Sutherland Longhorn Bar owner Tim Aden and Sutherland Rodeo Committee spokesperson Janet Mueller announced they are coming together to offer this incredible all-ages show at the outdoor event area north of the Sutherland Legion Hall adjacent to the rodeo grounds.
A native of Tulsa, OK, Diffie is a member of the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame and has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry for 25 years. A star athlete in high school, he originally set his sights on a medical career, but his love for music won out and he began performing in a gospel group. He paid the bills by working in a foundry and later joined a bluegrass band before deciding to give Nashville a try. He got a job working in the warehouse at Gibson Guitars, but felt like he wasn’t any closer to making his dreams come true.
He was on the verge of moving home when a conversation with his dad changed his destiny. “The best advice I ever got was from my dad,” Diffie recalls with a smile. “He said, ‘If you don’t have a goal, you don’t have anything to shoot at. Do something every day towards your music. Write a song or play your guitar.’ I took that to heart and made sure I did something every day whether it was big or little. I remember getting out of bed one time because I had forgotten to do something towards my music. I actually got up, got my guitar and played for a few minutes and then went back to bed. I feel like that had something to do with the success that I’ve managed to achieve. I think it would apply in anything. I lived, breathed, ate and slept music all the time. I was so obsessed with it.”
By 1990, Diffie had signed with Epic Records and released his debut album A Thousand Winding Roads. His very first single, “Home,” hit No. 1. He continued to dominate the charts throughout the 90s with such hits as “New Way (To Light Up an Old Flame),” “If the Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets),” “Is It Cold in Here,” “Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox (If I Die),” “So Help Me Girl,” “Bigger than the Beatles” and “Third Rock from the Sun.” Jason Aldean paid tribute to Diffie and namechecked many of the veteran entertainer’s classics in his hit “1994.” The video featured Luke Bryan, Thomas Rhett, Little Big Town, Jake Owen and others paying homage to the man who influenced them.
Diffie’s accolades include 5 number one hits, 35 songs on the Billboard Top 10 charts, two Platinum records and two Gold albums.
The historic Sutherland Rodeo will celebrate its 83rd year in 2020, with a slack performance on July 2, then nightly performances on the 3rd and 4th. In 2019 the Sutherland Rodeo was named ‘Large Purse Rodeo of the Year” by the Nebraska State Rodeo Association, an accolade that it has won numerous times in the past. The concert is scheduled to start following the rodeo on July 3.
The rodeo and concert will highlight a full weekend of Independence Day celebrations in the community of Sutherland that includes a Junior Rodeo Queen competition, Firecracker 5K run, Pancake Breakfast, Kids Games and Frog Races, Community BBQ, Parade, Pie and Ice Cream Social.
Concert tickets will go on sale March first and will be priced at $20 in advance and $30 at the gate.
Troopers with the Nebraska State Patrol have arrested a California man and seized cocaine and marijuana found during a traffic stop on Interstate 80 near Brady.
At approximately 7:00 a.m., Sunday, November 10, a trooper observed an eastbound Nissan Rogue speeding near mile marker 200. During the traffic stop, the trooper detected indicators of criminal activity.
A search of the vehicle revealed 2.2 pounds of cocaine hidden under the spare tire and 1.5 pounds of marijuana concealed in a box filled with spray foam.
The driver, Arnold Rodriguez, 44, of Modesto, California, was arrested for possession of cocaine, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana – more than one pound, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and no drug tax stamp. Rodriguez was lodged in Lincoln County Jail.
Back on September 9th police responded to 3021 S. Locust Street in reference to the discovery two deceased persons in a room. That investigation has concluded that the cause of death of both persons was accidental overdose of methamphetamine.
Autopsies were performed on deceased 38 year old Joshua Perkins and 37 year old Shannon
Sybert. Both results concluded that ‘Acute Methamphetamine Toxicity’ to be the cause of death.
Combined with the physical evidence and a thorough investigation, the Grand Island Police
Department is closing this case having found that accidental overdose was the cause of death
for both parties.
The police stressed in the release that if someone you care about is suffering from addiction, please seek help from community resources such as the Central Nebraska Council on Alcoholism and Addiction (CNCAA) at 308-385-5520
Authorities say a South Dakota man died after collision on Interstate 80 in south-central Nebraska.
The crash occurred around 4 p.m. Sunday near the U.S. Highway 281 junction at Grand Island. The Hall County Sheriff's Department says a semitrailer and two passenger vehicles were involved.
The name of the victim and other details about the collision have not been released.
According to the Grand Island City Council Agenda Mayor Roger G. Steele has submitted the name of Justin Scott for appointment as Councilmember to represent Ward 5.
This vacancy was created when Councilmember Michelle Fitzke moved from the district.
Scott's appointment is pending council approval Tuesday night.
Nebraska officials say the body of a duck hunter who was thrown into a lake when his boat capsized has been recovered.
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission says conservation officers and rescue divers found the body of 21-year-old Anthony Dush, of Saint Paul, in Sherman County Reservoir around 9 p.m. Friday.
Dush and another hunter were on a duck hunt traveling across the lake in a boat Friday when it capsized, throwing both into the water. The other hunter swam to a nearby cabin and called for help.
