With the Indiana Hoosiers game on the horizon, the Husker’s hopes to win their first conference road game may have to be put on hold. The win against Penn State, although certainly promising for Tim Miles’s squad, is hardly a guarantee of success heading into Monday’s matchup against the Hoosiers in Assembly Hall.
“It’s an important win, but you don’t live and die by one game alone,” Miles said. Despite that, Miles thinks his team is prepared. “I think our guys are locked in, dialed in, and ready for Indiana.”
Unlike the Penn State game, the Huskers could be close to being back to full strength. Amir Harris saw his first game action since the Creighton game on Thursday, but was yanked after playing just four minutes. Also, Nana Akenten missed a couple of practices last week since he was out sick.
“I think Nana is probably close to 100% and Amir is getting closer,” Miles said. “That’s helpful since we need that depth.” According to Miles, illness definitely took its toll on Akenten, who played just a handful of minutes against the Nittany Lions.
“You know, he lost 20 pounds and he’s still 10 pounds light,” Miles said. “He was ill. (He’s) just got to get that strength, timing, and everything back.”
Any contribution coming off the bench will be vital for Nebraska, as Miles has needed to lean quite heavily on his starters as of late. Miles did not make a single substitution in the second half against Penn State. Although Miles may not try that same tactic again, the starters will be playing a lot in the foreseeable future. “We really don’t have a whole hell of a choice,” Miles said.
If the Huskers are indeed, running on fumes, Indiana will make them pay. The Hoosiers are the best shooting team in the conference, hitting 52% of their shots from the floor. They also guard the perimeter effectively, holding teams to under 30% from beyond the arc.
Indiana (12-4, 3-2 Big 10) are led in scoring by freshman guard Romeo Langford, who averages 18.8 point per game. According to Miles, Langford is the best Big 10 freshman his Husker teams have ever come up against.
“He’s just really impressive. One, he makes things look so easy and effortless. He’s such a good finisher.”
Not far behind Langford, is senior forward Juwan Morgan, who is averaging 16.5 points and 7.8 rebounds per contest. Far from being just an inside threat, Morgan has a versatility that could frustrate Nebraska all night on Monday.
“They’re a midsize team and his ability to play in the post and his ability to make threes has really impressed,” Miles said. The duo of Langford and Morgan will have the Husker’s hands full on Monday.
“The way I look at, Indiana’s got one first team all league player and a lottery pick, and they’re not the same person.”