Rienk Mast was the star of the show in the Huskers’ 81-54 win over Florida A&M on Thursday night.
The Huskers (2-0) held the Rattlers (0-2) to just 30.3% from the field and 4-of-20 shooting from behind the arc.
Rienk Mast led the team in scoring with 20 points and had a game-high 16 rebounds. The last player to have a 20-plus-point and 15-plus-rebound game in a Nebraska uniform was Aleks Marc on Feb. 13, 2008. That night Maric finished with 32 points and 16 rebounds.
The two other Huskers in double figures were also newcomers, Eli Rice with 16 and Brice Williams with 15.
Here are three takeaways from the game.
Rienk Mast doesn’t like playing with a protective mask, but why not keep it after the start to the season he’s had?
In the two Husker wins he’s scored 33 points and grabbed 22 rebounds in 52 minutes of game action. He’s scoring at a pretty efficient clip, shooting 52% from the field and 37% from 3-point range.
Coming into the season Mast was going to be a huge factor for the Huskers’ success in 2023-24. That hasn’t changed and the expectation has likely grown after his first two games.
“It’s pretty good company, Aleks Maric was a monster,” Hoiberg said. “Rienk was the guy that really got it going early for us … He was phenomenal tonight.”
Thursday was his 19th career double-double. and he nearly had a double-double in the first half alone with 12 points and eight rebounds.
Imagine if he was fully healthy, no mask, no missed time due to a random act of violence while just riding his scooter in downtown Lincoln a few weeks ago.
Not Great Offense
The Huskers did score 81 points, they did win by 27. but… they did it against a pretty bad team and only shot 41.1% from the field.
“Offensively we obviously weren’t very good tonight,” Hoiberg said. “Turning the ball over 18 times, shooting 41 percent. In the first half I thought we took way too many contested shots in the paint. We do a drill every day where we drive it into the paint and come to a two-foot jump stop and kick it to the guy pulling up behind. We weren’t talking on it. We were trying to go up and finish over length. It wasn’t working.”
In addition to the struggles inside, Nebraska shot 10-of-28 from 3, which is solid but not spectacular at 35.7%. Jamarques Lawrence and C.J. Wilcher combined to shoot just 1-for-7.
“We really have to buy into the simple play,” Hoiberg said “If we make the simple play we will be fine.”
Keisei Coming Back Monday?
All signs are pointing in the right direction for Keisei Tominaga to make his season debut Monday against Rider.
“We hope Keisei will be back soon,” Hoiberg said. “Not rushing him but it’s looking good. He’s already moving better, doing parts in practice. Getting everybody back together. We have a lot of veteran guys. You see the potential. I think today you saw potential. We beat this team pretty handily, and we still had 18 turnovers and shot 41 percent from the field. Not a great game on our part, but we see the potential once we have Keisei back.”
When he does return, what does the rotation look like? Like Hoiberg said after the game on Thursday, you can’t play 12 guys.