I think we can all agree that Fred gets a complete mulligan for at least one or two years as he tries to build this program from the ground up. For Nebraska, Hoiberg was as close to a "home run" hire as we probably can ever get, and frankly, if he can't get it done during his tenure here, then we should all just agree to terminate this moribund program and put us all out of our misery. He needs time. He deserves time. For those of us that have been doing this for decades, it stinks having to sit through another year(s) or inept and losing basketball, but for Fred it is year 0 so in the words of Coach Miles, "we can't put that history on him."
With that said, I am completely perflexed by this team he has assembled. Yes, he had to scramble to piece this together in a matte of weeks, and it is a minor miracle we even have 13 scholarship players. But for a coach who is renowned for shooting the basketball and playing a style of "5 out" with 5 shooters on the floor, it is hard to understand this group of players. Not a single one of them (sans Kavas who, although a 5th year senior, looks like a deer in the headlights out there and not athletic enough to guard or get open) that has a nice shot. And I don't think the first 2 games are an aberration. Will they continue to shoot 20% from 3? Probably not. But this will never be a solid 3-point shooting team. To be honest, there isn't a single player on this current roster that I would be majorly disappointed if he transferred out except maybe Mack or Curtis. And speaking of Curtis, why isn't he playing more? I would take him over 13 guys on this roster right now, yet he sits on the bench. He is young, he is talented, he can shoot (looks weird, but goes in). Unless there is a disciplinary issue, I don't get it.
If it was just for this year, then it wouldn't be much of a concern. Again, this is year 0--the mulligan. But we only have 2 seniors, so most of these guys will be sticking around for a while. And the two redshirts--Banton and Walker--are even worse shooters than anyone that is currently eligible. I don't understand why he recruited two centers (Walker and Yvan) that are (1) undersized, (2) can't dribble, and (3) can't shoot a lick. They will never allow Fred to play a 5 out system. Cross may eventually become an okay shooter (he is not a good shooter now), but he is not a center--he is 6'6" tall at best.
Recruiting has also gotten off to a very slow start. Our most promising 2020 recruit (Davis) backed out of his verbal. Please don't tell me Fred didn't want him--he committed to Louisville! And now Donovan is waiting to sign his LOI in April, which is never a good sign.
And why didn't Hoiberg secure additional commitments for 2020. I realize we only have 2 seniors and Miles already had two commits, but come on. We need a serious upgrade in talent. I would have expected Fred to be looking for multiple additional 2020 recruits and let things sort out after the season. And yes, he still can, and I'm sure will, get more 2020 recruits. It is just a little discouraging that he wasn't able to secure a single 2020 commitment for the November signing period. In fact, he hasn't secured a single commitment from any recruit for any class since assembling the current roster last April/May.
Have a bit of a concern about Doc being defensive coordinator. His pack-line defense may have been great 15 years ago, but in an age where kids grow up shooting 3s and teams and coaches shoot 3s, putting 5 guys in the paint may not be the best strategy anymore. Remember, Molinari brought a similar packline defense here, and after year after year of getting scorched, Miles had to finally force him to modify the defense to stretch out and contend against those 3 point shots--and it did work much better. The game has changed, coaches must evolve with the game. Hoiberg should know that better than anyone. Strange that he would bring in a defensive coordinator that would be completely ill-suited to stop everything he wants to do on offense.
Many people on this board are looking forward to a significant jump in year 2. To those people, based on what we know now, what is it that you see that makes you think this team will be anywhere close to competing for the top half of B1G next year? Unless there is a miraculous infusion of talent in the April signing period, I just don't see it at all. Again, not down on Hoiberg for that, I believe he gets at least 2 years mulligan, I just don't see a quick fix here at all.
Again, none of this is to question Hoiberg or say everything is doomed. Most likely, Fred will pull a rabbit out of his hat and land some big time recruits here soon that will assuage all of these concerns. But as things stand now, this is what I see. I will continue to the games this year, but it just seems like none of these players are going to be the players that are going to take us to the next level. I think almost this entire roster is going to have to be turned over before we get there. And that could take many more years, which will still be worth it, but man, we've been doing this for so long already . . .