Jump to content

So Many Questions


Recommended Posts

Random Questions/Thoughts on this upcoming season/team:

 

1.  We are a tall lineup, but a bit slow at some positions.  A bit worried about guarding teams with multiple really quick guards/wings.  If an opponent has a smaller, but ultra-quick PG, I suspect Bando will guard that PG.  But what if they have another ultra-quick SG or wing?  Can Griesel guard that type of quickness?  Wilcher can't.  If Wilhelm is at the 4, he obviously can't.  If Gary is at the 4, may have to put Gary on the SG.  Then who would guard the opponent PF. Would Wilcher (at a generous listed 6'5") or could Sam slide all the way over and guard the opposing PF.  Sam is a big kid.  He is listed as taller and the same weight as Gary, so seems to make sense.  Strange bedfellows.

 

2.  Sam is such a unique aspect as a 6'7" 216 lb. PG.  If the other team has smaller guards, and puts one of those smaller guards on Sam, can Fred run a clear out and simply allow Sam to back down the guard under the hoop and simply bully his way to the basket?  Or can Fred post up Sam and exploit the mismatch.  For so many years it seems other teams have exploited us with mismatches, especially with our smaller players.  Can Fred now do the reverse, and use our size at PG to exploit our opponent's lack of comparable size?  Does Sam have a back-down or post-up game in his arsenal?

 

3.  This is not a great shooting team and it will struggle to put the ball in the hoop.  But we have some shooters.  Question:  Can the offense get them open shots?  Shooters on this team are: (1) Wilcher (2) Bando (3) Keisei (4) Griesel (but low volume) and maybe (5) Wilhelm (but he shot about 10% last year, so ????).  Other than Bando, none of the shooters are particularly quick or fast.  Can they get open?  Can the system get them open shots?  Last year Keisei really struggled because teams simply did not leave him and he couldn't get open.  Wilcher is now a known shooter, teams will try to take away his 3-point shot.  None of the shooters are great at breaking down a close-out off the dribble, so teams will press up on them at the 3-point line.  And do we have a PG or other player that that penetrate the lane to drive, draw and dish to the open shooter? 

 

4.  Will this team play sound, fundamental basketball.  It seems like each year everything sounds good in the media and pre-season pressers . . . and then the season starts and we all see a bit of a mess.  Will this team be different?  Once again there are a lot of new players, including 3 transfers who will see significant playing time.  Can they gel quickly?  Are they "fundamental" type players?  It should be noted, if the transfers are not good at fundamentals, it can't all be blamed on Fred.  Each of them has played multiple years with different teams under different coaches. If they don't box out by now, they simply don't have it in their blood, and can't get blood out of a turnip.  Fred said Gary is a very aggressive rebounder, especially on the offensive end.  But also said he needs to do a better job boxing out on the defensive end.  Sometimes guys like that just want to ball-hawk, and don't do the fundamentals like boxing out.

 

5.  Do we have enough shooting?  As mentioned above, we have 4 or 5 guys who purported can shoot, but Wilcher is probably the only true dead-eye shooter.  Keisei can definitely shoot, but can he get his shot off?  Will he even be in the rotation?  Based on his past, it appears Bando will shoot the ball.  Question is can he make a high enough percentage to win help win some games?  His career percentage is not terrible, but not great either, just average.  Griesel shot 38% from 3 last year, but on very low volume and against inferior competition.  Can he make 1 or 2 a game to keep the opposing defense honest?  Fred continues to refer to Wilhelm as a shooter, but he sure didn't make many last year (and many weren't even close), can he make the leap to at least an average 3-point shooter?  Will Lawrence get some minutes, can he play at this level and shoot a decent percentage at this level?  That may be a bit much to ask as a true freshman.

 

6.  Can this team survive starting Gary along with Walker?  That is two players who absolutely cannot shoot.  Will team sag off Gary and double Walker?  Will the defense clog the lane?  This is why I think Wilhelm starts, because he at least shoots enough to keep the defense honest, but admittedly Gary has much more experience and is a much better defender (and probably rebounder). 

 

7.  Can Keita defend opposing B1G centers without help?  Is Keita big enough, strong enough and defensively sound enough to man up against another 7-footer without needing regular help defense?  If so, this could be a big bonus.  But it is a tall ask, and not sure he is ready for that. . . yet.