Dush was a member of the St. Paul volunteer fire department, an investigation of the incident is ongoing.
Sophomore Leigha Brown added a big spark off the bench with a game-high 16 points and a career-high-matching five assists to help the Huskers improve to 3-0 on the young season. Sophomore Ashtyn Veerbeek and Kate Cain each pitched in 13 points inside to drop Morgan State to 2-2 on the season.
As a team, Nebraska went 24-for-52 from the floor and an impressive 28-for-35 from the free-throw line to overcome a 2-for-13 shooting performance from three-point range. The Husker defense held the Bears to a 32.9 shooting percentage (23-for-70), but Morgan State hit six threes to stay within striking distance through three quarters.
Nebraska led 52-48 heading into the final period, despite hitting just 13-of-36 field goals through the first 30 minutes. The Bears cut it to 52-50 to open the fourth, but Nebraska hit 11-of-16 shots in the final period, including 2-of-3 threes to win going away. The Huskers, who outscored Morgan State 26-7 in the final period, finished the game on a 20-3 surge.
At the half, the game was tied, 30-30. Both teams got off to slow starts, going a combined 20-for-53 (38 percent) from the floor. The Huskers had the advantage at the foul line though, which kept them in the game. NU shot 16-for-20 in the half, while Morgan State didn't take a single shot from the line in the first 20 minutes of play. Despite the slow start, the Huskers had a strong finish to the half, making five of their last seven field goals. Veerbeek led the Huskers with 11 points in the first half. Brown finished with six points and three assists, while Eliely had eight boards.
Nebraska led 14-11 after the first quarter. The Huskers made just two shots from the floor, but were clutch from the free-throw line going a perfect 10-for-10. Veerbeek scored Nebraska's first four points of the game after a shot from the field and a pair of free throws. NU held Morgan State scoreless for nearly four minutes before the Bears drained a three to get on the board. Veerbeek, Brown and Isabelle Bourne led the Huskers with four points each in the first. In the second quarter, Veerbeek scored Nebraska's first seven points. She led the Huskers with 11 points overall in the first half.
Nebraska is back in action on Sunday as the team welcomes SIUE to Pinnacle Bank Arena. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. The Huskers will celebrate Alumni Weekend.
Lincoln – University of Nebraska defensive lineman Ben Stille has been named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District VII team released Thursday. Stille, a junior defensive lineman from Ashland, Neb., will now advance to the national ballot, as he looks to increase Nebraska’s nation-leading total of 338 Academic All-Americans.
This season, Stille has played in all nine games for the Blackshirts, totaling 23 tackles, including six tackles for loss. He is tied for third on the team with 2.5 sacks and ranks second on the Huskers with five quarterback hurries. He had a career-high five tackles against Northwestern and has recorded at least half a sack in three of the Huskers’ last four contests.
In the classroom, Stille carries a 3.39 GPA in Nutrition Health Sciences and has been named Academic All-Big Ten in each of the past two seasons. He is also active in NU’s Life Skills program and was a nominee for the AFCA Good Works Team and Wuerffel Trophy in 2019.
The 2019 Academic All-America team will be announced on Dec. 9. Stille and the Huskers will be in action on Saturday when they host No. 15 Wisconsin at 11 a.m. The game will be televised by BTN and carried on the Learfield-IMG Husker Sports Network.
"It's a very exciting day for our program, as we add a recruiting class that fits our needs on the court and our Husker family as a whole," Williams said. "We are excited about the potential this group brings, and we are looking forward to helping them build a great list of accomplishments in the future here at Nebraska."
Adelaide Australia (Sturt Sabres/Adelaide Lightning)
Ruby Porter, a 5-10 guard from Adelaide, Australia, became the first signee across any of Nebraska's sports during the signing period. She completed her paperwork shortly after 7 a.m. in her local time in Australia, which was late-afternoon Tuesday in Nebraska.
One of the most talented players in Australia's class of 2020, Porter was a member of the Australian U18 3x3 National Team that competed in the Youth Olympics in Argentina in October 2018, before winning the Asia Cup in the summer of 2019. She also competed at the 2018 World Championships in Minsk, Belarus as part of the U17 Australian National Team (Sapphires).
In April of 2019, she participated in "Next Generation Saturday" at the NCAA Women's Final Four in Tampa, before competing in the Australian Team Camp alongside current Husker freshman Isabelle Bourne for a spot on the U19 team at the FIBA Under-19 World Cup.
As a member of the Sturt Sabres in Australia's Premier League, Porter averaged 15.9 points per game at the U20 national championships in February of 2019. In April of 2018, Porter averaged 16.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.6 steals in helping South Australia to a silver medal at the U18 National Championships.
Porter said she chose Nebraska over LSU because of the Husker program's family atmosphere.
"The people at Nebraska made it feel like one big family and a place where I can develop best to achieve my goals in basketball and in life."
