Nebraska coach Fred Hoiberg preaches strong basketball against expectations | Sports

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Heading into Nebraska basketball’s third year under the guidance of head coach Fred Hoiberg, expectations are incredibly high – Hoiberg has the talent, schedule, and most importantly, the return production to succeed. .

In Hoiberg’s first season at the helm, the Huskers brought in just 1.9% of their total points all season, while in the second that number only climbed 21.6%. Still, with a full lineup of returning players this season, 49.6% of Nebraska’s total points production goes to the team, according to To Huskers.com.

Still, with the season opening just days away and the exhibition game starting on Wednesday, Hoiberg has asked his team not to let the weight of expectations, or the effect of excitement, get in the way.

“The biggest thing we are looking for is to go out and continue all the work that we have been doing in recent months,” Hoiberg said at Monday’s press conference. “We don’t have to go out there and reinvent the wheel and try to do things we haven’t worked on. I just want us to play solid basketball.

Due to the very intense nature of the intra-squad scrums Hoiberg has been hosting in recent weeks, the coach said he gave the team some free time over the weekend to recharge before the two games outside. -team competition this week. While he was happy with Monday’s practice overall, he noted that there were too many turnovers.

“We turned it around too much, we’re still a bit too sloppy. We still have episodes of this, ”Hoiberg said. “It will be a big part this year whether or not we are successful in taking care of basketball.”

The coach also listed a likely departure line up for Wednesday’s next show against the State of Peru, although it is subject to change. First-year guard Bryce McGowens, the first five-star rookie in Nebraska basketball history, will start in a backcourt with his brother, junior guard Trey McGowens and senior guard Alonzo Verge Jr.

Bryce McGowens is a big part of the high expectations surrounding Hoiberg’s squad this year, but Hoiberg quickly noted that offense was not up to him alone. Rather, the success of the offense depends on limiting the types of errors that cause a game to stagnate.

“It’s not just Bryce, you’ve got to remind all of our guys to go out there and do the things we’re working on,” Hoiberg said. “When we make simple plays, when we go out there and move the ball, we’re really efficient.”

Bryce McGowens said on Monday the team were “tired of fighting each other” and looking forward to having fun in Wednesday’s game. At the same time, he also said that since moving to Nebraska his game has grown significantly.

“[I’ve learned most] playmaker ability and IQ for the game, since being here I have learned a lot of new patterns, how to move without the ball, play without the ball in my hands, ”Bryce McGowens said at the press conference Monday. “Defensively: different rotations and where to be in different places on the floor.”

Hoiberg said he was happy with Bryce McGowens’ defensive development, although the coach overall has concerns for that side of the ball. One issue he had was with the team’s rebound, while another came in transition defense.

For Hoiberg, the team was giving up too many second chance opportunities in the scrimmages. This, too, is in part a build-up issue. With just one prototype of a big man in the five scheduled starts, Walker, working perhaps as a lead rebounder, the rest of the roster will need to make up with determination to limit the opposition’s offensive rebounds, especially in the Big Ten game. .

“We are still giving up too many second chance opportunities,” Hoiberg said. “And obviously, our league being the most physical in the country, you have to find ways to compete on the glass.”

While the team’s rebound ability needs to be tested, Hoiberg said transition defense is generally problematic and will need to be developed during the season.

“You always learn a lot about yourself the first time you go up against other opponents,” Hoiberg said. “Transition defense will always be behind where you want it to be, but you get that on film, you learn from it, you get better.”

With all of these concerns present and the emphasis on tight, simplistic basketball that sticks to team principles, Hoiberg has always insisted on the balance between letting players express their creativity and keeping them to the script.

These concerns are alleviated by the plot itself, according to Hoiberg. The success of the team rests on the fact that Hoiberg makes his players believe in the effectiveness of playing simple basketball.

“There’s a fine line to allow our guys with really good basketball instincts to go out there and use them,” Hoiberg said. “Instead of going down, going in between the legs, behind the back, we have people who can do it, but simple games are enough.”

As the team embark on a new year, fraught with expectations and anxieties, Hoiberg was quick to announce another dominant emotion also present within the squad.

“There is excitement in the air, there is no doubt about it,” Hoiberg said.

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