Nebraska's wins coming in 2014 (Lincoln) and 2017 (Columbus). Prior to last season's OSU win, the previous four meetings were decided by a total of 10 points. The two teams will meet in Lincoln on Feb. 28.
Last Meeting: Glynn Watson had 14 of his 18 points in the second half, but Nebraska fell to Ohio State, 70-60, on Jan. 26, 2019. Watson had 18 points, while James Palmer Jr. added 19 for the Huskers. Nebraska could not overcome a cold shooting afternoon, hitting just 36 percent from the field against the Buckeyes. Luther Muhammad had a career-high 24 points to lead three OSU players in double figures, including six points in a crucial 12-2 second half run that stretched the lead to 56-43 after a C.J. Jackson 3-pointer with 8:14 remaining after Nebraska pulled to within 44-41. The Huskers cut the OSU deficit to six on two occasions, the last being 64-58 after a Palmer basket with 44 seconds left, but the Buckeyes hit 6-of-8 free throws to hold the Huskers at bay.
LAST TIME OUT
Nebraska nearly erased a 15-point halftime deficit Saturday at Northwestern, but the Huskers were unable to overcome a cold-shooting performance in a 62-57 loss at Northwestern.
Northwestern (6-9, 1-4 Big Ten) used a 16-1 first-half run to build its 15-point halftime lead before hanging on down the stretch as Nebraska (7-9, 2-3 Big Ten) made a furious late run. The Huskers trailed by 14 midway through the second half, with Nebraska outscoring Northwestern 15-6 over the final 10 minutes. But a potential game-tying 3-pointer was missed with 12 seconds to play, allowing Northwestern to escape with its first Big Ten win of the year.
It was a tale of two halves, as Northwestern scored 42 first-half points while shooting 51 percent from the field and knocking down eight 3-pointers. After being outscored by 15 in the first half, Nebraska flipped the script in the second half, outscoring the Wildcats by 10 while limiting Northwestern to just 20 points.
Despite the strong second-half defensive effort in which the Huskers held the Wildcats to 2-of-15 from the 3-point line and 26.7 percent shooting overall, Nebraska was not able to overcome its own cold shooting. Nebraska shot 31.3 percent for the game, and the Huskers were just 9-of-30 from the 3-point line.
Cam Mack produced another double-double for the Huskers, pacing the Big Red with 11 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, while Haanif Cheatham joined Mack in double figures with 10 points. Kevin Cross and Matej Kavas had nine points apiece off the bench. Kopp scored a game-high 15 points for Northwestern, as one of four Wildcats in double figures.
• Nebraska is in a stretch where it will play 16 of its final 18 regular-season games against teams currently ranked in the top 50 of the NET. In all, 12 of the 14 Big Ten teams are ranked in the top 50 of the NET as of Jan. 12.
• Despite being held to 57 points by Northwestern, Nebraska is averaging 72.8 points per game, which is on pace to be Nebraska's highest scoring average since the 1996-97 squad averaged 72.9 points per game.
• No. 21 Ohio State is the first ranked team Nebraska has faced this season. The Huskers are 71-265 all-time against ranked teams. Nebraska's last road win against a ranked team was exactly one year ago, when the Huskers knocked off No. 25 Indiana, 66-51, in Bloomington.
• Thorir Thorbjarnarson is the only active Husker to face Northwestern, as he had one rebound in spot duty in last year's loss to Ohio State.
• Tuesday's game will feature two of the Big Ten's most prolific shooting teams from long range, as Ohio State leads the conference with 8.8 3-pointers per game, while Nebraska ranks third with 8.5 3-pointers per contest.
• With three players averaging double figures, Nebraska has relied on its balance during the first half of the season. In its first 16 games, NU has put at least four players in double figures 11 times. The Huskers put five players in double figures three times, most recently against Iowa on Jan. 7.
• Sophomore Cam Mack has made an impact in his first season at Nebraska. He is 12th nationally with 6.8 assists per game, which is on pace to be the most by a Husker since the 1984-85 season, and ranks 32nd nationally with his 2.45-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Best Assist/Turnover Ratios (Since 1979)
|5||2.52||Charles Richardson Jr.||179-71||2006-07|
•- Cam Mack is the only Husker in the last 30 years to have multiple points-assists double-doubles in the same season as he has four this season, including three in Big Ten play. From 1989-90 to the end of the 2018-19 season, it had happened just five times. Mack's consecutive points-assists double-doubles against Indiana and Purdue were the first since Brian Carr in December of 1985 (vs. UC-Irvine and Creighton).
