Last season: 22-11, lost in first round of NIT.
Coach: Tim Miles.
Conference: Big Ten.
Who’s gone: Guard Evan Taylor, center Jordy Tshimanga, guard Anton Gill, center Duby Okeke.
Who’s back: Returning All-Big Ten first-team guard James Palmer scored in double figures in 31 of 33 games and his 18.8 points per game in conference play is the most of any returning Big Ten player since 2012-13. Glynn Watson Jr. will be the starting point guard for the fourth straight season. Forward Isaac Copeland averaged 15.8 points on 58 percent shooting in the final nine conference games. Forward Isaiah Roby, at 6-8 and 230 pounds, is a difficult matchup for any opponent. He had four double-doubles in the last eight games.
Who’s new: True freshmen Brady Heiman and Amir Harris are in line for significant playing time. The 6-11 Heiman, from Springfield, is the Huskers’ first in-state high school scholarship recruit since 2001. Harris, who prepped at St. James School in Hagerstown, Maryland, is a versatile guard who can score and defend. The Huskers sustained a big loss in the preseason when Karrington Davis, a top freshman guard from St. Louis, was lost for the season with an Achilles’ injury.
The Skinny: It’s been a long time since there has been so much excitement about a Nebraska team entering a season. A fourth-place finish in the Big Ten earned Miles a one-year contract extension. That lukewarm endorsement from athletic director Bill Moos means Miles probably needs to at least match that finish to be back in 2019-20.
Expectations: Las Vegas oddsmakers have set the odds of Nebraska winning the NCAA Tournament at 200-1, same as fellow Big Ten member Minnesota and lower than in-state rival Creighton (225-1).
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