LINCOLN — The Nebraska men's basketball team played a game Sunday, took a day off Monday, traveled Tuesday and will play at Michigan on Wednesday.
That's not much time to prepare for the second-ranked team in the country.
“I'm not sure a week of prep would make a heck of a lot of difference,” Husker coach Tim Miles said. “These guys are good.”
The Wolverines (15-0, 2-0), with a win against Nebraska (9-6, 0-2), would match the best start in school history.
“Michigan is as good a team as I've seen this year,” Miles said. “They're outstanding. They've got talent, they are well coached, they make great decisions and they score in any way you want to — transition, 3s, they drive it, they throw it inside.”
That leads to the question of how a team like Nebraska, which averages a Big Ten-low 59.1 points a game, slows down Michigan, tied for seventh nationally at 82 points a game.
“You have to pick your poison,” Miles said.
In this case, he plans to get back in transition, pack in his defense and let the nation's fourth-best 3-point shooting team (42.3 percent) fire away.
“They've shot the 3 so well that I've got to believe they're going to return to the mean,” Miles said. “They are at 53 percent in league play, and they are making a lot of them. The numbers show they're not going to consistently do that.”
Michigan's Nik Stauskas, a true freshman, is second nationally in 3-point shooting at 53.7 percent. He hit 3 of 6 from long range in Sunday's 95-67 thrashing of Iowa, and his percentage went down.
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Stauskas is one of four Wolverines averaging double figures, led by national player of the year candidate Trey Burke. The 6-foot point guard is scoring 18.2 points a game.
Such firepower, Miles admitted, puts NU in a vulnerable spot.
“I worry about (every game) getting out of hand,” he said. “We score 40 points a game. They score 40 in a half — if they don't do well.”
Husker sophomore wing David Rivers said he hopes the road jitters will be less this time after last week's game at Ohio State.
“You can't get caught up in the atmosphere in the Big Ten,” he said. “Michigan scores really quickly. We've got to find a way to slow them down and make them score in different ways.”
Ľ NOTES: Senior center Andre Almeida (sprained ankle) is cleared to play. He was injured in the first half at Ohio State and sat out Sunday's game vs. Wisconsin. ... One of NU's biggest wins in basketball came against Michigan at home in 1964 when the Wolverines, led by Cazzie Russell, were No. 1. ... This is the only game between the two schools this season. The Huskers' other Big Ten “single-plays” are Indiana, Purdue and Northwestern.
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