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So, you wanted to talk Husker hoops stuff? OK, here goes ...

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Towards the end of last season, I made a statement that some agreed with and others vehemently did not. I said that, for the first time in the Hoiberg era, we're approaching an off-season where the list of recruiting/portal needs is short and manageable. By that, I basically meant we didn't need to trash the entire roster and start over, we just needed to add a few, specific pieces, and that we'd put ourselves in a position to convince potential transfers to believe they could succeed here.


So, here's the first question: Take all five floor positions -- PG, SG/Wing x 2, stretch 4 and post -- and, in terms of where we were with each as of basically the opening of the portal (basically after our departures), rate them on a zero-to-ten scale where zero means we're good, we've got a returning player at the spot who could step right in and not miss a beat, and ten means this is an important spot and we've got nobody on the current roster who could really do the job right now.



To avoid confusion on ratings, the second question, which will also deal with ratings, will follow in a separate thread.


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Ulis, Williams and Mast weren't on the roster when we dove into the portal.


I would rank it like this:


PG 8-9. We lost Griesel who left big shoes to fill, but we did have a couple of guys who, in a pinch, could maybe switch from off-ball guard to on-ball.

SG 3-4. We lost a graduating senior, Bandoumel, but he went down mid-season with an injury, and we had a couple of kids in Keisei and Jamarques who stepped in and would return as presumptive starters, so pretty good there. But I felt like it would be good if we could find a dynamic, scoring wing.

PF 6-7. We lost Wilhelm to the portal basically as soon as it opened (?) and Juwan still had an iffy shoulder issue at the time. I think we needed to find someone here.

Post 10. Derrick's shoes were huge. And we had zero guys in the pipeline who could even potentially jump into his spot. This was the most significant and urgent need to address this off-season.

Edited by Norm Peterson
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2 hours ago, Norm Peterson said:

We lost Wilhelm to the portal basically as soon as it opened


I am honestly unsure when the portal is open because dudes seem to jump into at random but relative to most of the action into the portal WB jumped in there relatively late. I'd argue that we recruited over WB before he left which likely contributed to him leaving.  It's possible he's still here if we don't land Allick which potentially relegated WB to the role of 5th post player in the group of Gary, Keita, Allick, and Mast at the 4/5. 


I bring this up as I'd consider replacing WB as not part of our initial off-season plans but instead as a result of them, which may or may not be relevant in this exercise.

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This is tough to answer currently, as I honestly don't remember my exact panic level at each position from back in early April.  But if I had to guess...


PG - 5.  I remember being optimistic that Lloyd could step into the Big PG role similar to Griesel and Banton.  Lawrence can give some minutes here, Hoiberg can to a lesser extent although I prefer him off the ball. Cale could maybe provide some minutes too. Lots of options, but none as proven commodities running the show. So an average rating overall.

SG - 1. Keisei and Lawrence seems like a good 1-2 punch.  Sam giving minutes here if Lawrence is filling in at PG. Not an All-B1G level rotation but also certainly nothing to be concerned about.  Portal efforts should be focused on other positions, not SG.

SF - 8. Wilcher is one dimensional, and essentially our only returning wing. Lloyd could be a slasher and has the body to fill minutes at the three, but is that really where he fits? This seemed like a priority for a portal addition, but we could maybe have band-aided over the SF spot if needed.

PF - 7. I like Gary a lot.  But with his injury history you need another PF you can rely on on the roster.  WB doesn't count as a backup PF, since he likely would be filling a lot of minutes at the 5. And speaking of which...

C- 10. Wilhelm plus an injury-prone Keita just was not gonna be good enough in the B1G. Can't even really go small ball by sliding the starting PF down to the 5, since Gary is already a bit undersized as a 4.  This was an area where we needed to make a serious addition via portal.

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I don't know if this is on topic, but I don't have anything to add that the other posters haven't on their rankings... But what I will say is, I've never felt more confident and secure in a coach with such a bad record than I do with Fred. Like, I don't even feel like he's on the hot seat this year. Isn't that insane? I think I have basically given him a complete mulligan for his time under the previous AD, and then was very "happy" with the progress shown in his "true second year" last year under T-Rev. I feel like we made all the right portal moves this off-season. 


I have such a weird confidence for this team coming up, I don't even know what to do with myself. And I don't even know if a "bad" year takes me off the Hoiberg-train. It would have to be a complete regression from last year, like sub-14 wins or something, and butt kickings. But I don't even really have benchmarks, as far as post season play, that I feel need to be met for me to consider it a success. 

Should be noted, his first year at Iowa State they went 16-16... and I just felt like last year almost had a real "first year" feel to it, as if he'd finally got the coaches and staff he wanted, and the culture he wanted instilled. 

Edited by basketballjones
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To condense the answer somewhat ...


C -- 10. Top priority. An absolute must. Clearly nobody on the roster who could remotely fill in here.

PG -- 8-9. Griesel left big shoes to fill and we had nobody proven who could fill them.

PF -- 6-7. With the injury to Gary and off-season surgery, was also an area of concern.


SG/wing -- 3-4. This was our most solid returning spot, but I felt we could use a dynamic scoring wing if we could find one.


Now, @basketballjones go flip to the other thread and answer how well you think we addressed each of these needs, because I'm curious to see what people think. Ironically, I think the best add was in the area of LEAST need. Fortunately, I think the second-best add was in the area of MOST need. But, IMO, at least on paper, the area of second-most need was where we hit a dribbler down the first base line and just barely beat the throw.

Edited by Norm Peterson
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