Husker Points/Assists Double-Doubles (Last 30 years)
|Cam Mack||15||10||vs. Iowa, 1/7/20|
|Cam Mack||11||12||vs. Purdue, 12/13/19|
|Cam Mack||15||10||at Indiana, 12/13/19|
|Cam Mack||13||11||vs. Southern Utah, 11/11/19|
|Glynn Watson Jr.||10||10||vs. Cal State Fullerton, 12/20/18|
|Lance Jeter||10||10||vs. Kansas, 2/5/11|
|Lance Jeter||12||12||at Kansas State, 2/7/10|
|Sek Henry||11||11||at TCU, 11/21/09|
|Tom Wald||11||11||vs. Appalachian State, 12/31/94|
• Nebraska enters Tuesday's game leading the Big Ten in turnover margin with +3.0 per game. The Huskers have forced an average of 14.3 turnovers per game to rank third in the Big Ten while averaging 11.3 turnovers per game to rank second in that category. During his tenure at Iowa State, Hoiberg's teams ranked in the top three in the Big 12 in fewest turnovers per game in four of his five seasons at the school.
• It is not surprising that Nebraska has relied on its 3-point shooting, as Hoiberg's Iowa State teams led the Big 12 in 3-pointers in four of his five seasons at the school. The Huskers, who are fourth in the Big Ten in 3-point shooting, are on pace to average 8.5 3-pointers per game, a total which would rank second in school history and be the most since the 2001-02 campaign.
Most 3-Pointers/Game in School History
• One of the biggest points of emphasis for Hoiberg and his staff has been to shoot better from 3-point range, and that work has paid off. Over the last 13 games dating back to Nov. 22, NU is shooting 36 percent from 3-point range and averaging 9.1 3-pointers per game after shooting just 23 percent in the first three games of the season.
Huskers' 3-Point Improvement
|Category||Before Nov. 22||Since Nov. 22|
|3 Pt. Pct.||.231||.356|
• Freshman Yvan Ouedraogo leads the Huskers in rebounding at 6.4 per game, which would be highest season average by a Husker freshman in 15 years (Aleks Maric, 6.3 rpg in 2004-05). Ouedraogo's 14 rebounds vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Dec. 29 were the most by a Husker freshman since 2004 (15, Maric vs. UAB) and tied for the third-highest total by a Husker freshman in the last 20 years.
• Nebraska's 14 first-year players on the roster matches TCU for the most in the nation in research done by the Utah SID John Vu. Only four teams (TCU-14, Nebraska-14, East Carolina-13 and Utah-12) have at least 12 newcomers on their 2019-20 rosters. Nebraska returns a national-low 1.9 percent of its scoring from last season and the 50 returning points is the lowest by any power conference team since 2009 according to noted statistician Ken Pomeroy.
Fewest Returning PPG from 2018-19
|No.||School||Returning PPG||Pct. of Scoring|
|3.||South Dakota St.||15.8 PPG||16.9%|
|4.||Virginia Tech||13.3 PPG||18.1%|
• The Huskers have already played three overtime games in 2019-20, posting a 1-2 record. NU's single-season record is four, set five times, most recently in 2007-08. As of Jan. 6, Nebraska has played in three of the Big Ten's nine overtime games.
• Freshman guard Charlie Easley was put on scholarship for the spring semester. Easley has played in 12 games as a backup guard, including each of Nebraska's five Big Ten contests. He played a career-high 16 minutes in the win over Iowa on Jan. 7.
|Year||Avg. Poss. Length||NCAA Rank|
|as of Jan. 12|
Not only are the Huskers adjusting to a whole new roster, but playing at a significantly faster pace than in previous years. The Huskers are 13th nationally in offensive tempo, as their average possession is 15.2 seconds per possession as of Jan. 12.
• The only power conference school that plays at a faster pace is St. John's, which is ninth nationally.
• In his five full seasons as a college coach, Hoiberg's teams have ranked in the top 20 in offensive tempo four times, including top-10 rankings in both 2014 and 2015.
