Nebraska will play Feb. 6, 8, and 11 — at Michigan State, at Minnesota and home vs. Wisconsin — as it ramps back up. Extend that out to a Feb. 20 matchup against Purdue, and the Huskers are now scheduled to play six games in 15 days.
NU also has six postponed games to try and make up between Feb. 6 and March 7, which is the date of the regular-season finale at Northwestern.
Whether Nebraska can play all six remains to be seen. But the sprint to the finish is set to begin.
Meet the 2020-21 Nebraska men's basketball team
The most unique player on the roster and one of the most unique players in the Big Ten will step into a prominent role for the first time as a college player. A former top-100 recruit out of Canada, Banton showed flashes of his ability at Western Kentucky, but ultimately ended the 2018-19 season averaging 3.4 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. Those numbers are likely to go way up this season. Banton will have the ball in his hands nearly every time down the court for Nebraska, whether it’s to initiate offense or attack the basket. His shooting needs to improve (40% from the field and 21% from three-point range at WKU), but if it does, Banton could be in for a monster season.
Transfer forward Trevor Lakes was ruled eligible Thursday by the NCAA and will make his Nebraska debut against Doane.
The former Boys Town star appears ready to bring his “Teddy Buckets” nickname back to the big stage. Fred Hoiberg has praised Allen’s ability to score from all three levels ever since he got to campus, and the junior scored 29 points in the team’s first scrimmage of the season in Pinnacle Bank Arena. While he hasn’t played Division I ball since the 2017-18 season, when he was a freshman at West Virginia, Allen’s craftiness and smarts will have the chance to flourish in Nebraska’s wide-open system. He also has as much postseason experience as anyone on the Husker roster after averaging 11.3 points per game on 55% shooting in the 2018 NCAA Tournament. That included a 10-point game against eventual national champion Villanova.
Raw freshman who only began playing basketball when he was 14 years old. His nearly 7-foot-5 wingspan is the longest on the team.
Out for the year after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. Averaged 1.0 points and 1.3 rebounds per game as a freshman.
If Mayen is able to translate his practice exploits to games, the Huskers will have a budding star on their hands. The 6-foot-9 forward has proved to be one of the team’s best three-point shooters in workouts, according to Hoiberg, and the story of him making 86 of 100 threes during a practice drill has taken on cult status among media and fans of the program. Oh, by the way, he’ll also be one of NU’s best rebounders. When the Huskers go small, Mayen will likely move to the 5 and present even more matchup problems for opponents. It’s been a long road for the junior, who never got off the ground at TCU because of injuries and grinded through a year of juco ball before getting to Lincoln.
There’s a reason Nebraska really wanted to get McGowens eligible this season. The junior finished fourth in the ACC in steals and 10th in assists last year at Pittsburgh, and averaged double figures in points in both of his two seasons with the Panthers. Nebraska wants to be known for its offense, but in McGowens the Huskers have a defensive stopper with length and athleticism on that end of the floor. Perhaps just as important as anything he does on the court, McGowens also played a key role in getting his younger brother, five-star prospect Trey, to consider and eventually commit to Nebraska. If the Huskers do turn things around over the next two seasons, a lot of that success will have run through McGowens.
Former walk-on at Ohio University who spent last season at Division III Otterbein (Ohio). Because of injury, hasn't played in a game since 2018.
Ouedraogo went through the fire last season, thrown to the Big Ten wolves as a 17-year-old from France living far away from his family for the first time. And while his struggles as a first-year big man were sometimes laid bare, whether it was his free-throw shooting or struggling to finish in traffic, the youngster kept with it and played his best basketball at the end of the season. He also went to work over the summer, dropping 20 pounds from his 6-foot-9, 265-pound frame while adding explosiveness and improving his conditioning. All that work has Ouedraogo in the mix for a starting role on a team deeper and more talented than the one he joined last year that forced him onto the court by necessity.
Walk-on who redshirted last season as a freshman. The son of Husker legend Eric Piatkowski will look for his first college minutes this season.
Fourth-generation Husker who walked on and redshirted last season. Porter's father, grandfather and great-grandfather played football at Nebraska.
Set for a large role after sitting out last season, Stevenson gives Nebraska size and versatility at the guard spot, along with the ability to finish at an impressive clip.
After a breakout junior season, Thorbjarnarson is NU's leading returning scorer. He's in line for more major minutes this year.
One of Nebraska's most vocal players, and a veteran presence with experience on a NCAA Tournament team at Tennessee, Walker will provide much-needed depth in the frontcourt.
NU will look to the Western Illinois grad transfer for instant offense after he scored more than 1,400 points in three seasons with the Leathernecks. A crafty, veteran leader both on an off the court.
The last addition to Nebraska's roster, Wood came to NU after Kobe King's departure opened up a spot. He'll provide depth at both guard spots.
Contact the writer at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-473-7436. On Twitter @HuskerExtraCB.