Minneapolis, Minnesota (Wayzata)
Annika (pronounced AH-nick-ah) Stewart, a 6-3 forward out of Wayzata High School in Plymouth, Minn., was the first commitment in Nebraska's signing class, making her intentions known on July 31. Stewart is expected to provide the Huskers with a versatile forward who brings a strong post game and the ability to shoot the three. Stewart averaged 12.2 points and 7.0 rebounds as a junior for 26-3 Wayzata, while earning All-Lake Conference and All-Metro honors. She produced 10.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per game as a sophomore for the 25-3 Trojans to earn All-Lake Conference honors in her first season at the school. Wayzata was the No. 2 ranked team in Class 4A in Minnesota in both 2018 and 2019. She played her eighth grade and freshman seasons in North Dakota at Minot's Bishop Ryan High School, before her family moved to Minneapolis.
After coming off the bench as an eighth grader, Stewart averaged 15.2 points and 7.1 rebounds as a freshman for Bishop Ryan. She earned all-region and all-conference honors while helping Bishop Ryan to a 20-5 record on the season. She has totaled 1,095 points, 600 rebounds, 106 blocks and 80 three-pointers in her four high school seasons combined entering her senior year in 2019-20.
Stewart played her summer club basketball for North Tartan - the same program that produced current Husker sophomores Sam Haiby (Moorhead) and Kayla Mershon (Chanhassen/Minnetonka). In the summer of 2019, Stewart earned an all-tournament selection at the Nike Boo Williams in Hampton, Va.
Stewart chose Nebraska over Minnesota and Iowa because of the overall environment of the program.
"I really like the coaching staff and the family atmosphere," Stewart said. "I believe it is a special place with great support to thrive as a student-athlete. I'm excited to be a Husker!"
Grand Island, Nebraska (Northwest)
Whitney Brown averaged 16.9 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.9 steals per game in leading Grand Island Northwest to the 2019 Nebraska Class B State Championship. The 5-8 guard averaged 21.0 points per game in three state tournament wins for the Vikings, including a 23-point effort in the Class B state championship game against Crete. Her performance as a junior earned her a spot on the Omaha World-Herald's All-Nebraska First Team, while adding honors on the Lincoln Journal Star's Super-State Second Team in 2019. She was a first-team Class B All-State selection by both papers. She was the captain of the Grand Island Independent's All-Heartland Super Squad for Coach Russ Moerer. She played summer club basketball for the Cornhusker Shooting Stars Bison Elite.
Brown, who will be a four-time letterwinner in both basketball and volleyball at Grand Island Northwest, is also a two-time letterwinner in track. She helped the volleyball team to state tournament appearances in 2017, 2018 and 2019 and is a two-time state qualifier in the 3,200-meter run.
An academic all-state selection in both basketball and volleyball, Brown is also the president of the student council and the president of the National Honor Society.
She chose Nebraska over Eastern Illinois, Northwest Missouri State, Fort Hays State and Nebraska-Kearney.
"It has always been my dream since I was a little kid to be a Husker, so when I was given the opportunity it was my dream come true," Brown said. "It will be an honor to represent my hometown with "Huskers" written across my chest."
Four McCook Community College Student Athletes signed letters of intent Wednesday to continue their athletic careers at four-year schools. Wednesday was National Signing Day, the first day student/athletes can sign a contract to play at the junior college level or sign with an NAIA school.
Wednesday’s first-day signees included baseball players Braden Babcock, Oshawa, Ontario; Issac Vargas, Greeley, Colo.; Yasnier Laureano, Anderson, S.C.; and softball player Jade Hollands, Effingham, Kan.
MCC Athletic Director and Baseball Coach Olsen said while college sports tend to measure success by wins and losses, he believes at the junior college level there is another important factor.
“Sure we want to be good but at the end of the day it’s about getting our students off to a four-year school and we’ve been really successful over the years doing that,” he said.
This past year nine MCC baseball sophomores moved on four-year schools and Olsen believes another seven or eight players will sign in the spring.
“Anytime that we can help somebody come to McCook and move on to better themselves and further their education that’s a 100 percent win for us,” Olsen said.
Overall, last year MCC 24 student athletes moved on to four-year schools. These athletes were from all six sports. Seven are playing and NCAA Division I programs, nine and Division II schools and eight at NAIA schools.
“Today’s signings are a testament to their work ethics,” said Olsen. “Our baseball team was lacking in pitching and we went after Braden and Issac who joined us last fall and ‘Yas’ joined at semester,” Olsen said.
“Coach Pat Robles deserves a ton a credit here, he’s extremely knowledge and has an extreme work ethic and relates well to our guys. His specialty is the development on the pitching side and he really does a nice job with that.”
This past spring MCC hurlers led Region IX (The Empire League) in earned run average at 4.85, allowed the fewest hits in the league (331) and struck out a league-leading 10.26 hitters per game.
Braden Babcock, 6-3, 225 sophomore from Maxwell Heights SS in Oshawa, Ontario signed on to play at Southern Illinois, an NCAA Division I school in Carbondale, Ill., part of the Missouri Valley Conference. Twenty-four Saluki alumni have gone on to the Major Leagues including seven-time all-star Dave Stieb, and two-time all-star Steve Finley. Southern Illinois has played in the NCAA tournament 14 times and in the College World Series five times.
“They have a great reputation for winning and play in an awesome conference, and a brand new coaching staff from some high-level teams,” Babcock said.
