Joe's Morning Sports-Thursday, November 19, 2020

The Minnesota Timberwolves have selected Georgia freshman guard Anthony Edwards as the top pick in the delayed NBA draft.  Edwards became the eleventh straight one-and-done player to be top pick, coming in a year where there was no clear obvious choice.  He averaged 19.1 points for the Bulldogs, tops among all freshman.  The Golden State Warriors selected Memphis center James Wiseman second.  Wiseman averaged 34.2 points in three games as a freshman for the Tigers before a twelve-game suspension by the NCAA because his family received money during the recruitment process.  The 7’1, 240-pound Wiseman decided to turn his attention to the draft while serving the penalty.  The Charlotte Hornets selected 6’7 point guard LaMelo Ball with the third overall pick, the Chicago Bulls drafted versatile Florida State forward Patrick Williams fourth, and the Cleveland Cavaliers chose Auburn small forward Isaac Okoro with the fifth overall pick.

The Big Ten Conference released its 2020-21 men's basketball conference schedule yesterday.  The Huskers will be challenged this season, as half of their conference games are against teams ranked in the top 25 of the AP Preseason poll.  The 20-game schedule begins on Dec. 21, when they travel to Madison to take on defending Big Ten co-champion Wisconsin.  Nebraska's home opener is set for Christmas Day, when the Huskers will host Michigan for a special holiday matchup.  Nebraska's double-play opponents for this season are Wisconsin, Michigan State, Purdue, Illinois, Minnesota, Maryland and Penn State.  Nebraska's single-play home opponents include Indiana, Rutgers and Michigan, while the Huskers' single-play road games are matchups at Iowa, Northwestern and Ohio State.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports that Nebraska's multi-team men’s basketball event will go forward with six teams after Northern Iowa and Illinois State both withdrew from the event over the last week.  UNI had withdrawn from the event and will instead play in the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic in South Dakota.  The Panthers are replacing Texas A&M in that event after the Aggies pulled out due to COVID-19 concerns in South Dakota.  Creighton is also part of that event.  Illinois State will instead open their season at Ohio State on Nov. 25 rather than playing games in Lincoln.  A source told the Journal Star that multiple teams have inquired about playing in the Nebraska event, but the current format works for the best interest of every program involved.  The remaining six teams playing in Lincoln next week are Nebraska, LSU, Nevada, San Francisco, Saint Louis and Western Kentucky.

Following the earlier release of several individual game dates, the Nebraska-Omaha men's basketball program announced its slate of 2020-21 non-conference games yesterday.  The Mavericks open their tenth Division I campaign on the road next week over Thanksgiving weekend at the #BeachBubble at the Gulf Coast Showcase, Nov. 25-27. The tournament's full field includes their first-round opponent Austin Peay, Abilene Christian, Akron, East Carolina, East Tennessee State, Indiana State and Middle Tennessee.  The Mavericks return to the city of Omaha for a crosstown clash with Creighton on Dec. 1 at the CHI Health Center, then hit the road again that weekend for Southern Illinois University Edwardsville on Dec. 5.  Nebraska-Omaha returns eight letter winners from the 2019-20 squad, including reigning Summit League Defensive Player of the Year Matt Pile and Summit League Sixth Man of the Year Marlon Ruffin.  

The Lincoln Journal Star reports that the Nebraska football team's 2021 walk-on class now features a quarterback.  Hastings standout Jarrett Synek announced on Twitter that he is planning on walking on with the Huskers.  In ten games as a senior, Synek threw for 2,641 yards, completed 59.4% of his passes and logged 31 touchdowns against just seven interceptions.  He also rushed for 547 yards and seven more scores.  Over his final two years of high school, Synek threw for more than 5,100 yards and 60 touchdowns, and rushed for 878 yards and 19 scores.  Synek is the eighth known walk-on commit in the Huskers' 2021 class.

49 student-athletes from Wayne State were named to the 2020 Northern Sun Conference Fall All-Academic Teams by the league office in Burnsville, Minnesota.  For the third year, the NSIC highlights the All-Academic Team members that carry a 3.60 grade point average or higher with the NSIC All-Academic Team of Excellence Award and 35 of the 49 All-Academic selections for WSC had a 3.60 GPA or higher this fall.  The Wayne State football team had 14 honorees followed by women’s soccer with twelve and volleyball with eleven.  Wildcat men’s cross country and women’s cross country each had six selections.  Among the honorees are Columbus’ Nathan Hiemer, Newcastle’s Allie Rosener, and Wayne’s Andrea Torres of the cross country teams.  Football honorees included Wayne’s Mason Lee, O’Neill’s Alex Thramer, and Pierce’ Alex Lindsay.  Also honored were volleyball players Jaci Brahmer from Pierce, Wisner’s Lauren Jacobsen, and Stanton’s Jessie Brandl.

This week’s Hausmann Physical Therapy Star Athlete of the Week goes to Caden Nelson of the Oakland/Craig football team.  In last Friday’s 38-28 semifinal loss at Ord, he rushed for 120 yards off 22 carries and two touchdowns.  Nelson also had seven tackles defensively.  This season, he ran for 585 yards and 16 touchdowns while collecting 80 tackles defensively.  He was nominated by Coach Joe Anderson.  Congratulations to Caden Nelson of the Oakland/Craig football team, he is this week’s Hausmann Physical Therapy Star Athlete of the Week.

Friday Evening:  The Pierce football team hosts Adams Central of Hastings in the Class ‘C-1’ Championship Game at 5:30.  Pregame coverage at 4:50 on 97.5 KEXL & KEXL.com.

Hausmann Physical Therapy Star Athlete of the Week:  Caden Nelson of the Oakland/Craig football team.

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