Published Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 10:23 pm / Updated at 10:26 pm
BASKETBALL
Senior-laden Crusaders to test NU men
Valparaiso at Nebraska
When: 8 p.m. Thursday
Where: Devaney Center, Lincoln
TV: BTN
Radio: 1110 AM KFAB

STARTING LINEUPS
Nebraska (1-0)
C, Andre Almeida, 6-11, Sr., 2.0, 2.0
F, Brandon Ubel, 6-10, Sr., 21.0, 12.0
G, Dylan Talley, 6-5, Sr., 17.0, 7.0
G, Ray Gallegos, 6-2, Jr., 16.0, 0.0
G, Benny Parker, 5-9, Fr., 8.0, 1.0
Valparaiso (2-0)
F, Kevin Van Wijk, 6-8, Sr., 10.0, 3.0
F, Ryan Broekhoff, 6-7, Sr., 17.0, 8.0
G, Ben Boggs, 6-4, Sr., 9.0, 5.0
G, Will Bogan, 6-1, Sr., 4.5, 2.0
G, Erik Buggs, 5-11, Sr., 5.0, 3.0

LINCOLN — Nebraska’s 51.9 percent shooting in its season-opening 66-55 win over Southern didn’t change coach Tim Miles’ opinion of his team’s firepower.

“We are challenged offensively,” he said. “That is loud and clear. We have to do a better job of handling pressure.

“Right now, it’s going to be hard for us to beat a good team.”

Miles’ theory will be tested Thursday night when Valparaiso (2-0) comes to the Devaney Center at 8 p.m. to face NU (1-0).

The Crusaders, defending Horizon League champions, are picked to win the league again. Five senior starters return from a 22-12 team, including conference player of the year Ryan Broekhoff, who averaged 14.9 points last season.

This year, the 6-foot-7 forward from Australia scored 14 points in an 85-54 victory over Georgia Southern and produced 20 points and 13 rebounds in a 69-46 win over Northern Illinois.

The scouting report on Valparaiso — a school of 4,000 in Valparaiso, Ind. — is relatively simple.

Look out for 3-point shots. The Crusaders hit 13 of 24 (54.2 percent) in each of their first two games.

“That is a big key to the game,” Miles said. “In theory, we’re trying to limit the number of attempts.

“They’ve already shot 24 in each of two games. So the idea is to get that number down to 16 or 18. They’ll still make them when they get them.”

Before the season, Miles expressed concern about Nebraska’s perimeter defense, and it’s still a worry.

“We don’t have a whole lot of depth and athleticism to pressure them off their spots where you just overwhelm them with defensive pressure,” the coach said. “So we’re going to have to play our system and limit opportunities.”

Nebraska will still be without Shavon Shields (elbow surgery). Miles said he expects the freshman wing to begin shooting again within a week.

Contact the writer:

402-444-1024, lee.barfknecht@owh.com

Contact the writer: Lee Barfknecht

lee.barfknecht@owh.com    |   402-444-1024    |  

Lee Barfknecht has won nine national writing awards from four separate organizations, and is a 12-time winner of the Nebraska sportswriter of the year award. He covers Big Ten football and basketball, Nebraska basketball and other college financial issues for The World-Herald.

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