During his freshman campaign Babcock tied Vargas for the team lead with 10 starts. Babcock was second on the squad in innings pitched with 58.2. He went 4-5 on the season with a 3.53 ERA and a complete game. He struck out 64, allowed 58 hits and walked 30. At the Region IX Sophomore All-Star game last month in Arizona, he was clocked between 87-90 mph and struck out all five of the batters he faced. He was named to the Omaha World-Herald all Junior College team in June.
Babcock said Southern Illinois reached out to him right off the bat, and maintained interest all through the recruiting process.
“I’ve really enjoyed friendships and relationships I’ve made here,” Babcock said. “The culture is so much different here than you will see at D1 schools. You just get so much closer to your friends, your coaching staff and the players on your team.”
Issac Vargas, a 6-2, 225-pounder from Greeley Central High School in Greeley, Colo. signed on to play at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. SIU-E is an NCAA Division 1 school which plays in the Ohio Valley Conference. The Cougars made eight appearances in the Division II World Series before becoming a Division I program in 2008.
Vargas said he believes SIU-Edwardsville can help him get to the next level and credits MCC Pitching Coach Pat Robles for helping develop his skills over the past 15 months to point he can continue pitching.
“Coach Robles was a blessing for me quite honestly” Vargas said, “I’m ecstatic to be moving on to the next level.”
Vargas appeared in 14 games as a freshman, starting 10 of those. He was 6-3 with a 2.71 ERA and a save. In 73 innings pitched, he struck out 98 hitters. His ERA was sixth best in the region, he ranked fourth in wins and innings pitched, third with four complete games and strikeouts, and second with 12.08 strikeouts per game. He was named to the All-Region IX team and the Omaha World-Herald all-JUCO team.
The Colorado native had a 14-strikeout performance March 23 at Trinidad and followed that up with double-digit strikeouts in three of his next four games. At the Region IX Sophomore all-star game in Arizona, Vargas struck out four of the five batters he faced with his velocity ranging between 84-86 mph.
Yasnier Laureano, a 6-4, 205, right-handed pitcher from T.L. Hanna High School in Anderson, S.C., signed on Wednesday to play baseball at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Fla. a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) school.
He said he is looking forward to continuing his career at a school with a great baseball tradition.
“They won the NAIA national championship in 2018,” he said.
He transferred to MCC for the spring semester.
“At 20 years old, I didn’t really have many opportunities left and Coach Olsen and Coach Robles helped me realize that I needed to work hard every day, and not take anything for granted,” Laureano said.
Laureano, appeared in nine games this past spring. Pitching in 9.1 innings he allowed nine hits and struck out 12.
Last month he was one of four MCC pitchers invited to Peoria, Ariz. to take part in the Region IX Sophomore All-Star Baseball game where he struck out two batters and his pitch velocity was measured at between 90-94 mph.
“He’s got the best arm on the team by far,” Olsen said. “He’s been up to 94 mph multiple times this fall,” Olsen said.
Jade Hollands, who attended Atchison County High School in Kansas, signed on Wednesday to play softball at Minnesota State University-Moorhead, a Division II school. The Dragons compete in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.
Hollands said she was looking for a school to continue her career and liked what her research turned up on the program. She contacted them, got invited for a visit and she liked the coach and the players and said if felt like the right fit for her.
As a freshman the 5-9, utility/first baseman played in 45 games, batted .307, slugged .436, smacked eight doubles, a triple and a home run.
She said she has enjoyed her time at MCC and while there are a lot of great memories on campus, there’s one softball memory that stands out for her.
“Last year against Otero we be them here at home, and they hit me in the face,” she said.
Down 6-4 in the eighth inning, MCC rallied with three straight two-out hits including a Hollands double. While stealing third she was struck in the face with a thrown ball and had to leave the game but “her” pinch runner scored the game winner, and she sported a swollen, black eye for “taking” one for the team.
Three of her eight doubles on the season came in that April 23 doubleheader against Otero Junior College when Hollands went four-for-six with four RBI.
The Lady Indians went 29-33 her freshman season and made it to the finals of the Region IX tournament.
Nebraska freshman Wan’Dale Robinson has been honored for his outstanding all-purpose play for the 2019 Huskers. Robinson was named Thursday as one of four finalists for the Paul Hornung Award, given annually to the most versatile player in college football as presented by the Louisville Sports Commission.
The 5-10, 190-pound Robinson is joined in the group of finalist by Kentucky junior wide receiver/quarterback/kick returner Lynn Bowden Jr., LSU junior running back/kick returner Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Virginia wide receiver/kicker returner Joe Reed.
Robinson leads Nebraska with 1,015 all-purpose yards and ranks second nationally in all-purpose yards among freshmen at 112.8 yards per game. Robinson is just the fourth true freshman in school history to surpass 1,000 all-purpose yards, joining Ahman Green (1995), Ameer Abdullah (2011) and De’Mornay Pierson-El (2014). For his efforts this season, Robinson was a mid-season freshman All-American by the FWAA and The Athletic, and is a two-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week.
Robinson has split his time between wide receiver and running back, in addition to handling kickoff return duties. Robinson’s team-leading 40 catches and 463 receiving yards are the most by a true freshman in Nebraska history.
