ROSEMONT, Ill. — Fred Hoiberg made his first appearance at Big Ten Media Day on Wednesday morning, and the Nebraska men's basketball coach was a popular figure as the day got underway.
Hoiberg was asked about a number of topics in his 10 minutes at the podium. Later on, he and players Haanif Cheatham, Jervay Green and Cam Mack were scheduled to take part in round-table interviews.
Hoiberg called the California law allowing college athletes to be compensated for their name, image and likeness "progress," saying he would have relished that opportunity as a college star at Iowa State.
"I’ll say this. As a former student-athlete, I would have loved to be compensated for my likeness. There’s no doubt about that, especially playing in my hometown. I think that could have been a pretty good deal for a guy like me," Hoiberg said. "So it’s going to be interesting to see how it all plays out, and I have no idea how it will play out. But I do think it’s progress, no doubt about that."
Hoiberg acknowledged being picked 13th in a preseason poll of the Big Ten's media members, saying he understood the reasoning with a roster that includes 14 new players.
But he also likes his team, he said, and likes the way they've showed up to work at practice.
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"If we can really buy in to going out there and playing together, going out there being a low turnover team; every night we’ve got to find a way to defend; and we have to rebound. That’s going to be our biggest challenge, I think, is rebounding just with the size of our team," Hoiberg said.
"But I am confident we can get out and run with anybody, and hopefully we’ll stick to that."
Hoiberg also joked that he's a huge Rick Ross fan. The coach said Nebraska was able to get the rapper to perform at last week's Opening Night event because Ross is an Adidas-sponsored performer, and NU went through those channels to set up the concert.
"I have a pacemaker, and the bass was so loud I thought my pacemaker was going to explode," Hoiberg said. "He put on a great show, our guys loved it, they were on stage with him, and overall it was a great night for our team."
Check back throughout the day for updates from Big Ten Media Day.