The Indiana Hoosiers are back in action Wednesday night when they will host the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Despite a 1-1 week from IU, the Hoosiers remained No. 1 in the AP Top 25 polls. It is a testament to how well respected the Big Ten is around the country.
It also speaks to just how monumental the win at Ohio State really was.
Indiana (21-3, 9-2) gets the benefit of feasting on some of the weaker teams in the Big Ten this week. Nebraska (12-12, 3-8) are not what one would call a stellar team. The Cornhuskers are also not very good on the road with a 2-6 record and currently on a 16-game losing streak away from home.
The are 11th in the Big Ten, only ahead of Penn State. Consequently two of the Cornhuskers' wins have come against Penn State, and another one versus Northwestern. The Hoosiers have only played Nebraska once and that was last season at Nebraska where IU lost by one. It hasn't been a focus of the week for the team but it has been weighing on some of the players minds.
Nebraska has the opposite of a prolific offense. The Cornhuskers average just 59 points per game, the worst in the Big Ten and 333th in the nation. However, of the TCU upset of Kansas a week ago taught us anything its that an awful offense can occasionally have an outstanding game against a superior opponent.
Pomeroy ratings have IU listed second with the best offense and the 18th ranked defense. Nebraska is the 146th ranked team with the 224th offense and 85th ranked defense.
Nebraska isn't particularly good at rebounding the ball or generating offense with assists either. They also rank last in the Big Ten in offensive rebounding. The Cornhuskers are averaging 11 turnovers per game as well.
The two teams have comparable defenses, at least in terms of points allowed. The difference is that IU averages more blocks, steals, and has a much better turnover margin.
Nebraska doesn't have a particularly deep team either. Three of the starters are averaging over 32 minutes per game and not coincidentally those three starters are scoring the bulk of the teams points, a combined 38 per game. The Cornhuskers also run a bit of a small line-up with their tallest player checking in at 6-10.
- Brandon Ubel vs Cody Zeller. Ubel is averaging 12 points and seven rebounds per game and is listed at 6-10 and 234-pounds. Zeller hasn't had a double-double for over a week, but against Nebraska's front court he could set new career highs. Last season Ubel had just two points and four rebounds against Zeller. Zeller will dominate Ubel once again. Andre Alemeida could come in to spell Ubel, and might have better luck defending Zeller as he is listed at 6-11 and 314-pounds. However this will result in Zeller using his speed to get to the rim as opposed to power moves.
- Ray Gallegos vs Yogi Ferrell. Gallegos is more of a shooting guard, and is averaging 13.3 points per game to lead Nebraska. Ferrell will likely be matched up against him due to similar sizes (6-2 for Gallegos and 6-0 for Ferrell). Ferrell had a rough game against Ohio State's Aaron Craft but he only turned the ball over once against one of the best defenders in the country. Ferrell will be looking to attack against a much looser defense. Gallegos is a fairly explosive player who has the potential to put up 30 points in any given night, but he might also give his team just five. Ferrell has been playing excellent defense lately and tonight should be no exception.
- Dylan Talley vs Victor Oladipo. Talley is averaging 13.1 points per game, 5.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists. He has been pretty consistent in getting his season averages in Big Ten play as well. Oladipo is coming off his best offensive game in his career with 26 points. He has been either shutting down whoever he guards or turns them into a volume shooter. Talley only hits 35-percent of the shots he takes, and averages 13 attempts per game, so Oladipo won't have to do much to make him anymore of a volume shooter.
Make no mistake, Indiana will run away with this game. Nebraska doesn't have the talent or depth to hang with IU, especially not in Assembly Hall. Some of the players may have revenge on their minds after last season, but more than likely they will be looking to tighten up play before another tough stretch begins next week.
Indiana wins big and the fans may be looking at some free Qdoba.
Don't forget to follow us on twitter, @hoosiers101 where we will be live tweeting during the game.
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