On the ground, Robinson has rushed for 326 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for better than 80 yards twice this season. Robinson has added 236 yards on 11 kickoff returns.
Robinson’s selection marks the second time Nebraska has had a Hornung Award finalist, joining Ameer Abdullah who achieved the honor in 2014. Past winners of the Hornung Award include Rondale Moore (Purdue, 2018), Saquon Barkley (Penn State, 2017), Christian McCaffrey (Stanford, 2015) and Odell Beckham Jr. (LSU, 2013).
Just a year ago, Robinson captured the high school Paul Hornung Award, presented annually by the Louisville Quarterback Club to the top high school football player in Kentucky. Robinson had 1,973 rushing yards, 725 receiving yards and scored 45 touchdowns as a senior at Western Hills High School in Frankfort, Ky.
GAME 3: Nebraska vs. South Dakota State
Date: Fri., Nov. 15
Time: 8:07 p.m. (CT)
Location: Lincoln, Neb.
Arena: Pinnacle Bank Arena
Tickets: Sold Out
2019-20 Record: 0-2
Head coach: Fred Hoiberg
Record at Nebraska: 0-2 (1st year)
Career NCAA Record: 115-58 (6th year)
SOUTH DAKOTA STATE JACKRABBITS
2019-20 Record: 3-1
Head coach: Eric Henderson
Record at South Dakota State: 3-1 (1st year)
Career Record: same
Play-by-play: Chris Vosters
Analyst: Nick Bahe
Online Broadcast: Fox Sports App
Radio: Learfield-IMG Husker Sports Network, including 590 AM (Omaha), 1400 AM (Lincoln) and 880 AM (Lexington)
Play-by-play: Kent Pavelka
Analyst: Jake Muhleisen
Online Radio: Available on Huskers.com, Huskers App, TuneIn.com/Huskers and TuneIn App.
SiriusXM (Internet): Ch. 372 XM: Ch. 372
Huskers Take on South Dakota State Friday Night
The Nebraska men's basketball team hopes the third time is the charm this Friday evening, as the Huskers host South Dakota State. Tipoff at Pinnacle Bank Arena is slated for 8 p.m., and Friday's game is sold out. Any returned tickets, if available, will be available at the PBA Ticket Office 90 minutes before tipoff.
Friday's matchup will be carried nationally on BTN with Chris Vosters and Nick Bahe on the call. The game can also be streamed via the web, smartphones, tablets and connected devices through the Fox Sports app.
Fans can follow all of the action across the state of Nebraska on the Learfield-IMG Husker Sports Network with Kent Pavelka and Jake Muhleisen on the call. The game will also be available on Huskers.com, the Huskers app and TuneIn radio. The pregame show begins one hour prior to tipoff.
Nebraska (0-2) had plenty of chances against Southern Utah before dropping a 79-78 heartbreaker to the Thunderbirds on Nov. 9. The Huskers had opportunites with go-ahead baskets in the final seconds of both overtime periods, but could not capitalize before Cameron Oluyitan's basket with 3.5 seconds remaining gave the visitors the win. Sophomore Cam Mack's final attempt rolled off the rim at the buzzer in the second overtime.
The loss overshadowed the performances of Mack and freshman Kevin Cross. Mack tallied 13 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds in 41 minutes, as his 11 assists were the most by a Husker since 2010. Mack also flirted with a double-double in the opener against UC Riverside. Cross led NU with 19 points off the bench on 8-of-15 shooting and snared five rebounds. His 19-point performance was the most by a Husker freshman since 2013.
Mack's 12.0 ppg leads a balanced attack which has seen four players average double figures in the early going. NU, which returned just 2.0 ppg from last year's roster, will look to generate more offense, shooting just 34 percent from the field in its first two contests.
South Dakota State (3-1) wraps up a three-game road trip Friday night, as the Jackrabbits fell at USC, 84-66, on Tuesday evening. Douglas Wilson had a team-high 15 points while David Wingett added 10 points off the bench as the Jackrabbits saw their three-game win streak snapped.
The 19-point effort by freshman Kevin Cross vs. Southern Utah was the most by a Husker freshman since Shavon Shields had 19 points against Purdue in the 2013 Big Ten Tournament. Over the previous two seasons, NU had just three double-figure performances by freshmen (Brady Heiman-1; Thomas Allen-2).
SCOUTING SOUTH DAKOTA STATE
Under first-year head coach Eric Henderson, South Dakota State is 3-1 on the season heading to Lincoln. Henderson, who was on the SDSU staff for the past three seasons under former head coach T.J. Otzelberger, inherited a team that has one starter back from a team that went 24-9 and won the Summit League regular-season title in each of the past two seasons. The Jackrabbits had to replace 3,000-point scorer Mike Daum as well as David Jenkins, who scored nearly 1,200 points in three seasons.
The Jackrabbits, who were picked to finish fifth in the Summit League, opened the year with three straight wins, including a 70-57 win over UT Rio Grand Valley and a 93-91 double overtime win at Cal State Bakersfield before falling at USC, 84-66, on Tuesday night. Against USC, the Jacks were within three midway through the second half before the Trojans pulled away down the stretch.