• Hoiberg's first Iowa State team in 2010-11 jumped from 67th to 20th nationally in offensive pace and ranked in the top 40 nationally in adjusted tempo in four of his five seasons in Ames, including top-15 nationally in his last two campaigns.
• In the KenPom era (1997-present), only one Husker team has ranked among the top 100 nationally in adjusted tempo - the 1999-2000 Huskers under Danny Nee. The Huskers' quickest offensive tempo in the last decade was in 2017-18 when the Huskers were 140th in offensive tempo.
MACK DELIVERS AS HUSKERS' LEAD GUARD
Junior college transfer Cam Mack was the cornerstone of the Huskers' recruiting class, and has lived up to the billing during the first half of the year. Mack was the No. 3 JUCO recruit in the country last year at Salt Lake CC and has made an impact in his first season at Nebraska.
Mack, who was listed as the top JC point guard recruit in the country, enters the Ohio State contest averaging 12.7 points per game while leading the Huskers in assists (6.8) and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.5-to-1).
• Mack is is tied for the national lead with four games with at least 10 points and 10 assists. In fact, only eight players in Division I have at least three double-doubles with points and assists this season.
• Mack has four double-doubles in five Big Ten games and leads the Big Ten in both assists (9.0 apg) and assist-to-turnover ratio (3.5-to-1) in conference games only.
• He ranks 12th nationally in assists per game and is the highest Division I newcomer in the NCAA rankings. In fact, only two newcomers nationally average over 6.0 assists per game.
• Mack is one of three Big Ten players - joining Cassius Winston (Michigan State) and Geo Baker (Rutgers) to rank in the top 10 of the Big Ten in both assists and steals as of Jan. 12.
• His 6.8 assists per game is on pace to rank second in school history, trailing only Brian Carr, who averaged 7.9 assists per game in 1984-85.
• He recorded the first triple-double in program history against Purdue on Dec. 15 with 11 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists, setting season bests in both rebounds and assists in NU's 70-54 win.
• He's reached double figures 13 times, including a season-high 24-point performance against South Dakota State on Nov. 15.
• Last season at Salt Lake CC, Mack averaged 19.1 points, 7.6 assists and 5.9 rebounds per game, ranking fifth nationally in assists per game. He totaled nine double-doubles and three triple-doubles as a freshman and dished out 10-or-more assists nine times.
CHEATHAM MAKES IMPACT ON BOTH ENDS
Fifth-year senior Haanif Cheatham has been one of the leaders for a young Husker team. The guard from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is NU's most experienced player, as he played in 80 games between Marquette and Florida Gulf Coast before coming to Nebraska for his final year.
After a slow start, Cheatham has been on a roll over the last six weeks. Over Nebraska's last 12 games, he's averaging 15.7 points and 4.1 rebounds per game, while typically guarding the opponent's top scoring threat.
• Cheatham has reached double figures in 11 of the Huskers' last 12 games, including a 21-point, six-rebound performance at Indiana on Dec. 13. He had six straight double-figure efforts from Nov. 25-Dec. 13, the second-longest streak of his collegiate career.
• He went over 1,000 career points with a 17-point performance against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Dec. 29.
• Cheatham posted his first career double-double with 14 points and a career-high 11 rebounds at Georgia Tech on Dec. 4.
• He was in double figures all three games of the Cayman Islands Classic, averaging 19.0 ppg including a career-best 26-point effort against South Florida to garner all-tournament honors.
A former top-100 recruit out of high school, he was named Marquette's top defensive performer in each of his two full seasons at Marquette.
BURKE SHOWS SCORING TOUCH
The other returnee from the 2018-19 season, Dachon Burke Jr. waited in the wings after transferring from Robert Morris. A 6-foot-4 guard, Burke has quickly shown the skills to flourish in Fred Hoiberg's attack, averaging 11.9 points, 4.0 rebounds per game and 1.4 steals per game. He is third in the Big Ten in steals and paces the Huskers in blocked shots (13) and is third in both scoring and 3-pointers (21).
Burke has reached double figures nine times, including a 25-point effort against Indiana on Dec. 13 and a 21-point performance against South Florida on Nov. 27.
Two years ago, Burke was one of the best players in the Northeast Conference, averaging 17.6 points per game while adding 5.8 rebounds and a conference-best 2.1 steals per contest.
