While overall success has been fleeting in four-plus seasons under coach Tim Miles, Nebraska has more than held its own in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, especially on the road. The Cornhuskers hope to improve to 3-0 in such contests Wednesday when they travel to Clemson for the first meeting between the schools.
Nebraska made the NCAA Tournament in its only winning campaign under Miles in 2013-14, but it has won three of its four games in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge - including both road games - under him, suffering only an overtime home loss to Miami (Fla.) last season. The Cornhuskers are coming off a fourth-place finish at the Wooden Legacy, giving No. 9 UCLA all it could handle before fading late and shooting 22.6 percent in the second half. They also held a three-point lead at the break in a 66-53 loss to Virginia Tech. The Tigers also settled for a fourth-place finish at the Tire Pros Invitational, dropping a pair of six-point decisions against No. 7 Xavier and Oklahoma after defeating Davidson. Unlike Nebraska, Clemson was able to get the sour taste of consecutive losses out of its mouth with an 83-74 home victory over High Point on Friday.
TV: 9:15 p.m. ET, ESPNU
ABOUT NEBRASKA (4-2): Senior Tai Webster (18.5 points, 5.5 rebounds) averaged 19.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and four assists in three Wooden Legacy games and is coming off the best outing of his career, matching personal bests with 23 points and eight boards against the Hokies. Fellow guard Glynn Watson Jr. (13.3 points, Big Ten-best 2.3 steals) countered with perhaps his worst offensive game in two years at Nebraska, going 1-for-11 from the field and scoring two points after averaging 23.5 points on 16-of-28 from the floor against Dayton and UCLA. Sophomore forward Ed Morrow (11.5 points, seven rebounds per game) posted his first career double-double against the Flyers and averaged 13.3 points and eight boards during the team’s three-day stay in Anaheim, Calif.
ABOUT CLEMSON (3-2): Although six Tigers average at least 10 points, All-ACC first-team forward Jaron Blossomgame (18.4 points, 1.2 steals) is the key to their success on both ends of the floor. He showed off his all-around game versus High Point, finishing with 27 points, three blocks and four steals. Senior center Sidy Djitte (10.6 points, 10.2 rebounds) is nearly doubling his averages in points and rebounds from last season, and he collected 29 boards over his last two games alone. Vanderbilt transfer Shelton Mitchell - expected to be the starting point guard before undergoing Nov. 8 knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus sidelined him, played 11 scoreless minutes off the bench in his season debut Friday, tallying two assists and a steal.
1. Webster is one of only 18 Division I players to average at least 18 points per game while shooting 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from 3-point range and 80 percent from the free-throw line.
2. Mitchell’s return is key for Clemson, as six Tigers have combined for 386 of the team’s 393 points and 930 of its 1000 minutes.
3. Nebraska is the only Power-5 conference school Clemson will play during its five-game homestand, while No. 12 Creighton and fifth-ranked Kansas are among the three foes the Cornhuskers will face to begin December.
PREDICTION: Clemson 72, Nebraska 65