Junior college transfer Douglas Wilson leads SDU in both scoring (19.5 ppg) and rebounding (7.3 rpg) as he is shooting 58 percent from the field. Senior point guard Brandon Key is scoring 11.8 points per game while pacing the squad with 4.0 assists per game. Sophomore Matt Dentlinger is the third starter in double figures as he averages 10.0 points and seven caroms per game.
SDSU also features a pair of Nebraska natives in reserves David Wingett (8.3 ppg) and Baylor Scheierman (8.8 ppg). Wingett began his career at Memphis last year before receiving an NCAA waiver, while Scheierman is from Aurora.
Series history: Nebraska has won all 12 meetings between the two teams, while Friday' matchup is the first since a 76-64 win during the 2011-12 campaign. NU is 69-9 all-time against the current members of the Summit League.
LAST TIME OUT
Cameron Oluyitan's jumper with 3.5 seconds remaining proved to be the game winner, as Southern Utah escaped with a 79-78 double overtime win over the Huskers on Nov. 9.
Oluyitan, who was one of five Thunderbirds in double figures with 11 points, found a spot the right baseline and knocked down a 15-footer to give SUU the lead for good.
Nebraska had a chance to win at the end of the second overtime, but Cam Mack's shot at the buzzer rolled off the rim, as the Huskers fell to 0-2 on the season.
Mack put the Huskers in position to win, as he recorded a double-double with 13 points and 11 assists, including finding Jervay Green for the game-tying 3-pointer at the end of regulation. Mack, one of four Huskers in double figures, also added seven boards.
Green finished with 18 points and eight rebounds, while freshman Kevin Cross came off the bench and topped the Huskers with 19 points and added five rebounds. Dachon Burke Jr. rounded out the quartet with 13 points and four boards.
Dwayne Morgan led the visitors (2-0) with 19 points and 11 rebounds, as Nebraska held SUU to 41 percent shooting and forced SUU 18 turnovers, but the Huskers shot just 37 percent and were out-rebounded 58-44.
DID YOU KNOW
• Cam Mack is one of six players nationally averaging at least 10 points, seven rebounds and seven assists per game as of Nov. 13.
• Mack's 13-point, 11-assist performance vs. Southern Utah marked just the sixth time in the last 30 years that a Husker has had a points-assist double-double.
Husker Points/Assists Double-Doubles (Last 30 years)
vs. Southern Utah, 11/11/19
Glynn Watson Jr.
vs. Cal State Fullerton, 12/20/19
vs. Kansas, 2/5/11
at Kansas State, 2/7/10
at TCU, 11/21/09
vs. Appalachian State, 12/31/94
• Matej Kavas enters the South Dakota State game needing just eight points to reach 1,000 for his collegiate career.
• Through the first two games, 78.4 percent of the Huskers' offense were from players who were added in the offseason, including five of the top six scorers.
• Husker senior Haanif Cheatham played against South Dakota State last season at Florida Gulf Coast, scoring a season-high 23 points on 10-16 shooting and five rebounds.
• Friday's game features two teams which have been completely reconstructed in the offseason. NU and South Dakota State rank first and third, respectively in the fewest points per game returning from last season.
Fewest Returning PPG from 2018-19
Pct. of Scoring
South Dakota St.
H/T Virginia Tech SID office
• Nebraska's 14 first-year players on the roster matches TCU for the most in the nation in research done by the Utah SID John Vu. Only four teams (TCU-14, Nebraska-14, East Carolina-13 and Utah-12) have at least 12 newcomers on their 2019-20 rosters. That does not count players who sat out last season, such as Dachon Burke Jr.
• Nebraska is 102-14 (.879) in non-conference home games since the start of the 2006-07 season, including 39-9 (.813) since Pinnacle Bank Arena opened in 2013.
SETTING A FAST PACE
Not only are the Huskers adjusting to a whole new roster, but playing at a significantly faster pace than in previous years. The Huskers are 44th nationally in adjusted tempo, averaging more than 74 possessions in a 40-minute game. NU is currently second in the Big Ten in tempo after ranking eighth in the Big Ten and 238th nationally in 2018-19.
• Hoiberg's first Iowa State team in 2010-11 jumped from 93rd to 34th nationally in tempo and ranked in the top 40 nationally in tempo in four of his five seasons in Ames, including top-15 nationally in his last two campaigns.
• In the KenPom era (1997-present), only one Husker team has ranked among the top 100 nationally in tempo - the 1999-2000 Huskers under Danny Nee.
CROSS LIFTS BENCH PRODUCTION
Freshman Kevin Cross has been an early contributor for the Huskers. The 6-foot-8 freshman from Little Rock, Arkansas, has been the first Husker off the bench in both games, and is second on the team in scoring (11.5 ppg) and third in rebounding (4.0 rpg).
• Against Southern Utah, Cross had a team-high 19 points, becoming the first freshman in 73 games to pace the Huskers in scoring.
• Cross has lost nearly 20 pounds since arriving on campus this summer, and showed glimpses of his potential during NU's trip to Italy, reaching double figures twice in four contests.
• He has helped the NU reserves combine for 21 points per game during the first two contests.
