Tshimanga showed this past Tuesday night that he still has the skills he presented during his Freshman year, scoring nine points while grabbing six rebounds. Everyone watching the game noticed the uptick in Tshimanga’s level of play, including head coach Tim Miles.
“I thought Jordy (Tshimanga) did a really nice job the second half. He defended well. He was good for us on offense and on the glass. It was good to see and should give him a shot of confidence,” said Miles after the game.
It finally looked like Tshimanga was going to really start producing for this Huskers team, but then some bad news hit the internet.
Multiple sources close to the Nebraska basketball team told reporters that Tshimanga would not fly out to Penn State and the coaches would meet with him and his family when they get back to Lincoln to go over his future with the team.
Just as things were looking up for Nebraska, they receive huge news like this which could very well impact the rest of their season. Nebraska has two other centers in Duby Okeke and Tanner Borchardt, but neither has the physical figure that Tshimanga has.
There’s no question that Isaiah Roby is a better all-around player than Tshimanga, but having Roby play the “five” position gives other teams a huge advantage on the rebounding side of the ball. Especially against a team like Penn State who features a very strong and aggressive center in 6-foot-9 center Mike Watkins.
Watkins has played in every game this season besides one for the Nittany Lions, in which he is averaging 12.8 points per game and 9.6 rebounds per game, while blocking a resounding 3.2 blocks per game. With a physical specimen like Watkins, Roby and the other centers are going to have their hands full down low all night without Tshimanga.
Watson struggled mightily against Wisconsin, failing to make a basket in 28 minutes of play. It has been an up and down season for Watson, who has games where he plays to a talent level of an All-Big Ten type player like against Minnesota and Northwestern, but then has games where he struggles to find any success, like against Purdue and Wisconsin.
“Haven’t been playing good but I swear my team always got my back...good win yesterday team I’m going to get it together,” tweeted out Watson after the Wisconsin game.
Husker fans and teammates love to see that stuff from a player who hasn’t played up to his potential as of late. Watson has another tough matchup against Carr, but if he plays to the potential he has shown in games against Minnesota and Northwestern, Nebraska could be flying out of Pennsylvania with a win.
Carr has been terrific this year for the Nittany Lions, averaging a Big Ten second best 18.9 points per game, while dishing out 4.7 assists per game and shooting 48 percent from three point land. As Carr goes, goes Penn State, so the Huskers will need to shut him down if they want to win.
After Nebraska plays Penn State, the Huskers had back to Lincoln for a two game home stretch against Illinois and Michigan. While Nebraska could win all three of these games, but winning just two out of the three would be a huge boost to their NCAA tournament hopes.