After missing the University of Nebraska men's basketball team's first two games of the 2023-24 season, senior guard Keisei Tominaga made his debut on Monday, November 11 in the Cornhusker Classic opener.
The Aichi Prefecture native had nine points on 3-for-13 shooting in Nebraska's 64-50 victory over Rider (New Jersey) University at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Tominaga was sidelined for home games against Lindenwood (Missouri) University (November 6) and Florida A&M (November 9) after spraining his left ankle in an exhibition contest against Doane (Nebraska) University on October 29.
In the second half of his debut, Tominaga's long-range shooting skills helped Nebraska (3-0) secure the victory.
With Nebraska leading 47-46 at the 11:14 mark, Tominaga drained 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions to put the hosts ahead 53-46. It was the start of a 17-0 scoring spurt.
Nebraska coach Fred Hoiberg said he was pleased that Tominaga remained aggressive on offense despite struggling to knock down shots from beyond the 3-point arc (3-for-11 on the night).
"That'll show you Keisei's confidence," Hoiberg told a news conference. "You get that [shot] from behind the backboard in that corner over there after missing the previous four or five in a row that were open. So for him to continue to hunt [for] his shot, for guys to continue to look for him, that's a play we put in this morning against their zone baseline out [defense]. And it was good to see our guys execute it."
Keisei Tominaga Gives the Cornhuskers a Spark
Cornhuskers guard CJ Wilcher, a junior, also chimed in on Tominaga's impact.
"Keisei hit a couple 3s towards the end of his time being in the game," Wilcher told reporters. "So I think that just gave us a little spark, and we just kept it going from there."
With 3:34 remaining in the second half, Jamarques Lawrence replaced Tominaga, who played 22 minutes in his season debut.
Tominaga averaged 13.1 points in 31 games (14 starts) for the Cornhuskers in the 2022-23 season. He then played for Japan at the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Okinawa, averaging 11.4 points in five games.
Nebraska faces Stony Brook (New York) University on Wednesday, November 15 in another Cornhusker Classic game. The Cornhuskers play the final game of their tournament on November 22 against Duquesne (Pennsylvania) University.
Author: Ed Odeven