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Norm Peterson

Why I'm Excited/Why I'm Concerned

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I think @Huskerpapa mentioned the other day that he used to be a perpetual sunshine pumper and, for whatever reason, he's now more cautious.  I can relate.  There are a lot of reasons to be hopeful; there are also a lot of reasons to pump the brakes, not just in the near but in the middle and long-terms as well.  A lot we don't yet know, so it'll be interesting to see how things pan out.

 

Let's start out with the good stuff:

 

  • Gravitas. Recruiting is important. Hoiberg coached in the NBA. Recently. That matters to some recruits and should catch their attention.
  • The immediate turn-around at Iowa State shows he can pull it off. And it was definitely a turn-around.
  • He immediately filled his staff here with some high-powered basketball folks, including a couple former D1 head coaches who had produced successful teams of their own.
  • He re-inked his top recruiter from ISU who also had some success getting players to St. John's after Hoiberg left ISU for the Bulls.
  • He nearly instantaneously filled up a roster with recruits and transfers and kept the most important players we had a shot at keeping in the fold. This would include keeping Jervay Green committed as well as Donovan Williams and Dre Davis, the latter two of whom, of course, are 2020 recruits.
  • His style fits. We historically haven't always been able to land big men; his offense doesn't really rely on them. He's reputed to be an offensive genius and he's hedged any potential defensive weakness by bringing in Doc Sadler as a sort of defensive coordinator. It seems likely they'll be able to coach the talent that we have.
  • He was a "home run" hire who puts a great face on the program and looks to be a fantastic ambassador for the school.
  • Dachon Burke. And Haanif Cheatham. Appear to be the real deal.

 

Now the "pump the brakes" stuff:

 

  • Brought in a lot of bodies but it's still questionable how much star power they possess and you need some dudes to compete in this league. Do we have any?
  • The bodies he brought in, if not possessed of star power, nevertheless are poised to hold spots for 2 or more years before you can replace them, putting him in a position of not being able to upgrade talent as quickly as you might hope.
  • The counter argument to the above is that people transfer anyway. But we had a discussion about the window of opportunity not to renew kids and how the B1G says scholarships are for 4 years not 1, and if a kid decides to stick around who maybe isn't a B1G caliber player, there might not be much the coach can do about it (see Fuller, Nick, for example.)
  • AND, you see how we're already pinched for spots to offer for 2020. We have no current open spots for 2020 and, for every additional 2020 recruit we want to sign, someone with further eligibility on the current roster would have to say "sayonara." I personally would have liked to have seen another grad transfer on the roster, giving us for sure one more spot to offer for 2020.
  • How long can you sell recruits on "I coached in the NBA and we're building something here like what we did at ISU" before results on the floor have to support that you can pull it off again? If recruiting momentum fades, it's hard to get it going again (see Sadler, Doc and Miles, Tim.)
  • It's hard to catch lightning in a bottle twice and, while there are examples of coaches who've returned to college from the NBA and been successful, there are also coaches who returned from the NBA and weren't able to reproduce the success they previously had in college that made an NBA team take a chance on them in the first place.
  • Is our recruiting honcho overrated? They brought in some dudes to ISU, and Shamorie Ponds was pretty good at St. John's, as was LJ Figueroa, but who else panned out? That might be partly on Chris Mullin's coaching, but still. We don't know.
  • I'm concerned by the apparent dropping of the ball getting Akol Arop over to Italy. Or rather NOT getting him over to Italy. It also concerns me that Yvan isn't here yet and might not arrive until after classes start. Been down this road (see Diaz, Brian and Sallie, Roburt.) If I'm honest, I'm also a little distressed that Yvan chose to play limited action for France U18 rather than getting over here and getting familiar with his new team and his new program.
  • And, finally, I am a bit concerned that our penciled-in starter at point guard (whom some had written down in pen) was a no-show for Italy and the practices leading up thereto. The graduation thing might or might not have been his fault; the getting sick was certainly not his fault. But best case scenario is he's behind everyone else in picking up the system and getting reps. Worst case, we have no idea what kind of PG he really is at this level and Dalano Banton isn't eligible this year in the event Cam Mack doesn't cut it. My HOPE is that Cam Mack is everything we were hoping he'd be. But there's really nothing solid to go on at this point to assure us that he is.

 

So, I think there are a lot of reasons to be excited about our future prospects. But there's also a lot of reasons to keep the expectations in check. Probably a lot more on both sides of the ledger than I've listed above.

 

Thoughts?