 

8.  Does Keisei have a role on this team?  We all saw him struggle last year, but he did have a strong summer on the national team, including 33 points vs a very, very good Australian team.  Last year he got off to a terrible start, that probably hurt his confidence.  He also struggled figuring out what is a good shot.  Can his year under his belt help him this year become a reliable rotational player?  Can he play decent minutes and shoot well enough to at least force the defender to never leave him, thereby opening up the middle for entry passes or drives? 

 

9.  Can this team get off to a better start?  Last year the team got off to a miserable start.  And it seemed like no one could hit the broad side of a barn.  At one point I think the team was shooting under 25% from 3.  It was brutal.  Even supposed shooters like Keisei, Bryce and Wilhelm were shooting miserably from 3 during the first 10 games or so.  Fred tried playing Keon Edwards and he never made a single shot.  Even Wilcher got off to a bit of a slow start.  Surely it can't start off that bad, can it?  Reversion to the mean requires a better shooting start, right? Hopefully the significant experience of all the transfers, plus Wilcher and Keisei in second year, will help them feel more comfortable and shoot better to start the season.

 

10.  How different will the offense look? This team has some returning players, but is a totally different makeup.  Bryce and Verge absolutely dominated the ball last year.  Both could score the ball, but the ball stuck in their hands.  Fred said the emphasis this season is on a lot of passing and less dribbling.  This makes sense since hardly anyone on this team is a good ball-handler. But will it work?  Can they simply pass their way to open shots?  or entry passes?  Will the players stick with the plan, or will hero ball resurface when the going gets tough?  Is there a point where there is too much passing--at some point, a shooter needs to take the open shot.  

 

So many questions. . . . 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not worrying about guarding the PG, we can switch everything with our size. Might occasionally get caught in a mismatch with Walker's man, but that's a small price to pay for cutting off drives and giving up open 3s. We have a starting group that can play bully ball, like Houston or UConn, but is it going to? That's my first question. 

 

If we continue to push pace and shoot 3s, this team is not going to be good. Just not enough offensive talent. At some point we'll need somebody to put the ball in the basket. Bando seems like the best option at this point, but keep in mind he was the 4th scorer on a team that won 1 game in the NIT. His highlights show mainly spot up jumpers, with occasional drives after somebody else got the defense out of position. And for all the offseason kumbaya talk, how together will this team be when 3 or 4 guys are competing to be "the man." That's my second question. 

 

As for the Koolaid, I don't think the talk of a bubble team is crazy at all. I see a group that Gregg Marshall could turn into a bubble team. But can Fred to it? That's my third question.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, NUdiehard said:

Random Questions/Thoughts on this upcoming season/team:

 

1.  We are a tall lineup, but a bit slow at some positions.  A bit worried about guarding teams with multiple really quick guards/wings.  If an opponent has a smaller, but ultra-quick PG, I suspect Bando will guard that PG.  But what if they have another ultra-quick SG or wing?  Can Griesel guard that type of quickness?  Wilcher can't.  If Wilhelm is at the 4, he obviously can't.  If Gary is at the 4, may have to put Gary on the SG.  Then who would guard the opponent PF. Would Wilcher (at a generous listed 6'5") or could Sam slide all the way over and guard the opposing PF.  Sam is a big kid.  He is listed as taller and the same weight as Gary, so seems to make sense.  Strange bedfellows.

 

2.  Sam is such a unique aspect as a 6'7" 216 lb. PG.  If the other team has smaller guards, and puts one of those smaller guards on Sam, can Fred run a clear out and simply allow Sam to back down the guard under the hoop and simply bully his way to the basket?  Or can Fred post up Sam and exploit the mismatch.  For so many years it seems other teams have exploited us with mismatches, especially with our smaller players.  Can Fred now do the reverse, and use our size at PG to exploit our opponent's lack of comparable size?  Does Sam have a back-down or post-up game in his arsenal?

 

3.  This is not a great shooting team and it will struggle to put the ball in the hoop.  But we have some shooters.  Question:  Can the offense get them open shots?  Shooters on this team are: (1) Wilcher (2) Bando (3) Keisei (4) Griesel (but low volume) and maybe (5) Wilhelm (but he shot about 10% last year, so ????).  Other than Bando, none of the shooters are particularly quick or fast.  Can they get open?  Can the system get them open shots?  Last year Keisei really struggled because teams simply did not leave him and he couldn't get open.  Wilcher is now a known shooter, teams will try to take away his 3-point shot.  None of the shooters are great at breaking down a close-out off the dribble, so teams will press up on them at the 3-point line.  And do we have a PG or other player that that penetrate the lane to drive, draw and dish to the open shooter? 

