Nebraska basketball commits Donovan Williams, and Akol Arop faced off against one another for the second time this season and both stars have now emerged from the tilts with a 1-1 record. Williams would likely you tell you Thursday's win is sweeter than it would have been earlier in the season. Arop will likely tell Husker fans the loss yesterday was far more painful than it would have been earlier this winter. That's because Williams' Lincoln Northstar pulled off the upset against Arop's Creighton Prep to advance to Friday's Boys State semifinal game against Omaha South.

Nebraska basketball commit building his own legend

On Thursday afternoon, Donovan Williams willed his Navigators to the victory by leading the team with 20 points. Playing that well against Creighton Prep has certainly been his "thing" this season and it's likely facing off against one of his future teammates has helped drive him to those performances.

In the first matchup between the two teams, Williams scored 36 points in the double overtime loss. It was an outing like that that had people so excited to see what Arop v Williams part two was going to look like. The duel might have ended up being a bit one-sided as Akol Arop was never really able to get going. He did lead his Creighton Prep teammates in scoring with 13, but the Lincoln North State defense was too much for the Junior Jays.

That defensive effort was led by the confidence the 'Gators have been able to gain thanks to putting together a successful season after a flat out a bad, 1-4 start. “There’s been no ‘ifs’ in the locker room,” Williams told the Omaha World-Herald. “It’s always been about ‘when.’ So, ‘When we win, we’re going to do this, we’re going to be here.’ We’re confident.

Our confidence is through the wall right now.”

The talent on both sides of the court

While Donovan Williams bested Akol Arop and his team on Thursday, it's clear the Nebraska basketball coaches would have been happy with whoever won, as long as both players showed off their talent and stayed healthy. It's been a while since Tim Miles has managed to recruit the state the way he did in the most recent recruiting classes.

Arop is the number two player in the entire state for the 2019 class, behind only Shereef Mitchell, who is headed to Creighton. Williams is the top-ranked player in the state for the 2020 class and considered the number 40 shooting guard in the entire country. Both players are going to be quite the infusion of talent for a team that has fallen on hard times. National analysts were predicting this year's Nebraska basketball team might make quite the run in the NCAA Tournament.

That run isn't going to happen for the Huskers this year after all. Also on Thursday, the Cornhuskers got a bit of insult added to injury as they had to suspend backup guard Nana Akenten indefinitely for violating team rules.

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