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From the Parrish article:

 

 

Quotes that stood out 

On Fred Hoiberg

  • "I don't think this is even close -- Fred Hoiberg to Nebraska. Given what he did at Iowa State, and the resources and fanbase that Nebraska can offer him, he is a home run hire."
  • "If Fred follows the blueprint he used at Iowa State and stockpiles talented transfers who need a second-chance for whatever reason, he'll win at Nebraska just like he won at Iowa State. There's obviously a risk of that creating problems if it blows up on you. But there's no reason he won't be able to have, at worst, the same type of rosters at Nebraska that he had at Iowa State."
  • "I think as things shake out down the line we will see that a number of these hires turn out to be really good ones, but Hoiberg feels like the best right now. He has a model for success in the Midwest from his time at Iowa State, and I think he will be able to attract some high level talent. They have the facilities and the fanbase to attract the right guys [even if] the geography might not be overly appealing. Nebraska seems like it is making a push recently to get consistently good in men's basketball, and Hoiberg is the right guy to bring them there."

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2 minutes ago, swmckewon said:

Excitement and concerns relative to what? 

 

"There are a lot of reasons to be hopeful; there are also a lot of reasons to pump the brakes, not just in the near but in the middle and long-terms as well."

 

Pretty sure we're talking about Nebraska basketball. And our prospects this season and into the future.

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43 minutes ago, Norm Peterson said:

 

"There are a lot of reasons to be hopeful; there are also a lot of reasons to pump the brakes, not just in the near but in the middle and long-terms as well."

 

Pretty sure we're talking about Nebraska basketball. And our prospects this season and into the future.

Right. Relative to what part of Nebraska basketball history? The Big Ten era? The Nee era? Relative to what future goals? 

 

I'm saying I know a KU fan who could write 15 concerns, too. But it's relative to KU's history. 

 

I will say on the 18U, I dunno, a lot of kids just don't ditch those competitions. International prospects grow up in it, it's a big deal to make those teams. The NU WBB recruit played in the 19u. (She's also better, relative to her competition, than Yvan is to his, and I agree he could use some stateside development from Fred and Co.) 

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I’ll take a LONG lens, philosophical approach to this question. As most of us have learned in our own lives, things are never very BAD or very GOOD for very long. After years of wandering in the metaphorical “wilderness” as a program, I believe we will be entering a period of sustained prosperity unlike we have never known, for the simple fact that we’re due...

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I am cautiously optimistic that the program is in good hands.   I have zero expectations for the coming season other than I hope we compete n each game.  I do believe we will be better in the 2nd year to help with recruiting for the following season.  Transfers will probably provide a major impact on this program.  

 

If Fred can’t get it done I am at a loss of who will ever get it done at NU.

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2 hours ago, Cazzie22 said:

I am cautiously optimistic that the program is in good hands.   I have zero expectations for the coming season other than I hope we compete n each game.  I do believe we will be better in the 2nd year to help with recruiting for the following season.  Transfers will probably provide a major impact on this program.  

 

If Fred can’t get it done I am at a loss of who will ever get it done at NU.

 

To build recruiting momentum for the 2021 class, we need to be better this year than people expect.

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23 minutes ago, Norm Peterson said:

 

To build recruiting momentum for the 2021 class, we need to be better this year than people expect.

 

Hoiberg basically mentioned that was a big part of his stint at ISU, they went 16-16 in the first season when he only had about 7 guys playing. Even a .500 record helped build momentum, and ISU was in a much worse situation at that time than NU is at this time. I'm hopeful that NU will be a fringe Dancin' partner this year if certain B1G players develop into leadership roles, guys like Dachon Burke and Cam Mack, for instance. The biggest concerns in year one is the B1G effect on most of the conference games' outcome due to rebounding differential and shooting efficiency (offense & defense).

 

Edited by AuroranHusker

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7 hours ago, swmckewon said:

Excitement and concerns relative to what? 

How about last year.  We were suppose to have the line up to get us back to the dance and poof.  History has been painful for Husker basketball fans.  Almost like the the twin brother of the Chicago Cub goat resides in Lincoln.  (That said, wish the Cubs goat was still an issue).

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My only concern is that Otzelberger was to Hoiberg what Craig Smith was to Miles.

 

Otzelberger was Hoibergs go to guy for opponent scouting and gameplanning and the last year Hoiberg was at ISU was without Otzelberger and that was the year they were a 3 seed and poised to make a run in the tournament and got knocked out by 13 seed UAB in the first round. 

 

 

I highly doubt this is the case, but the whole Smith/Miles coaching ability question thing still kinda has me skittish.

Edited by Blackshirt83

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8 hours ago, Blackshirt83 said:

My only concern is that Otzelberger was to Hoiberg what Craig Smith was to Miles.

 

Otzelberger was Hoibergs go to guy for opponent scouting and gameplanning and the last year Hoiberg was at ISU was without Otzelberger and that was the year they were a 3 seed and poised to make a run in the tournament and got knocked out by 13 seed UAB in the first round. 