OUEDRAOGO ADDS NAME TO SHORT LIST OF TRUE FROSH
Freshman Yvan Ouedraogo became the first true freshman to start a season opener at Nebraska since 2013 and has been a mainstay of the Husker lineup.
• He is one of the youngest players in the country, as he won't turn 18 until after the 2020 Big Ten Tournament.
• Ouedraogo has started all 16 games for the Huskers, averaging 5.8 points and a team-high 6.4 rebounds per game in just under 21 minutes per game.
• He is on track to be the third freshman to lead NU in rebounding in a season, joining Aleks Maric (2005-06) and John Turek (2001-02).
• Ouedraogo has played some of his best basketball recently, averaging 6.9 points and 8.1 rebounds per game over the Huskers' last seven contests dating back to Dec. 13. He has grabbed seven or more rebounds five times in that stretch.
• He picked up his first career double-double against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Dec. 29 with 11 points and 14 rebounds. His double-double was the first by a Husker freshman since Shavon Shields in 2013 and Ouedraogo became just the 10th NU freshman to record a double-double.
• His 10 rebounds against Indiana marked the second-highest rebounding total for a Husker freshman in his first conference game, trailing only Dave Hoppen in 1983.
• He enjoyed his offensive effort of the season with 11 points, including six in overtime, and four rebounds against Southern on Nov. 22. He snared a team-high 12 rebounds against South Dakota State on Nov. 15.
• He is just the 11th true freshman and 13th freshman overall to start a season opener in the last 25 years at Nebraska, joining a group which includes 1,000-point scorers Tai Webster, Ryan Anderson, Cookie Belcher and Tyronn Lue.
Ouedraogo played for the French U-18 squad at the 2019 European Championships in July, as France went 6-1 and finished fifth in the competition.
THOR EMERGES AS SCORING THREAT
Over the last six weeks, junior Thorir Thorbjarnarson emerged as a vital part of the Huskers' offensive attack. The 6-foot-6 guard is fifth on the team in scoring at 7.4 ppg, while shooting 50 percent from the field and 46 percent from 3-point range.
• He has been in double figures five times in NU's last eight games after not reaching double figures in his first 41 contests as a Husker. Since Dec. 4, he has tied or set a career high in points four times.
• Thorbjarnarson is third in the Big Ten in 3-point percentage (.458) after shooting just 21.4 percent from 3-point range in his first two seasons.
• He nearly had a double-double in the win over Iowa, finishing with 17 points, including three 3-pointers, and a season-high nine rebounds. He tied his season high originally set at Indiana on Dec. 13
CROSS LIFTS BENCH PRODUCTION
Freshman Kevin Cross has been a key contributor for the Huskers. The 6-foot-8 freshman from Little Rock, Ark., has been the first Husker off the bench in all 16 games and is averaging 7.3 points and 4.4 rebounds per game.
• Cross is seventh among Big Ten true freshmen in scoring and fourth in rebounding as of Jan. 12.
• He has improved his rebounding in recent weeks, averaging 5.6 rebounds per game over the Huskers' last seven contests dating back to Dec. 13. He has grabbed five-or-more rebounds 10 times this season.
• Cross has been in double figures five times off the bench, including a season-high 19 points against Southern Utah. He became the first freshman in 73 games to pace the Huskers in scoring, while his 19-point effort was the highest by a Husker rookie since Shavon Shields in 2013.
• Against Iowa, Cross had eight of his 11 points in the second half and added five rebounds.
• Cross hit a season-high three 3-pointers as part of his nine-point, five-rebound effort against Northwestern.
• He played a complete game in the win over Washington State, scoring 14 points, grabbing a season-high eight rebounds and blocking two shots in 27 minutes
• Cross played a big role in NU's comeback against Southern, scoring all eight of his points in the second half as the Huskers overcame an eight-point deficit.
Hildebrand, who helped coach the Huskers to an NCAA Championship in his only season at Nebraska in 2017, will replace Kayla Banwarth, who accepted the head coach position at Ole Miss in December.
Hildebrand, 35, is currently serving as the Director of Coaching for the USA Volleyball Beach National Team Program and will assume his associate head coach duties at Nebraska in August this year after the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo conclude.
From January to August, Kelly Hunter will serve as an interim assistant coach on the Husker staff. The Huskers' two-time All-American and national champion setter was a graduate assistant during the 2019 season and will become the Huskers' volunteer coach for the 2020 season once Hildebrand joins the staff this August.