OUEDRAOGO ADDS NAME TO SHORT LIST OF TRUE FROSH
Freshman Yvan Ouedraogo became the first true freshman to start a season opener at Nebraska since 2013 when he started against UC Riverside on Nov. 5.
• Ouedraogo, who became the first true freshman to start in the frontcourt since Brandon Ubel in 2009, had nine points, three rebounds and a pair of steals and a blocked shot in 21 minutes of action.
• He is just the 11th true freshman and 13th freshman overall to start a season opener in the last 25 years at Nebraska, joining a group which includes 1,000-point scorers Tai Webster, Ryan Anderson, Cookie Belcher and Tyronn Lue.
• He has started both games for the Huskers, averaging 5.5 points and 4.0 rebounds per game.
Ouedraogo, who doesn't turn 18 until after the 2020 Big Ten Tournament, played for the French U-18 squad at the 2019 European Championships in July, averaging 4.0 points, 3.6 rebounds per game as France went 6-1 and finished fifth.
JUCO ADDITIONS AMONG THE NATION'S BEST
Two of the cornerstones of the Huskers' recruiting class were junior college transfers Cam Mack and Jervay Green. Mack (third) and Green (eighth) were both ranked in the top 10 nationally by JUCORecruiting.com in the 2019 recruiting class and have played a crucial role for the Huskers early in 2019-20.
Mack, who was listed as the top JC point guard recruit in the country, enters the South Dakota State game leading the Huskers in scoring (12.0 ppg), rebounding (8.0 rpg) and assists (7.0 apg) while posting a nearly 3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. He is second in the Big Ten in assists and also ranks in the top 20 in rebounding.
• Mack has been the only Husker in double figures in both games, as he had 11 points and nine rebounds in the opener before nearly pulling a triple-double against Southern Utah with 13 points, 11 assists and rebounds. His 11 assists against the Thunderbirds was the most by a Husker since the 2009-10 campaign.
• Last season at Salt Lake CC, Mack averaged 19.1 points, 7.6 assists and 5.9 rebounds per game, ranking fifth nationally in assists per game. He totaled nine double-doubles and three triple doubles as a freshman and dished out 10-or-more assists nine times.
Green was rated as the No. 2 combo guard after a stint at Western Nebraska CC, is second on the team in both scoring (11.5 ppg) and rebounding (5.0 rpg), while topping NU in both blocked shots (2.0 bpg) and steals (2.5 spg).
• Green is one of only five power conference players - and just 17 players in Division I - averaging at least two blocks and steals per game. He is the only Big Ten player at those plateaus.
• He nearly had a double-double of his own against Southern Utah with 18 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Green sent the game into overtime with a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
• Green garnered NJCAA All-America honors at WNCC, averaging 23.6 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game. He was eighth nationally in scoring and had six 30-point games, including a school-record 51-point outburst.
KAVAS IS ONE OF NATION'S TOP SHOOTERS
Senior transfer Matej Kavas comes to Nebraska with a reputation as one of the nation's top 3-point shooters. The 6-foot-8 guard is a career 45 percent shooter from 3-point range, and has shot 40 percent or better in all three of his seasons at Seattle. Kavas' .446 career percentage ranks fourth among active Division I players, as he is shooting 40 percent from long range this season. As a sophomore at Seattle, Kavas led the WAC in both 3-point percentage (.464) and 3-pointers per game (2.8).
• To put Kavas' shooting in perspective, Nebraska's career mark for career 3-point percentage is .432 by Brian Conklin (2001-04) and only five players in school history have shot 40 percent in their Husker career with a minimum of 100 3-pointers.
• Kavas' 179 career 3-pointers would ranks sixth on NU's career list while his 91 3-pointers as a sophomore would top NU's single-season mark (Cary Cochran, 89, 2001-02).
Top Active 3-Point Shooters in Division I (as of Nov. 12)
Tyrell Gumbs-Frater, Coastal Carolina
Justin Jaworski, Lafayette
Nate Darling, Delaware
Matej Kavas, Nebraska
Jordan Dartis, Ohio
WHAT'S BACK FOR THE HUSKERS
Nebraska returns one letterwinner and one other player from last year's team that went 19-17 and reached the second round of the NIT. Junior guard Thorir Thorbjarnarson was the only player who has seen regular-season action for the Huskers entering the 2019-20 campaign. He averaged 2.0 points and 2.1 rebounds per game last year.
• According to research by noted basketball statistician Ken Pomeroy, the 50 returning points on Nebraska's 2019-20 roster is the lowest total for a power conference team since 2009, when Indiana returned just 28 points from the previous season.
• Since 2000, it is only the fourth time where the Huskers have returned less than 40 percent of the team's scoring output from the previous year (also 2012-13, 2009-10 and 2001-02). In that stretch, the lowest was 24 percent in 2012-13.
• The seven returning starts are the lowest in the last 20 years (41 entering 2001-02).
What's Returning (Last Five Seasons)
Pct. of scoring
Pct. of rebounding
Pct. of assists
Pct. of blocked shots
Pct. of steals
Pct. of minutes
TRANSFERS BRING MUCH-NEEDED EXPERIENCE
While Nebraska has only one player who has previously played at Nebraska (Thorir Thorbjarnarson), a good portion of the roster has Division I experience. The Huskers feature six transfers who have combined for more than 3,000 points at the Division I level. Dachon Burke Jr. is the only returnee in the group after he began his collegiate career at Robert Morris before sitting out the 2018-19 season at Nebraska.