 

 

I highly doubt this is the case, but the whole Smith/Miles coaching ability question thing still kinda has me skittish.

 

image.png

 

There were two years without Otzelberger. Both years they were 3 seeds after being no higher than 8 when TJ was there.

Yeah they got upset one year but the other year they made the Sweet 16 and who knows what happens if Georges Niang isn't out with an injury.

FWIW the year they went the farthest was the one year where Doc was the assistant.

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16 hours ago, Handy Johnson said:

I’ll take a LONG lens, philosophical approach to this question. As most of us have learned in our own lives, things are never very BAD or very GOOD for very long. After years of wandering in the metaphorical “wilderness” as a program, I believe we will be entering a period of sustained prosperity unlike we have never known, for the simple fact that we’re due...

 

I'm with Handy; I'll also take the "LONG Lens, philosophical approach."  But not being a Long-Time (read Long-Suffering) Husker Hoops Fan like most on this board (rather, I'm a 'Short-suffering' fan  :Redface: ) I'll still take the philosophical view!  As my father might have said (he did many times):  "Considering the Alternative" (things are pretty good).  :wink:

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14 hours ago, colhusker said:

How about last year.  We were suppose to have the line up to get us back to the dance and poof.  History has been painful for Husker basketball fans.  Almost like the the twin brother of the Chicago Cub goat resides in Lincoln.  (That said, wish the Cubs goat was still an issue).

Relative to that, I don't think there's many concerns at all. 

 

The alternate universe where Nebraska does make the tournament last season and the former coach gets an extension doesn't mean the 2019-2020 team, under those circumstances, would have been very good. The assistant responsible for recruiting all but one of the best players on last year's roster was gone, Roby was probably gonna leave - wisely so, given the deal he got - and the team Nebraska would have had...it's frankly hard to argue it would have been more talented than the team it has now. 

 

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6 hours ago, hhcmatt said:

 

image.png

 

There were two years without Otzelberger. Both years they were 3 seeds after being no higher than 8 when TJ was there.

Yeah they got upset one year but the other year they made the Sweet 16 and who knows what happens if Georges Niang isn't out with an injury.

FWIW the year they went the farthest was the one year where Doc was the assistant.

Makes me feel a heck of a lot better about that.

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1 hour ago, swmckewon said:

Relative to that, I don't think there's many concerns at all. 

 

The alternate universe where Nebraska does make the tournament last season and the former coach gets an extension doesn't mean the 2019-2020 team, under those circumstances, would have been very good. The assistant responsible for recruiting all but one of the best players on last year's roster was gone, Roby was probably gonna leave - wisely so, given the deal he got - and the team Nebraska would have had...it's frankly hard to argue it would have been more talented than the team it has now. 

 

Understand all that, but maybe had we made the tournament the coach would have gotten a long term extension and been able to walk into a living room and say I will be there all four years you and or your son will be in Lincoln.  It would have made recruiting easier.  That all said, it didn't happen, most if not all are happy with the home run hire.  That said, there are reasons to be concerned given the storied history of issues the basketball program has had.

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3 minutes ago, colhusker said:

 

the storied history of issues the basketball program has had

 

 

This is precisely the reason I personally don't have any concerns at all going forward.  After all, can things really get any worse than they have been for basically ever?  I mean, I suppose yes technically it's possible, we could sink to Colorado Buffaloes level of suck.  But in reality it's already been bad/embarrassing enough there's nowhere to go but up for this program.  

 

Nothing to lose, you know?

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10 minutes ago, 49r said:

 

This is precisely the reason I personally don't have any concerns at all going forward.  After all, can things really get any worse than they have been for basically ever?  I mean, I suppose yes technically it's possible, we could sink to Colorado Buffaloes level of suck.  But in reality it's already been bad/embarrassing enough there's nowhere to go but up for this program.  

 

Nothing to lose, you know?

 

Well, Nebraska's never lost 20 games in a season, there's always that level of suckitude. 😉

 

 

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It is a rough comparison to make, but here goes... 

 

I think this season was going to be a rough one if we didn't make a coaching change this spring.  Winning half of our games seemed like a reasonable expectation.  Not what I wanted, but it seemed to fit where we were as a program.

 

Then we actrually saw a coaching change.  And a monumental shift in the roster, with all the uphill work that entails - players getting to know each other and their coaches, learning how to play as a team, even simply getting adjusted to a new school.  That's a lot to deal with.

 

That said, I have the same expectations for this season as I did in March... win half the games this year.   But, oddly, I don't feel frustrated with that expectation now.  I think it is because this is  Year 1 for Hoiberg rather than year 7 for Miles.

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