Hildebrand will be the first associate head coach in Cook's tenure (2000-present). He had a remarkable season at Nebraska in 2017, helping the Huskers win the NCAA title while coaching Hunter to first-team AVCA All-America honors and outside hitters Annika Albrecht and Mikaela Foecke to second-team All-America honors. Nebraska led all Big Ten teams in opponent hitting percentage (.154) as he coordinated the Huskers' defense and game plans. His wife, former U.S. National Team captain Kristin Hildebrand, was a volunteer for the Huskers in 2017, but will not be this time around as she runs her own interior design business.
"We are so excited to be coming back to Nebraska," Hildebrand said. "Nebraska has a special place in our hearts. The 2017 season was a magical year and left a burning impression on us. Kristin and I have been all over the world, played or coached in every gym there is, and we can confidently say that there is no place like Nebraska. Being a part of Husker Nation is like nothing else in collegiate sports, and I can't wait to coach in the Devaney Center again with a full house in matches that matter with our fans behind us. The fans are such a special part of this program.
I'm so happy to get to have more time to learn from Coach Cook. One year wasn't nearly enough. He pushes me to be a better coach, and I can't say that about many people. I truly miss the challenge of coaching at Nebraska, and I look forward to learning even more from him and I am incredibly grateful to him for this opportunity. I'm always trying to live up to coach's expectations, always trying to prove to him what I can do. The best I have coached in my career, I believe, was in 2017, and I owe a lot of that to Coach Cook.
Lastly, I want to thank the administration, Bill Moos and his staff. It means a lot to Kristin, Rhett and myself to get this opportunity to come back to Nebraska."
In the interim, Hunter will join assistant coach Jaylen Reyes in coaching the beach volleyball season and taking a lead role in recruiting and the Huskers' summer camps.
"I'm beyond excited and honored to join the coaching staff at my alma mater," Hunter said. "I'm looking forward to being a part of Nebraska volleyball in a new role. Last season was a great taste of the coaching world, and I can't wait to continue on this path with the best program and staff in the nation."
"The 2017 season was one of my most enjoyable seasons as a head coach with Tyler and Kayla," Cook said. "Obviously we had great results, but Tyler made me a better coach that year. I think he has a gift for coaching in how he sees the game. He has a very positive way of challenging people, including me. That's why I reached out to him. Part of my job as head coach is to provide the best staff possible for our team. I really feel like hiring Tyler and having him join our staff gives us the best chance to be successful. I am grateful to our athletic director, Bill Moos, for his trust and confidence in helping us go in this direction. He has shown a great amount of support for Nebraska volleyball, and I am very thankful for that."
Although Hildebrand has been stationed in California directing the U.S. Beach Volleyball program for the past two years, he has served as a consultant for Cook in his spare time, following the program, watching video and offering his thoughts. With Hildebrand's first day on the job scheduled for August 10, Cook asked Hunter to take on a full-time assistant role for the next nine months.
"I'm personally very excited about that, because this will give her an opportunity to find out if coaching is her true passion," Cook said. "Kelly is one of the greatest leaders I've ever been around, so I know that she's a natural coach. Now we have the opportunity to develop her over the next nine months and lay the groundwork for her to continue her coaching career. Because she was with us this year as a grad assistant, this will be a natural transition for her with our team. She developed great relationships with our players and got off to a great start."
Hildebrand first joined the Nebraska volleyball coaching staff as an assistant in February of 2017. He came to Nebraska after five seasons on the coaching staff of the Long Beach State men's volleyball program, including two seasons as associate head coach. A former All-American at Long Beach State, Hildebrand was the top assistant there from 2013-15 after a decorated playing career on the U.S. Men's National Team.
After concluding his collegiate playing career at Long Beach State in 2006, Hildebrand compiled an impressive list of accomplishments both as a player and coach. Professionally, he played on the U.S. Men's National Team from 2006-12 and was a four-time Pan American Cup champion and a World University Games bronze medalist. He later served as the setting consultant for the U.S. Men's National Team in 2015 as they won the FIVB World Cup and earned the bronze medal in the World League. In 2016, Hildebrand coached the U.S. beach volleyball duo of Jake Gibb and Casey Patterson at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Hildebrand also played professionally on the beach as part of the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) from 2006-07.