Experienced Additions (Entering 2019-20)
Dalano Banton ^
Dachon Burke Jr.
Shamiel Stevenson %
^ - Will not be eligible until 2020-21; %-Awaiting NCAA Waiver
FROM COLLEGE TO THE NBA AND BACK AGAIN
Nebraska's Fred Hoiberg is in an exclusive club, as he is one of just 10 current Division I coaches to coach in Division I and in the NBA. He spent three-plus seasons with the Chicago Bulls, guiding the Bulls to the NBA Playoffs in 2016. Hoiberg's 270 regular-season NBA games are the most of the 10 former NBA coaches in the collegiate ranks. Hoiberg also brings five years of NBA front office experience, as he worked with the Minnesota Timberwolves from 2005 to 2010.
NBA Head Coach, Years
Fred Hoiberg, Nebraska
Larry Krystkowiak, Utah
Terry Porter, Portland
Milwaukee, 2003-05; Phoenix 2008-09
Lon Kruger, Oklahoma
Eric Musselman, Arkansas
Golden State, 2002-04; Sacramento, 2006-07
Mike Dunlap, Loyola Marymount
Darrell Walker, Ark. Little Rock
Toronto, 1996-98; Washington, 1999-2000
John Calipari, Kentucky
New Jersey, 1996-99
Leonard Hamilton, Miami
Lindsey Hunter, Miss. Valley State
HUSKER FAMILY TIES RUN DEEP FOR HOIBERG
While Fred Hoiberg grew up in Ames and played his high school (Ames High School) and college basketball (Iowa State) there, he was born in Lincoln and has numerous ties to the city and to the University of Nebraska.
• Fred's father (Eric) and mother (Karen) both earned their undergraduate degrees from Nebraska in 1966. In fact, Eric earned his undergraduate degree, Master's degree, and Ph.D. in sociology from the university. His 1973 dissertation was "Socio-economic status, residential location, and intrametropolitan mobility: a longitudinal analysis".
• His maternal grandfather was former Husker basketball coach Jerry Bush. Known as the "Big Bear of the Coliseum," Bush guided NU from 1955 to 1963, and directed two of the greatest upsets ever – a 43-41 victory over top-ranked Kansas and Wilt Chamberlain, and a 55-48 victory over No. 4 Kansas State and Olympian Bob Boozer during the 1957-58 campaign.
• His paternal grandfather (Otto) received his Master's Degree and Ph.D from Nebraska. He joined the faculty of the University of Nebraska in 1948, where he taught sociology and served as director of the community development program in the University of Nebraska Extension Division.
YOU CAN GO HOME AGAIN: PART 2
Assistant Coach Doc Sadler brings a unique perspective to the Husker basketball staff, as he returns to Lincoln after serving as the head coach at Southern Miss for the last five seasons. Sadler helped Southern Miss improve its win total in each of the last four seasons, including a 20-13 mark and Conference USA semifinal appearance in 2018-19. Sadler returns to a program that he served as head coach for six seasons, guiding the Huskers to 101 wins and three postseason appearances in his six-year tenure.
Its rare for a coach to return to a program as an assistant coach, as the other other known example is Marty Wilson, who was the interim head coach at Pepperdine in 1996 before returning to the school as an assistant coach in 2008.
FAMILIAR FACES FOR HOIBERG ON HUSKER STAFF
One strength of the Husker coaching staff is a familiarity with each other, as three staff members had worked with Hoiberg as assistant coaches during his previous stint at Iowa State from 2010 to 2015. Matt Abdelmassih also worked under Hoiberg in the front office with the Minnesota Timberwolves, while Bobby Lutz was an assistant coach with the Windy City Bulls in the G League while Hoiberg coached the Chicago Bulls.
Previous Experience with Fred Hoiberg
Coaching Experience with Hoiberg
Matt Abdelmassih, Assistant Coach
Iowa State (2010-15)
Doc Sadler, Assistant Coach
Iowa State (2013-14)
Bobby Lutz, Special Assistant to the Head Coach
Iowa State (2010-11)
PINNACLE BANK ARENA SOLD OUT FOR 2019-20 SEASON
Since moving into Pinnacle Bank Arena in 2013, the Huskers have ranked in the top 15 in attendance nationally in each of the past six seasons. The streak will likely continue into 2019-20, as all available season tickets were sold out in August.
• Last season, Nebraska averaged 15,341 fans per home game to rank 10th nationally in attendance, matching the highest rank in school history.
• Nebraska is one of nine schools in the country to average 15,000+ fans per contest in each of the last six seasons, joining Kentucky, Syracuse, Louisville, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas and Creighton.
• The Big Ten Conference has led NCAA Basketball in attendance for 43 straight years, dating back to the 1976-77 season. Last season, Big Ten schools drew more than a combined three million fans for the fifth straight year.
Filling Up Pinnacle Bank Arena
2013-14 (1st year of PBA)