Nebraska Basketball: 3 questions heading into the game against Northwestern

The Nebraska basketball team has hit a bit of a rough patch for a couple of different reasons. The first reason is that the team simply has a hard time putting together any kind of winning streak. Any time the Huskers seem like they might be turning the corner, they take a step or two backwards.

There is also the fact that the Nebraska basketball team is about as snakebit a team as any school in the Big Ten, if not the country. Injuries before and during the season have been plentiful and impactful. Yet another injury came down this weekend when Emmanuel Bandoumel suffered a knee injury that will see him miss the rest of the season. Thus brings us to the first question entering the contest against Northwestern on Wednesday night.

Can Nebraska Basketball Overcome Its Injuries?

Bandoumel and Juwan Gary are both done for the season. Blaise Keita is technically day-to-day but it sure feels like it’s getting closer to calling it a season on him as well. So do the Huskers have enough warm bodies to actually be competitive in the Big Ten?

It seems like head coach Fred Hoiberg is wondering the same thing, considering he said he’s talked to Ramel Lloyd Jr. about possibly pulling off his redshirt and suiting up for the Huskers for the rest of the season.

Since the Nebraska basketball team has decided not to pull off the redshirt, it looks like the Cornhuskers will just have to rely on guys who have mostly been bench players to contribute more. Sam Hoiberg, who has played 12 minutes this season, is going to be getting some serious playing time the rest of the way it appears.

Can Keisei Tominaga Step Up?

Keisei Tominaga has at times, looked like the best player the Nebraska basketball team has. He can hit shots from range, he can drive to the hoop and he’s easily the best free throw shooter on the squad. At the same time, there are moments when he seems to fade into the woodwork.

The Huskers are going to be looking to have someone besides Derrick Walker put them on his back. Walker can only do so much. He had 20 points, six rebounds and six assists and Nebraska still lost by 11 against Penn State.

Tominaga needs to step up, start shooting, a lot (to the point where Breidenbach takes as few shots as possible), and really become a team leader on offense especially. If he can do that, the Cornhuskers could pull off a big upset.

Can Nebraska Basketball Snap The Streak?

If you thought Nebraska football’s losing streak against Wisconsin or the recently snapped losing streak to Iowa was frustrating, then you might not want to know that the Huskers have really, really struggled against Northwestern.

I will admit I didn’t even realize it before I started researching this game that the Cornhuskers have lost six straight games to Northwestern. Considering that the Wildcats have not exactly been world-beaters most of the time, that’s just … appalling. Of course it includes the very embarrassing loss last year in the Big Ten tourney where the Huskers had a 14-point halftime lead and then imploded in the second period.

So can Nebraska basketball somehow snap that streak despite everything mounted against it, including the fact that Northwestern has put together a very impressive season so far? We’ll have to wait and see.