While continuing his playing career as a professional, Hildebrand was a volunteer assistant for the Long Beach State men from 2008-10. In his first stint at the Beach, Hildebrand was a volunteer assistant under head coach Alan Knipe from 2008-10. He was part of the staff that led the 49ers to the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) regular-season championship and an at-large berth to the NCAA Championships in 2008. Hildebrand was in charge of blocking and defense his first two seasons and worked primarily with the offense in 2010.
He joined the staff as a full-time assistant in 2013, and in his first year he helped Long Beach State reach the MPSF finals for the first time since his senior campaign in 2006. The Beach registered its best season in five years, finishing with a 24-8 overall record. Hildebrand worked closely with starting setter Connor Olbright, who garnered second-team All-America honors from both the AVCA and Volleyball Magazine. Outside hitter Taylor Crabb was also named the AVCA National Player of the Year and was a first-team All-American. In 2016, Hildebrand was named the AVCA Division I-II Men's National Assistant Coach of the Year after leading the 49ers to one of their best seasons in school history.
Outside of Long Beach State, Hildebrand served as the director of The HBC Boys' Volleyball Club from 2010-16. The HBC 18's team finished among the top-five in the Open division of the Boys' Junior National Championships four straight years, including a runner-up showing in 2015.
On the international level, Hildebrand traveled with the U.S. Men's National Team to Tokyo as the squad's setting consultant for the 2015 FIVB World Cup. The U.S. went 10-1 over the two-week round robin tournament to win its first World Cup since 1985 and qualify for the 2016 Olympics.
Hildebrand started his coaching career with the Riptides Volleyball Club, where he led his teams to back-to-back gold medals in the 17-Open and 18-Open divisions at the Junior Olympics (2004-05). He saw each of his 11 graduating seniors go on to play for college programs. He also served as an assistant coach for the Golden West College women's volleyball team (2006) and for the Mater Dei High School boys' volleyball team (2007). He helped GWC to a fourth-place finish in the state tournament, while Mater Dei reached the semifinals of the CIF playoffs.
A standout student-athlete at the Beach, Hildebrand was a four-year starting setter from 2003-06. He was a three-time AVCA and Volleyball Magazine first-team All-America selection and three-time first-team All-MPSF pick. He was also tabbed the MPSF Freshman of the Year and the AVCA National Newcomer of the Year in 2003. The 49ers reached the MPSF Tournament championship match three years in a row (2004-06), and Hildebrand was a key member of the 2004 squad that advanced to the NCAA finals. As a sophomore, he garnered NCAA all-tournament honors.
The Huskers begin their beach volleyball season in February, and Hunter will coach the team along with Reyes.
Hunter was named a first-team AVCA All-American, the Big Ten Setter of the Year and an All-Big Ten selection for the second time in her career following her 2017 senior season. She received numerous honors from volleyball publications, including National Player of the Year and All-America first-team honors from PrepVolleyball.com and VolleyMob.com. Hunter was also named co-Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Championship with teammate Mikaela Foecke after the Huskers beat Florida in the national title match in 2017.
Hunter earned CoSIDA Academic All-District first-team accolades and was named a semifinalist for the Senior CLASS Award. She ended her career with 4,125 assists, the second-most in Husker history, and she totaled 699 career postseason assists, the highest total in school history. Hunter finished her career with a 16-1 record in the NCAA Tournament as Nebraska's starting setter, posting the most wins and highest postseason winning percentage by a starting setter in Husker history.
Two Huskers Enter NCAA Transfer Portal
Also on Monday, Cook confirmed two Huskers – sophomore defensive specialist Chen Abramovich and sophomore opposite hitter Anezka Szabo - entered the NCAA transfer portal following the 2019 fall semester.
Abramovich, a native of Kfar Saba, Israel, missed the 2019 season with a foot injury after playing one match as a freshman in 2018. Szabo, a Sioux Falls, South Dakota native who has already announced her intentions to transfer to Kansas, played in 31 matches and had five kills and four blocks in 2019 as a redshirt sophomore. She played in nine matches in 2018 before a season-ending injury and appeared in 14 matches as a freshman on Nebraska's 2017 NCAA Championship team, notching 15 kills and three blocks.
"I have enjoyed coaching Chen and Nesh these last few years," Cook said. "Both have worked very hard and been good teammates and student-athletes. We wish Chen and Nesh the best."