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Nebraska Big Ten Basketball Preview 2024-25: Huskers Have Something to Prove

Fred Hoiberg and Nebraska Basketball have something to prove next year.

Nebraska Basketball has had a major reemergence during the Fred Hoiberg era. The Huskers have to replace one of the best shotmakers ever to step foot on the campus. That would be Keisei Tominaga who dazzled throughout his career at Nebraska and in the Big Ten.

The team reached the NCAA tournament in 2023-24 and will be looking to get back again in 2024-25. But losing Tominaga to graduation isn’t the only key piece no longer in Lincoln. CJ Wilcher who has been with Nebraska since the start of Hoiberg’s tenure has also left, but he departed via the transfer portal. In total Nebraska lost eight players from last season’s team.

Luckily Hoiberg knows a thing or two about using the portal, which was a big part of his success when he was the head coach at Iowa State years ago. The Huskers added seven new players via the transfer portal many of which can contribute right away, and certainly have something to prove this season.

Nebraska Big Ten Basketball Preview 2024-25: Huskers Have Something to Prove

Retooling can happen overnight, and it looks like that was Nebraska’s approach with the portal this offseason. Coach Hoiberg certainly grabbed some talent via the portal, adding several players from fellow Big Ten foes. Four of their seven transfers come from a Big Ten team. Those include Berke Buyuktuncel (UCLA), Braxton Meah (Washington), Gavin Griffiths (Rutgers), and the big add Connor Essegian (Wisconsin).

Essegian lost a lot of his playing time in his final season at Wisconsin with AJ Storr’s stellar season, so he was looking for an opportunity elsewhere, and he appears to have found it at Nebraska. Essegian can step in to try and make up for the three-point shooting lost by Tominaga’s graduation. The Huskers have plenty of depth for the new season, the only question that remains is who can become that top scorer.

The Roster Has Pieces, Can Coach Hoiberg Fit Them Together

Essegian was on the All-Big Ten Freshman team in 2022-23, and for good reason, he averaged nearly 12 points per game. Can Griffiths take the next step? His moments were brief at Rutgers last season, but in the few moments, Griffiths showed promise. As for the experience on the roster outside of the seven new transfers and two incoming freshmen. Nebraska has Sam Hoiberg the son of the coach, Ahron Ulis, Juwan Gary, and Rienk Mast.

Andrew Morgan is a 6 foot 10 center who transferred over from North Dakota State where he was a 13-point-per-game scorer. So they have a pair of bigs to work with.

It will be interesting to see how these players all gell this season. The best thing about the Cornhuskers in 2024-25, they have a lot of players on the roster who have played in the grueling Big Ten. Gary has the potential to make a big step in his senior season after averaging 11 points per game in 2023-24.

A snapshot of some of the guys on the 2024-25 squad hitting the gym was shared on Nebraska Men’s Basketball’s X Page.

Schedule Outlook

Like the rest of the Big Ten, it’s a new adventure in the conference with four new teams. Of the four new teams, the Huskers don’t have to worry about traveling to California this season. USC and UCLA will both come to Lincoln. That will make for some big-time games. They also get Indiana and Illinois both once and on their home floor. Michigan, Minnesota, and Rutgers round out Nebraska’s home slate of Big Ten Games.

As for their road contests, they have some tough road games, but that is the hardest thing in the Big Ten as it is. Trips out west to Oregon and Washington will be something new. But the three biggest road games on the slate will be against three teams that typically control the outcome of the Big Ten. Those are games at Michigan State, Purdue, and Wisconsin.

They beat all three in Lincoln last season, but good luck this time around. As for the three teams Nebraska plays twice, those are Iowa, Maryland, and Ohio State. No one has an easy schedule in the Big Ten with 18 teams.

Huskers Have A Chance to Get Back to The Dance

Nebraska has games on its schedule that can help get them to March Madness again in 2024-25. However, it isn’t a given, especially in the Big Ten. They went 12-8 in the Big Ten last season and got a top-four seed in the Big Ten Tournament. They lost a lot of production, but they looked to have retooled enough to be in the top 12 of the Conference. The Huskers have plenty to prove in 2024-25.


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