 

4.  Will this team play sound, fundamental basketball.  It seems like each year everything sounds good in the media and pre-season pressers . . . and then the season starts and we all see a bit of a mess.  Will this team be different?  Once again there are a lot of new players, including 3 transfers who will see significant playing time.  Can they gel quickly?  Are they "fundamental" type players?  It should be noted, if the transfers are not good at fundamentals, it can't all be blamed on Fred.  Each of them has played multiple years with different teams under different coaches. If they don't box out by now, they simply don't have it in their blood, and can't get blood out of a turnip.  Fred said Gary is a very aggressive rebounder, especially on the offensive end.  But also said he needs to do a better job boxing out on the defensive end.  Sometimes guys like that just want to ball-hawk, and don't do the fundamentals like boxing out.

 

5.  Do we have enough shooting?  As mentioned above, we have 4 or 5 guys who purported can shoot, but Wilcher is probably the only true dead-eye shooter.  Keisei can definitely shoot, but can he get his shot off?  Will he even be in the rotation?  Based on his past, it appears Bando will shoot the ball.  Question is can he make a high enough percentage to win help win some games?  His career percentage is not terrible, but not great either, just average.  Griesel shot 38% from 3 last year, but on very low volume and against inferior competition.  Can he make 1 or 2 a game to keep the opposing defense honest?  Fred continues to refer to Wilhelm as a shooter, but he sure didn't make many last year (and many weren't even close), can he make the leap to at least an average 3-point shooter?  Will Lawrence get some minutes, can he play at this level and shoot a decent percentage at this level?  That may be a bit much to ask as a true freshman.

 

6.  Can this team survive starting Gary along with Walker?  That is two players who absolutely cannot shoot.  Will team sag off Gary and double Walker?  Will the defense clog the lane?  This is why I think Wilhelm starts, because he at least shoots enough to keep the defense honest, but admittedly Gary has much more experience and is a much better defender (and probably rebounder). 

 

7.  Can Keita defend opposing B1G centers without help?  Is Keita big enough, strong enough and defensively sound enough to man up against another 7-footer without needing regular help defense?  If so, this could be a big bonus.  But it is a tall ask, and not sure he is ready for that. . . yet.

 

8.  Does Keisei have a role on this team?  We all saw him struggle last year, but he did have a strong summer on the national team, including 33 points vs a very, very good Australian team.  Last year he got off to a terrible start, that probably hurt his confidence.  He also struggled figuring out what is a good shot.  Can his year under his belt help him this year become a reliable rotational player?  Can he play decent minutes and shoot well enough to at least force the defender to never leave him, thereby opening up the middle for entry passes or drives? 

 

9.  Can this team get off to a better start?  Last year the team got off to a miserable start.  And it seemed like no one could hit the broad side of a barn.  At one point I think the team was shooting under 25% from 3.  It was brutal.  Even supposed shooters like Keisei, Bryce and Wilhelm were shooting miserably from 3 during the first 10 games or so.  Fred tried playing Keon Edwards and he never made a single shot.  Even Wilcher got off to a bit of a slow start.  Surely it can't start off that bad, can it?  Reversion to the mean requires a better shooting start, right? Hopefully the significant experience of all the transfers, plus Wilcher and Keisei in second year, will help them feel more comfortable and shoot better to start the season.

 

10.  How different will the offense look? This team has some returning players, but is a totally different makeup.  Bryce and Verge absolutely dominated the ball last year.  Both could score the ball, but the ball stuck in their hands.  Fred said the emphasis this season is on a lot of passing and less dribbling.  This makes sense since hardly anyone on this team is a good ball-handler. But will it work?  Can they simply pass their way to open shots?  or entry passes?  Will the players stick with the plan, or will hero ball resurface when the going gets tough?  Is there a point where there is too much passing--at some point, a shooter needs to take the open shot.  

 

So many questions. . . . 

1. Hopefully with more of a match-up look we're going to be doing a lot of rotating and switching, lulling teams into bad (more contested than they realize) shots. When you're big and long like this (hey o) you want to sag off, make the paint look unusable, and be late to close-outs contest. Dare teams into bad shots and suffocate them. 

2. A good coach can and would!

3. I've stopped attempting to predict whether a Husker team is a good or bad shooting team. 

4. Sure hope so!

5. Same as question 3

6. Honestly I was a bit thrown off by Walker returning. Obviously we will need/use him but it sure throws a lot of weird line-ups out there, limits younger/newer guys' opportunities, and creates potential chemistry issues with playing time. I love DW by the way. 

