Nebraska basketball gets first real test against St. John’s

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 09: Kassoum Yakwe
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 09: Kassoum Yakwe /

The Nebraska basketball team opened as dogs against the St. John’s Red Storm.

After opening the season against two cupcake opponents, the Nebraska basketball team will finally get to show the college basketball world what it has. The Cornhuskers struggled against Eastern Illinois and ran all over North Texas in their first two games. St. John’s is going to be a team to take seriously.

The Huskers are currently sitting as seven-point underdogs against the Red Storm, which is a two-point drop in the spread from yesterday. The spread seems to basically be generated by the fact that Tim Miles’ team has yet to demonstrate much consistency this year.

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St. John’s on the other hand, has come out and pummeled both opponents in the early going. There is also the fact that this is Nebraska’s first road game of the season. On paper, the two squads are very similar, though the Red Storm are shooting quite a bit better.

The player the Cornhuskers should be most worried about is Sophomore guard Marcus LoVett who is averaging 19 points per game so far. LoVett is an absolute dead-eye from long range, hitting 5 of 10 three-point shots in St. John’s season opener and following that up with 3 for 5 from beyond the arc in their second game.

The Red Storm’s backcourt, in general, is deadly. LoVett is complemented nicely by another sophomore in Shamorie Ponds. Ponds is averaging 16.5 points per game and has also hauled down eight rebounds and dished out five assists per game.

The good news is that St. John’s has had some consistency issues of their own the last few years. While they are talented and expected to be better this season, they finished just 14-19 last year with a 7-11 record in conference during a down year for the Big East.

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The Nebraska basketball team might be lucky to be catching the Red Storm early in the season, before their young talent really meshes. With so many new faces on the Huskers, a loss isn’t necessarily cause for alarm but how the team plays tonight could be a signpost in the early going.