Nebraska men’s basketball opens the season Monday at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
The Huskers will tip with Lindenwood at 7 p.m. CT for what will be the start of the 10th season of Husker basketball at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Nebraska dressed just six scholarship players in its exhibition game seven days ago and have been ravaged with injuries and illness towards the end of the preseason.
Rienk Mast has missed time after a random act of violence in downtown Lincoln. Josiah Allick (knee), Ramel Lloyd Jr. (knee), Keisei Tominaga (ankle) and Blaise Keita (ankle) have also been limited in recent weeks.
Juwan Gary, a junior from Columbia, will be in street clothes due to a violation of team policies, according to Hoiberg.
“Everybody is still day-to-day,” Hoiberg said on Thursday.
It isn’t just the injury bug that has hit the team. Last week, four players were diagnosed with strep throat.
“On top of it all we have had four guys out with strep throat right now,” Hoiberg said. “Get that out of the way. One of them had a lot of symptoms but other than that the other guys had very mild symptoms and we expect them back on the practice court.”
The Lions will begin their second season of their transition from Division II to Division I.
Lindenwood will be eligible for the NCAA tournament in 2026-27. The Lions were picked to finish 10th in the Ohio Valley Conference and return two starters from last season.
The Lions’ best player is Keenon Cole, a 6-foot-7 forward who was a second-team All-OVC selection in 2022-23. Cole averaged 12.9 points and 5.7 rebounds last season and was named to the preseason All-OVC team this season.
Three Division I transfers will make their Lion debuts Monday. Keith Haymond II transferred from Northern Arizona, Amoro Lado (Hawaii) and guard Darius Beane sat out last season after transferring from Cal State Northridge.
“They’ve added some athletic players. We got (film of) one of their scrimmages that they played in,” Hoiberg said. “They’re relentless, they play extremely hard, they go after the ball on the offensive glass, they’ve got good size across the board and I was very impressed with their team. It’ll be a very good first test for us.”
Coach Kyle Gerdeman is in his fifth season at Lindenwood after serving as an assistant coach at Central Michigan and Southeast Missouri State. He was also the head coach at Moberly (Mo.) Area Community College before his time at SEMO.
Monday’s meeting will be the first between the Huskers and Lindenwood on the basketball court. Nebraska is 20-1 all-time against the current members of the Ohio Valley Conference.