7. No idea. Sure hope so. Would be huge. 

8. I sure hope he doesn't HAVE TO have a role on this team. I was hoping he was a player that was moving on and making room for an impact player. But if he does have a role, I hope it is because he's shooting 45%+ from 3pt. 

9. Sure hope so!

10. It will be more of a two man ball game. Saw it in the drills they were running yesterday. Pretty obvious where they are moving to basketball wise - and I like it. Bigs will be ball-screeners, hand-off guys, who play "yo-yo" basketball with guards. Almost a mover blocker style. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

32 minutes ago, basketballjones said:

 

6. Honestly I was a bit thrown off by Walker returning. Obviously we will need/use him but it sure throws a lot of weird line-ups out there, limits younger/newer guys' opportunities, and creates potential chemistry issues with playing time. I love DW by the way. 

 

 

I can think of 100,000 reasons why Walker returned.   😉

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, NUdiehard said:

6.  Can this team survive starting Gary along with Walker?  That is two players who absolutely cannot shoot.  Will team sag off Gary and double Walker?  Will the defense clog the lane?  This is why I think Wilhelm starts, because he at least shoots enough to keep the defense honest, but admittedly Gary has much more experience and is a much better defender (and probably rebounder). 

 

You seem to be giving Wilhelm credit here for being a more willing 3pt shooter. Another way to phrase that might be you aren't giving Gary enough credit for having better  shot selection based on his skillset.  If you look at WB's limited outside shooting and FT numbers, they're bad.  Why would defenders sag off of Gary and not WB?

 

To me the pairing of Gary/Walker and WB/Keita makes the most sense because Walker and WB have proven they can pass the ball. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. If a team has multiple ultra quick guards then we will need to be much quicker to help/rotate or go zone.  If a team has great big men in addition to those multiple quick guards then they are probably a top 15-level talent team and I'd expect us to get boat raced.

2. I assume Sam will be used very similarly to how Banton was used in '20-'21.

3. Our shooters will struggle to get open looks.  

4. This has to be our #1 team strength if we are going to win at all.  We have a smart coaching staff and a crew of (allegedly) teachable players.  Fundamentals and effort should be drastically improved this year.

5. We have enough guys that can shoot but not enough guys that can create their own shot or create a shot for others.  We may have a few Klay Thompson Lites on this team, but zero Steph Curry Lites.

6. Gary and DW will start together but that doesn't mean they will play the bulk of their minutes together.  Is the other team beating us up inside with pure size?  Then Gary moves to the 3, Wil comes in at the 4, and Keita gets a few more minutes to keep Walker fresh and out of foul trouble.  Do we need more scoring? Then CJ moves to the 4 in order to get an extra guard on the floor.

7. Keita better be able to hold his own 1-on-1 against other bigs, or else I don't know what his role will be.  His offensive numbers in JUCO were inefficient, and scoring in the paint is much harder in the B1G.  If he doesn't defend and rebound then he doesn't play.

8. If I'm Fred, Keisei's role would be as a sub late in the first half to throw up a couple heat checks. If his shot is on then he'll be in the rotation in the second half.  If his shot is off then he can go ahead and shower and change into street clothes at halftime.

9. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

10. I'm not at all worried about this team reverting back to hero ball, because I don't think this team can play hero ball.  Who on this team even has the capability to get to the rim when surrounded by 2-3 defenders?  Who can create space for themselves to jack up an ill-advised 3pt shot?  Lloyd, maybe.  But do we really think he will stay on the floor if he's hurting the team?  No.  

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This clip from the LJS caught my attention

Capture.JPG

It makes a lot of sense that we would focus on transition scoring to augment our offense because we've been doing that the entire Hoiberg era.

 

 

Per Hoops-Math.com, here is our ranking in terms of % of offense started in transition (Transition shots are defined as occuring within the first 10 seconds of a possession after a steal, defensive rebound, or opponent score.)

 

2020: 29.1% - 19th

2021: 28.1% - 38th

2022: 26.6% - 48th 

 

Is it more personnel or opponent's knowledge of our game plan that has decreased our transition usage?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, Nighthawk said:

Well..we got one answer today. https://klin.com/2022/09/30/unl-board-of-regents-approve-alcohol-sales-at-basketball-games/?sc_ref=lm.facebook.com#

 

Guess that means that calling Norms name means even more now.

 

Just remember..."It's a dog-eat-dog world, Woody, & I'm wearing Milk Bone underwear."

