Nebraska will begin a stretch without injured veteran guard Trey McGowens when the Cornhuskers host Idaho State on Friday in Lincoln.
McGowens, Nebraska’s backcourt defensive stalwart and second-leading scorer last season, suffered a broken bone in his foot during Tuesday night’s 77-69 home loss to Creighton. He underwent surgery Wednesday and is expected to be sidelined 6-8 weeks.
“We feel we do have depth,” third-year coach Fred Hoiberg said. “Nobody’s going to replace Trey. Not one person can do what Trey does. We’re going to have to find a way to do it by committee.”
Bryce McGowens, Trey’s brother, has averaged a team-high 20.0 points through his first three college games for Nebraska (1-2).
Arizona State transfer Alonzo Verge Jr. has averaged 16.3 point and 6.3 rebounds. Kobe Webster, who missed the season’s first two games due to injury, scored 20 points coming off the bench against the Bluejays.
The Big Ten’s Cornhuskers have faced double-digit first-half deficits twice (10 vs. Sam Houston, 19 vs. Creighton) and trailed by seven early during their season-opening loss to Western Illinois.
“The biggest thing is we got to come out and get off to better starts,” Hoiberg said. “We can’t continue to dig ourselves a hole like that. It takes too much energy to get yourself out.”
Idaho State (1-2) is coming off losses at Pepperdine and Seattle after opening with a home victory against Eastern Oregon.
The Bengals finished 13-11 last year, the program’s second season above .500 in 18 years.
Tarik Cool (12.0 points and 4.0 rebounds per game), and Robert Ford III (10.7 ppg, 6.0 rpg) lead Idaho State’s starting unit. Brayden Parker (11.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg) has been the top reserve.
“Our team is still growing early in the season. We must improve before Big Sky play,” third-year coach Ryan Looney said. “Our top priority during the game is to get better.”
The Cornhuskers won the only previous meeting, 98-72, on Dec. 3, 1994.
–Field Level Media