When describing her team’s non-conference portion of the upcoming schedule Monday, head coach Connie Yori described it as a “bear.” She couldn’t have described it better.
Nebraska faces a minimum of 25 games this season against teams who finished in the top of women’s basketball last season and they play 12 games against teams who finished in the top 50 of the RPI, which equates to NCAA Tournament caliber teams.
“We have as good a schedule as we’ve had since I’ve been here, non-conference as well as the Big Ten schedule,” Yori said.
The Huskers draw Maryland in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge at the Devaney Center, a Maryland team that fell in the regional finals of the NCAA Tournament to eventual national runner-up Notre Dame. Roughly, two weeks later, they’ll face Florida State in another home game.
With a schedule as grueling as the Huskers will face this season, the team is struggling right now with injuries. Yori said last Friday the team practiced with 1 starter. She said, “You want to rest kids, but at the same time, you need to get prepared for your season.”
The non-conference schedule is greatly upgraded this season due to the experience the Huskers would have entering the season.
“We played a weaker non-conference schedule last year partially because we were young. We upgraded this year because we had the expectation what we would have more experience,” Yori commented.
“If we can get healthy, I feel like we have a chance to do some good things,” Yori said about the status of her team. Our schedule combined with the injuries right now is a little scary,” Yori continued.
The Huskers face a demanding non-conference schedule, but the Big Ten portion is equally as tough. Nebraska opens the Big Ten portion with a home game against Wisconsin and then faces Purdue at home in a nationally-televised game on CBS.
The Huskers begin exhibition play against Pittsburg State next Monday and then face Nebraska-Kearney in the final exhibition game of the season before opening the regular season November 9 against North Carolina A&T.