 

After last year, Norm be like "do you have anything stronger than Everclear?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/30/2022 at 10:58 AM, hhcmatt said:

This clip from the LJS caught my attention

Capture.JPG

It makes a lot of sense that we would focus on transition scoring to augment our offense because we've been doing that the entire Hoiberg era.

 

 

Per Hoops-Math.com, here is our ranking in terms of % of offense started in transition (Transition shots are defined as occuring within the first 10 seconds of a possession after a steal, defensive rebound, or opponent score.)

 

2020: 29.1% - 19th

2021: 28.1% - 38th

2022: 26.6% - 48th 

 

Is it more personnel or opponent's knowledge of our game plan that has decreased our transition usage?

You've made a couple comments regarding this topic but this was the only one I could quickly find to quote. 

IMO - I think you're making too many assumptions of how we will operate in the half-court this year based off of warm-up drills. Everyone runs those things for warm-ups. 

I imagine our goal will still be to push it off of misses and turnovers, ala Creighton, but I foresee a bit more ball-control offense this year. Just my opinion. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, basketballjones said:

You've made a couple comments regarding this topic but this was the only one I could quickly find to quote. 

IMO - I think you're making too many assumptions of how we will operate in the half-court this year based off of warm-up drills. Everyone runs those things for warm-ups. 

I imagine our goal will still be to push it off of misses and turnovers, ala Creighton, but I foresee a bit more ball-control offense this year. Just my opinion. 

 

What makes you think we're going to run more of a ball-control offense this year?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I kind of go back and forth on this but I tend to agree that our personnel make it look like we would slow it down a bit.  SG is very different than Cam and Verge.

 

Then again I assumed Doc would play fast with his tiny lineup and they played slow it down, half court ball.  Shows what I know.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am thinking it is the Moe curse.  The "Rag" filmed the huskers having an illegal practice at the women's PE building and it got Moe in hotter water.  He was already disliked by a portion of the fan base by his approach to the media and his slow pace style.  He was no Joe Cipriano...chants such as Moe must go, dig up Joe, were heard and he simply was under-appreciated; as he was well respected by other coaches around the country.  Heck his papa was the renowned Henry Iba.

He was such a bad coach, that he led us to our first [I think] NCAA tournament birth...only to resign after the game was over.  

We have had more bad then good ever since.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It seems to me that curse goes all the way back to Dr. Naismith himself.  We traded the program's entire future for one game.

 

"Nebraska, by then known as the "Cornhuskers", played an out-of-state opponent for the first time the following season, defeating James Naismith and Kansas 48–8 in what is still the worst loss in KU history. NU's 1900 team was retroactively ranked second nationally by the Premo-Porretta Power Poll."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nebraska_Cornhuskers_men's_basketball#cite_note-5 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, aphilso1 said:

It seems to me that curse goes all the way back to Dr. Naismith himself.  We traded the program's entire future for one game.

 

"Nebraska, by then known as the "Cornhuskers", played an out-of-state opponent for the first time the following season, defeating James Naismith and Kansas 48–8 in what is still the worst loss in KU history. NU's 1900 team was retroactively ranked second nationally by the Premo-Porretta Power Poll."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nebraska_Cornhuskers_men's_basketball#cite_note-5 

Holy shit it has to be. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Huskerpapa said:

I am thinking it is the Moe curse.  The "Rag" filmed the huskers having an illegal practice at the women's PE building and it got Moe in hotter water.  He was already disliked by a portion of the fan base by his approach to the media and his slow pace style.  He was no Joe Cipriano...chants such as Moe must go, dig up Joe, were heard and he simply was under-appreciated; as he was well respected by other coaches around the country.  Heck his papa was the renowned Henry Iba.

He was such a bad coach, that he led us to our first [I think] NCAA tournament birth...only to resign after the game was over.  

We have had more bad then good ever since.  

My response to this is the same as it is to @Norm Peterson's theory. Both good ones - I just don't think you can name a curse after something that post-dates the curse itself still being in effect. I think it has to be what @aphilso1 has posited.

 

"The Naismith Curse" - how do we cleanse ourselves of the curse? Burn peach baskets? 

I find no lack of irony that, the game that was invented at nearly an identical time as basketball on the other coast - volleyball - we absolutely dominate in. I think we're onto something fellas. I think it is our job to get a hold of Jack Mitchell and see if he can help organize something to rid ourselves of this curse? Is he on this site? 

Edited by basketballjones
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...