Nebraska Basketball Game Day: North Carolina State

Nebraska Cornhuskers (5-2) vs North Carolina State Wolfpack (5-1)

Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021 – 6:15 p.m. CT

PNC Arena


Radio: Husker Sports Network

Internet: ESPN App

1. Handle the press

What immediately jumped out about North Carolina State to Nebraska head coach Fred Hoiberg was how relentless the Wolfpack were with their full-court pressure defense.

Hoiberg said NCSU would press for the full 40 minutes tonight and swarm to the ball from all angles to try and create turnovers and transition offense.

The Huskers have been fairly good against the limited full-court presses they’ve faced this season, but this will be unlike anything they’ve seen yet.

How well NU’s guards are able to get the ball up court will be a critical component tonight.

2. Take the right shots

While North Carolina State ranks 43rd nationally in defensive steal percentage (12.2), it generates offense through its defense in more ways than just its press.

Hoiberg said the Wolfpack had been exceptional at creating transition opportunities off blocked shots and missed attempts at the rim.

A team that had struggled mightily with getting its shots blocked the past two years, NU has been much better in that regard this season, ranking 57th nationally in offensive block percentage (6.2).

The key tonight won’t just be getting shots off in the paint, but also not trying to force things at the rim that lead to blocks. The next layer to that is making sure to not to rush 3-pointers that allow for transition run-outs off of long rebounds.

The Huskers have to be smarter than ever with the ball, because the Wolfpack will definitely make them pay if they aren’t.

3. Rally together on the road

After seven straight games at Pinnacle Bank Arena to start the season, the degree of difficulty ramps up in a major way tonight as Nebraska takes the road for the first time.

Not only will this be the Huskers’ first true road environment, but for the first and second-year freshmen on the roster, it will also be their first experience playing in front of an opposing fan base in the stands.

Some players thrive off of having to rally together in a hostile road venue and take on an us-against-the-world mentality. Others might find it a little daunting and let the crowd impact their play.

Hoiberg is about to learn a lot about how his group responds that adversity.

North Carolina State (-7) 78, Nebraska 73

Robin’s season record: 5-2

vs. the spread: 4-3


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