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Nebraska’s Newcomers Set for Battle with St. John’s Top Performers

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Nebraska and Saint John's face off with Sam Griesel leading the Cornhuskers

Representing the Big East and Big Ten, 3-0 St. John’s and 2-0 Nebraska are set for a Thursday night battle from Queens, NY marking the first big test on the 2022/23 schedule for each of these programs. 

For St. John’s, bringing in two power-5 additions has made all the difference to open the season while in Nebraska it’s been new mid-major pieces leading the way on both the offensive and defensive ends.

Let’s take a look at some of the names who’ll have key roles in tonight’s matchup under Mike Anderson and Fred Hoiberg.

St. John’s Red Storm:

David Jones – Leading the way for St. John’s in scoring this season has been the DePaul transfer putting up 18.7 PPG, 8 RPG, and 3.3 APG including a 21-point, 10-rebound double-double in the season opener against Merrimack. During his time with the Blue Demons, Jones managed the program’s first ever triple-double logging 22 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assist in a win over Georgetown and his in-conference transfer has been huge for the Red Storm so far this year.

Andre Curbelo – With the New York native returning home this offseason after battling concussions and injuries with Illinois last year he formed one of the Big East most exciting backcourt trios in Curbelo, Montez Mathis, and Posh Alexander. Now, in just his first three games with the program, the former top-50 prospect has become an on-court leader for this St. John’s squad while contributing an effective 9.7 PPG, 2.3 RPG, and 6 APG. 

Nebraska Cornhuskers:

Sam Griesel – Contrasting Jones of St. John’s is the Cornhuskers leading scorer in Griesel who joined this offseason from North Dakota State and is off to an electric start in his hometown return to Lincoln averaging 20 PPG, 8 RPG, and 3 APG. The two-time All-Summit League selection has become known for his offensive outburst managing a career-high of 26 points on multiple occasions meaning he could be a handful for this Red Storm defense.

Emmanuel Bandoumel – Leading the defensive charge for Nebraska has been the SMU transfer averaging 1 BKPG and an additional STLPG to go with some solid offensive output of 12 PPG, 7 RPG, and 3 APG to open the season. At 6-foot-4 the Quebec, Canada native is a constant mismatch at the guard position and adds a veteran presence in the Cornhuskers’ backcourt having worked his way into a starting role before the season even began.

Juwan Gary – Despite an early exit in Nebraska’s recent 75-61 win over Omaha with an apparent shoulder injury, the former top-100 prospet and Alabama transfer is expected to return tonight and will look to resume his form from game one where Gary managed a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds against Maine. Furthermore, it’s expected that he’ll be entrusted with guarding Jones for the duration of this battle as one of Nebraska’s elite defensive pieces providing that any success the Cornhuskers find tonight will run through Gary.

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