After a week off following last Saturday’s win over Creighton, Nebraska basketball is back on the court Sunday against Oklahoma State.
For the Nebraska basketball team, the trip to the AP poll was brief, however, if the Huskers can knock off Oklahoma State Sunday night, they could climb back into the rankings Monday.
Last week, the Huskers narrowly missed the poll. They fell out because of a loss to Minnesota but rebounded with a 94-75 win over Creighton. Next up is 4-5 Oklahoma State, a team that has struggled at times this season, but did beat 19th-ranked LSU on a neutral floor not long ago.
In the Kenpom rankings, Nebraska basketball is the No. 20, while Oklahoma State checks in at No. 65. Yet, with the way that neutral wins are weighted, it’s possible this could be a quality win at some point, depending on how the Cowboys do in the Big 12. At any rate, it should be a Tier II win.
Of course, we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. The two teams are meeting in Sanford Pentagon in Sioux, Falls South Dakota and it will be a meeting of old Big 8 and Big 12 rivals. That is probably another reason it looks so intriguing to Nebraska fans. But it’s hard to know who will get the advantage on a neutral floor.
The arena sits a little over a few thousand people. Oklahoma State played Minnesota there a few years ago and so it has some familiarity and it will be interesting to see how the Huskers respond. Before breaking down the action too much, here is some basic info like how to watch and stream.
Game 11: Nebraska vs Oklahoma State
When: 6 PM CST
Where: Sanford Pentagon (Sioux, Falls SD)
Stream: BTN 2 Go
Radio: Huskers IMG Radio
One of the first things you notice about Oklahoma State is that the Cowboys average just 72 points a game, which puts them in the bottom 200 of scoring offenses. That is not a good sign against Nebraska basketball, one of the top defensive teams in the country.
Nebraska Cornhuskers Basketball
The Huskers are allowing just 59.6 points per game, which ranks 14th in the country, while they are also limiting teams to just 37 percent from the field shooting, which puts them 16th.
For its part, Oklahoma State ranks 105th in offensive efficiency and 55th on defense according to Kenpom, while Nebraska is 18th on offense and 38th on defense. When Nebraska has the basketball, James Palmer has been the focal point. The senior is averaging 18.7 PPG, followed by Isaac Copeland with 14.9 and Glynn Watson Jr., who is averaging 14.4.
Cameron McGriff is the top scorer for the Cowboys at 14.3 PPG but Oklahoma State has three others that score in double figures in Thomas Dziagwam, Lindy Waters and Michael Weathers, who each score a little more than 11 points per game.
The biggest key might be which team has the better night at the 3-point line. Oklahoma State shoots 41 percent from deep and has 82 makes on the season in nine games, while the Huskers shoot 35 percent and have made 87 in 10 games. Keep in mind though, the Huskers also boast a very good 3-point defense as teams shoot just 28 percent from deep and have just 48 makes.
Either way, it should be a competitive game and it’s one that the Huskers need in order to keep the positive momentum going into the rest of Big Ten play.