The game every Creighton and Nebraska basketball fan circles on the calendar every season is here. The smaller, private Jesuit school from the bigger city of Omaha travels down to the state capitol of Lincoln, home of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the state's biggest and most revered University. Here are three keys to today's game:
Nebraska's most prolific scorer can really light it up. A transfer from Texas Tech, Petteway is Nebraska's leading scorer at 21 points per game, with the ability to score from anywhere on the floor. He's also the Huskers' second leading rebounder at 5.5 rebounds per game and leading assist man at 2.5 assists per game. Petteway must be contained by the Bluejays defense if they are to have a shot in this game. The good news is that one of the defenses that seems to work against Nebraska is clogging the lane, forcing Petteway to take shots from downtown, where he is not nearly as dangerous as he is at going to the basket. Watch for Petteway in today's game. If he gets going from deep, that could spell big trouble for Creighton.
The Bluejays have been known for their offense under head coach Greg McDermott. So to see them struggle so mightily these last three games is a bit of a concern. Bad shooting for a game or two is one thing, but poor shooting for a long stretch of games might mean this is what the Bluejays are this season. The team is shooting 43.4 percent from the field and 34 percent from downtown. Both of those numbers are fairly average, but this Creighton team needs to be exceptional in those categories due to the lack of athleticism and size on the wings on this season's roster.
In Creighton's last game, Tulsa got into the paint with tremendous ease and made offensive rebounds a thing of habit. On paper, Creighton has the edge over Nebraska in the frontcourt. But Creighton has had plenty of inconsistencies themselves in the area. Senior Will Artino has seen his struggles while Geoffrey Groselle and Zach Hanson have played well in stretches but none of the three have really established their dominance. If Creighton is to win today, they must win the battle in the paint.
Today's game is at 7 p.m. ET and can be seen on the Big Ten Network.