Nebraska Basketball: James Palmer Jr. is Husker’s offensive catalyst

(Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
(Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images) /

Nebraska Basketball has a  bona fide star in Palmer Jr.

Saturday’s win against Creighton was exciting on many levels. For starters, it marked the first time in eight years that the Cornhuskers defeated the Bluejays. Also, it marked another big game for senior guard James Palmer Jr. in the midst of having a great season, Palmer can certainly add this one to his highlight tape as he was one of the key reasons why Nebraska basketball came away with the victory.

Palmer played 27 minutes, going 9-for-12 in field goal attempts. He went 6-for-7 in three-point attempts and 6-for-6 in free-throw attempts. He set season highs in field goal percentage (.750) and three-point field goal percentage (.857). His 30 points were a season-high.  He has scored double digits in all but one game this season, and has been the team’s go-to scorer. He looked really confident from behind the three-point line and took the game into his own hands on several occasions. This is the kind of play Nebraska needs from him , especially as conference play begins sooner rather than later.

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It’s good to see him starting to heat up as the season goes on. In the opening game against Mississippi Valley State, Palmer struggled a little bit. He scored 17 points, going 4-for-8 on field goals and 1-for-5 in this three-point field goal attempts. Even though that wasn’t his best game, he still managed to make an impact. Since then, he has been on a roll. He has scored in double figures in all but one game this season, and has been the team’s catalyst. With 18.7 points per game, that places him fourth in the Big Ten conference. Overall,  Nebraska as a team ranks third in the conference in scoring with 79.8 points accumulated per game.

Palmer’s next game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys should provide a bit of a challenge. Although they are only 4-5, they are first in the Big 12 and have a tremendous all-around player in junior Cameron McGriff. He and Palmer should go toe-to-toe on Sunday. This is a team that can put up points in a hurry, and they also do well on the glass. McGriff is the team’s leading rebounder with seven per game. This is a team that can beat you in many ways, and Palmer and the rest of the Cornhuskers need to be ready for the challenge.

This game could tell how Palmer is going to do over the second half of the season. Last Saturday could have been his breakout game. I am excited to see how he will do on Sunday. In a game of uncertainties one thing is certain: Given his performance last weekend, he will have a tough act to follow.