#39 Nebraska Men's Basketball 2018-2019 Preview

Nebraska Cornhuskers
2018-2019 Overall Rank: #39
Conference Rank: #6 Big Ten
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Despite their first 20+ win season during Coach Tim Miles’ six seasons with Nebraska, the Cornhuskers had to settle for a trip to the NIT last year. And then they had to go on the road in the NIT, where they lost to Mississippi State. But that was a nice step forward for a relatively young team. Anton Gill and Evan Taylor were key players on the squad last year and will add a couple openings in the backcourt rotation, but with four starters returning, Nebraska has the experience they need to get back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2014.
2017-18 Record: 22-11, 13-5
2017-18 Postseason: NIT
Coach: Tim Miles
Coach Record: 97-97 at Nebraska, 168-185 overall
Key Departed Players:
Anton Gill, Guard, 8.1 ppg
Evan Taylor, Guard, 6.4 ppg
Jordy Tshimanga, Center, 4.0 ppg
Key Returning Players:
James Palmer Jr, Senior, Guard, 17.2 ppg
Isaac Copeland Jr, Senior, Forward, 12.9 ppg
Glynn Watson Jr, Senior, Guard, 10.5 ppg
Isaiah Roby. Junior, Forward, 8.7 ppg
Thomas Allen, Sophomore, Guard, 3.2 ppg
Tanner Borchardt, Senior, Forward, 0.9 ppg
Nana Akenten, Sophomore, Guard, 1.0 ppg
Thorir Thorbjarnarson, Sophomore, Guard, 0.9 ppg
Key New Players:
Amir Harris, Freshman, Guard
Dedoch Chan, Sophomore, Forward, JC Transfer
Karrington Davis, Freshman, Guard
Justin Costello, Freshman, Guard
Brady Heiman, Freshman, Forward
Dachon Burke, Junior, Guard, Transfer from Robert Morris, not eligible
James Palmer should have a big senior season after averaging 17.2 points, 3.0 assists and 4.4 rebounds in 2017-2018. He is deceptively quick for a 6-6, 207 pound guard and that makes him extremely difficult to defend. If he can start shooting better than 30.9 percent from beyond the arc, Palmer could lead this team to big things. Glynn Watson is another senior in the backcourt. The point guard averaged 10.5 points and 3.2 assists and did a superb job of taking care of the basketball. Thomas Allen should help replace Gill’s three-point shooting and freshmen Karrington Davis and Amir Harris have enough talent to crack the regular rotation. The frontcourt will again revolve around Isaac Copeland. He came from Georgetown last season and averaged 12.9 points and 6.1 rebounds. Copeland’s ability to stretch the defense with his shooting capability helps open up space for players like Palmer to attack the basket. Isaiah Roby can shoot too, but he does most of his damage in the paint. Roby led the team with 6.3 rebounds and 2.0 blocks and he has a ton of potential on the offensive end as well thanks to his superb athleticism. If Roby can take another big step forward and Coach Miles can find some quality frontcourt depth from junior college transfer Dedoch Chan, this is a Nebraska team that can make some serious noise in the Big Ten.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.3 (217th in nation, 10th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 68.6 (76, 10)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.0 (264, 12)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.3 (74, 6)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.0 (239, 9)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.6 (194, 9)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.8 (152, 7)
Rebound Margin: -2.0 (267, 14)
Assists Per Game: 13.5 (180, 12)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.0 (27, 4)