Three questions going into the season
Just what will it look like?
What is “it"? Well, everything. Players, coaching styles, schemes — all of it will be brand new, and it will probably take some time for the Huskers to get things humming like head coach Fred Hoiberg wants it to. In the meantime, it should be fun to watch the coach mold the program in his vision.
Can Nebraska find a way to rebound?
Perhaps the most critical question. The Huskers are going to be outsized in nearly every game they play, and especially when they get into the Big Ten. NU is going to lose on the boards most nights. The key will be finding a way to at least keep it close.
Will NU get battered in the Big Ten?
Nebraska’s style will be unique, but that might not be enough, at least right away, in the deepest conference in the country. The Big Ten could send eight teams to the NCAA Tournament, and teams such as Rutgers and Illinois will be improved. Every night will be a battle.
Three players to watch
Cam Mack: The juco transfer point guard looks like a special talent. His jumper is a little streaky, but Mack has innate speed and vision that can’t be taught.
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Shamiel Stevenson: Whenever he becomes eligible this season, he will be Nebraska’s top frontcourt player. NU needs his physicality and his ability to guard and play multiple positions.
Jervay Green: Green has been a bucket-getter his entire life, and averaged nearly 24 points per game last season at Western Nebraska Community College. Can he become a consistent scoring threat this year?
Three numbers to know
3: As in, three-pointers. Nebraska’s going to shoot a lot of them — maybe more than any other team in the Big Ten.
14: There are 14 new players on Nebraska’s roster — 11 new scholarship players and three walk-ons.
.673: Fred Hoiberg’s winning percentage in five seasons at Iowa State. If he matches that in his time at Nebraska, he would be the first NU coach to win more than 60% of his career games since W.E. Kline in 1924-25.
Three crucial weeks to the season
Nov. 24-27: Nebraska will play three games Thanksgiving week at the Cayman Islands Classic, including an opening-round matchup against Washington State that will serve as NU’s first game against a power conference opponent under Hoiberg.
Dec. 4-7: The Huskers make a road trip to Georgia Tech for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, followed by a road game at Creighton. On paper, those look like two teams Nebraska can match up with pretty evenly, and a win over the Bluejays certainly wouldn’t hurt the feelings of the fans wearing red.
Dec. 13-15: The entire Big Ten season figures to be a grind for an NU team picked 13th in the conference. So Nebraska’s first two league games, at Indiana on Dec. 13 and home against Purdue on Dec. 15, should give the Huskers an initial idea of what they’re up against.