Coach Fred Hoiberg teased a charity exhibition game against another high-major team while he was in Grand Island for the Big Red Blitz, and on Monday the Huskers announced they will host former conference foe Colorado.
The game, which will raise money for a trio of non-profit charities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic — the TeamMates mentoring program, the YWCA of Lincoln for its Employ402 program and the Nebraska Greats Foundation — will take place at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Oct. 31 at 12 p.m. CT. The game will be included in 2021-22 season ticket packages with single-game ticket, if available, will go on sale at a later date.
“Over the past year, we have sought out ways for our program to make a positive impact in the community, and this charity game against Colorado allows us to directly help those in Lincoln who have been directly affected by COVID-19,” Hoiberg said in a release. “We appreciate Coach Boyle and his team for coming to Lincoln. I think it will be a matchup our fans will be excited to see and allows both team a chance to gain valuable experience prior to the start of the regular season.”
The Huskers and Buffaloes haven’t played each other since March 5, 2011, the last regular season meeting before both teams departed from the Big 12 for the Big Ten and Pac-12, respectively. The series dates back to the 1902-03 season and the Huskers hold a 77-71 edge against the Buffaloes.
“We are excited to bring the Buffs to Lincoln and compete against a familiar foe from our days in both the Big 12 and Big Eight,” Colorado coach Tad Boyle said. “Coach Hoiberg has his program poised for future success and will be a great test for our young team. More importantly, we are honored to help raise money for various Lincoln charities who have been negatively affected by the recent pandemic. We look forward to the Cornhuskers returning the favor to the Boulder community next year.”
Colorado is coming off. 23-9 seasons that saw the Buffaloes advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Colorado has won 20-plus games in each of the last three seasons as Boyle heads into his 12th season in Boulder. Boyle is 2-1 head-to-head against Hoiberg from Hoiberg’s days at Iowa State.
The Buffaloes lost three of their top four scorers including star point guard McKinley Wright IV (15.2 points and 5.7 assists per game) and former Husker Jeriah Horne (10.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per game). Evan Battey, a 6-foot-8, 262-pound big man, is the team’s top returning scorer at 10.1 points per game. Eli Parquet, a 6-foot-3 guard and All-Pac-12 Defensive Team member, is the only other returning starter, chipping in 5.2 points per game.
Boyle signed the 11th-ranked recruiting class according to the 247Sports Composite that includes three 4-star, top-100 prospects in 7-footer Lawson Lovering (No. 61), combo-guard K.J. Simpson (No. 86) and wing Quincy Allen (No. 88).
Pending Dalano Banton’s NBA decision, Nebraska returns four starters and five of its top six scorers while adding the 17th-ranked recruiting class according to the 247Sports Composite headlined by 5-star guard Bryce McGowens and a pair of transfers who were top-100 recruits in the 2020 class in C.J. Wilcher and Keon Edwards.
Colorado isn’t the only former conference mate Nebraska will see during the 2021-22 season. The Huskers will also begin a three-year series against Kansas State during the regular season. The Huskers will host the Wildcats on Dec.19. Nebraska’s game against in-state foe Creighton this season will be part of the Gavitt Games, the challenge between the Big Ten and Big 12, and will take place on Nov. 16. Hoiberg said Nebraska also plans to play a normal exhibition game against a local small college.