By Tommy Rezac
The Nebraska men’s basketball team is back home to take on the Illinois Fighting Illini at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Monday night. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. with pregame coverage starting at 7 on KLIN.
The Huskers (12-7, 3-3 Big Ten) are looking to bounce back after Friday’s 76-74 loss at Penn State in overtime. Illinois (10-8, 0-5 Big Ten) is the only Big Ten school remaining that has yet to win a conference game.
As for the latest on sophomore center Jordy Tshimanga, head coach Tim Miles said Sunday he should have clarity on the situation soon.
“I expect to meet Jordy Tshimanga sometime (Sunday or Monday),” Miles said, “and just get more clarification as to where he’s at. That’s really all I can tell you for now. When this all irons itself out, we’ll be able to complete the picture for you.”
Tshimanga did not make the trip to Penn State, nor did he practice with the team on Sunday, which makes it doubtful that he’ll play against Illinois.
The 6-11 sophomore center first approached Miles about the possibility of leaving before practice on Thursday. It was news that Miles wasn’t expecting.
“I was really stunned,” Miles said. “I have not had a face-to-face with him since (Thursday). I look forward to sitting down with him again just to see what’s going on. I know he’s incredibly frustrated with just everything. He hasn’t felt like he’s played well…if he needs to go, I’m going to support him, because I don’t have any ill will toward a kid like Jordy. He’s a sweetheart. He lights people’s eyes up.”
Tshimanga started the first 18 games of the season, averaging 3.5 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. The last game he played against Wisconsin last Tuesday was the best he’s had this season.
Tshimanga had a season-high nine points and a team-high six rebounds in a 63-59 win over the Badgers on Jan. 9.