As we enter the fall season and college football gets underway, college basketball is right around the corner. As always, to prepare you for the season, Land-Grant Holy Land will be publishing Big Ten Team Previews and Ohio State Basketball Player Previews, starting now with the Team Previews.
Team: Nebraska Cornhuskers
Head coach: Fred Hoiberg, Fifth Season, 40-83 (18-61)
2022-23 record: 16-16 (9-11)
All-time record against Ohio State: 5-19
Returners: Keisei Tominaga, CJ Wilcher, Jamarques Lawrence, Juwan Gary, Sam Hoiberg, Blaise Keita, Ramel Lloyd
Departures: Derrick Walker, Sam Griesel, Emmanuel Bandoumel, Denim Dawson, Oleg Kogenets, Quaran McPherson, Wilhelm Breidenbach
Newcomers: Eli Rice, Rienk Mast, Brice Williams, Ahron Ulis, Josiah Allick
The Huskers will have to replace a lot of production from a season that provided some good moments in 2022-23.
Nebraska is losing three of its top five scorers, including Derrick Walker, who led the team in points, rebounds, and assists. Walker averaged 13.6 points, 7.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. Sam Griesel is also gone, who averaged 12.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. Griesel was third on the team in scoring, and second in rebounds and assists. Emmanuel Bandoumel is gone as well after averaging 8.4 points and 4.8 rebounds per game.
However, Keisei Tominaga is back after his breakout season, averaging 13.1 points per game. He was one of the surprise stars of last season in the conference, and proved himself to be one of the top shooters in the conference and a high-energy guy that can spark the Huskers. Now it is his team, and he will be the top name on the scouting report. Last season, he was able to surprise some people, but now everyone will see him coming. How he will respond to that will be important to the Husker’s success this season.
Tominaga, CJ Wilcher, and Juwan Gray are all back, and will look to form the trio that can lead the Huskers next season. Brice Williams is a transfer guard from Charlotte coming into the program after averaging 13.8 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. They will need his production ASAP to win some early games.
Rienk Mast averaged 13.8 points and 8.0 rebounds per game at Bradley, and Jarron Coleman averaged 14.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game at Ball State.
This is a solid transfer class that Hoiberg will look to early and often to provide at this level.
It is looking to be another bleak season in Lincoln, Nebraska. However, there are some guys who can step up and change that. The Huskers finished 16-16 last season and 9-11 in conference. That was a solid season, and one that they would hope to build on.
For that to happen, they will need the transfers of Williams, Mast, Coleman, and Ahron Ulis to be immediate contributors. With Ulis, as of right now, his eligibility is unknown due to his involvement in the Iowa Athletics gambling case, so we will see if he can play this season. If he can, he can be a good complement at the guard position to Wilcher.
Nebraska will need to show some sort of building blocks from last season. This is the fifth season under Hoiberg, and he has lost double the amount of conference games that he has won. Showing those building blocks from season to season could go a long way in extending his tenure in Lincoln.