The Nebraska men’s basketball team opens the Joe Cipriano Nebraska Classic tonight when the Huskers host the Valparaiso Crusaders. The Huskers are 1-0 on the season and coming off a 66-55 win over Southern University in their season opener Sunday evening.
Senior forward Brandon Ubel led the Huskers with career highs of 21 points and 12 rebounds for his second career double-double. Dylan Talley and Ray Gallegos added 17 and 16 points, respectively, as Gallegos set a career high in his first action following a redshirt season.
Second-year coach Bryce Drew brings an experienced Crusader team into town, as Valparaiso is 2-0 following a 69-46 win over Northern Illinois on Tuesday. Valparaiso brings back five senior starters from a team that went 22-12 and won the Horizon League regular-season title. The school has seven Division I transfers on the roster, from schools in the Big Ten, Pac-12, ACC, SEC and Big East among others.
Only a loss to Detroit in the league title game prevented the Crusaders from making the NCAA Tournament a year ago, as Valparaiso lost to Miami in the NIT. Drew is in his second season at Valparaiso after spending six seasons on the Valparaiso staff and a six-year NBA career following a storied career at the school.