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3 takeaways from Nebraska Basketball win over Minnesota



Nebraska Basketball
Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

The Nebraska basketball team has now won four games in a row and here are three takeaways from the Huskers’ win vs Minnesota.

Inside a packed house at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Saturday, Nebraska basketball kept the magic going as they knocked off Minnesota by a score of 78-67.

The win improved the Huskers to 15-14 overall, as well as 8-10 in the Big Ten conference. A season that once seemed over, is very much alive. There are two games left including a final home game on Tuesday night against Michigan State.

Nebraska is playing as well as anyone in the conference right now and that continued on Saturday. The Huskers weren’t perfect but basically controlled the game wire-to-wire and here are three takeaways.

Postseason play isn’t a pipe dream

It seemed crazy a few weeks ago when we were talking about what Nebraska needed to do to reach the NIT, but the Huskers have done it. If they beat Michigan State or Iowa next week, they will finish with a winning record and will at least be .500 at the end of the season.

What’s really impressive is how Fred Hoiberg has been able to do this down two starters. Nebraska has been stellar on the defensive end and has found its formula on offense. This team has an identity and it’s flourishing at just the right time.

The NIT sure seems like a good bet for Nebraska, if like I said they win a couple more games, but what if the Huskers beat Michigan State and Iowa? If Wisconsin loses to Michigan on Sunday, the Huskers would already move into 10th place, meaning they could avoid the first day of the Big Ten tournament.

If they finished 10-10 and 17-14 overall, who is to say the Huskers wouldn’t be on the bubble? If Nebraska basketball then won 2-3 games in the Big Ten tournament, getting 19-20 total, an NCAA tournament berth could be possible.

I know it’s way down the road, but just having this conversation is fun and it’s a huge sign of progress.

Winning a different way

Keisei Tominaga has been the driving force behind many wins for Nebraska basketball in this win streak. Derrick Walker too. But on Saturday, the Huskers didn’t shoot the ball well from 3-point range at all (4-of-15), yet still won the game easily.

Tominaga buried a triple early in the game and a key one early in the second half as Minnesota tried to make a run. The Golden Gophers hung around and didn’t get blown out, but it never felt like the result was really in doubt.

Sam Griesel was really good and took 16 shots, making eight on his way to 19 points. Minnesota made it tough for Tominaga to get shots and did a solid job on Walker, who made just 4-of-12. But Griesel, CJ Wilcher, Sam Hoiberg, and Jamarques Lawrence all reached double figures.

Nebraska only had seven assists — so this game was about making plays one-on-one and led by Griesel, Nebraska was able to do just that and it was good to see the Huskers keep things rolling, even though they shot just 27 percent from beyond the arc.

Sam Hoiberg has been a revelation

It was easy to say that Sam Hoiberg was only on the Nebraska basketball team because of his dad, but he’s certainly ended that narrative in the past nine games.

After playing just sparingly early in the season, Fred turned to his son when injuries struck and over the past nine games, Sam has been simply outstanding averaging seven points and three rebounds, while making 7-of-14 shots from 3-point range (50 percent).

Hoiberg has played 23 minutes or more in each of the past three games and he’s been incredibly productive. His defense has been stellar and he’s got five steals in three games and just three total turnovers. Hoiberg scored 11 points on Saturday and grabbed six rebounds for the second straight game.

His 11-point, two-steal, six-rebound game against Maryland was huge and his steal/score in overtime was crucial. On Saturday, he had a key offensive rebound and a bucket when the Gophers were mounting a comeback. He also went a perfect 5-for-5 from the charity stripe.

You need good guard play to win and Hoiberg has been providing it off the bench. He’s played 19 minutes or more in six straight games and it’s not a coincidence that the Huskers have won five of six.

Hoiberg isn’t doing anything fancy. He’s just playing winning basketball and so are the Huskers.

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5 transfer portal targets that make sense for Nebraska Basketball



Nebraska Basketball
Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska basketball needs to hit the transfer portal hard and here are five targets that make sense for the Huskers.

It’s transfer portal season and for Nebraska basketball, it’s an important time. The Huskers have a number of needs to fill and two of their best players — Derrick Walker and Sam Griesel have exhausted their eligibility.

Nebraska basketball might lose Keisei Tominaga too. There hasn’t been much word on the Japanese star since the end of the season. If Tominaga returns, the outlook feels much brighter for Nebraska in 2023-24, but the Huskers still need a big, a point guard and they could use a wing.

With that in mind, here are five transfer portal targets for Nebraska basketball that make sense.

Kerr Kriisa, PG

Kerr Kriisa is a former top-100 point guard that has entered the transfer portal and according to reports, he was in Nebraska on Tuesday for an official visit.

That’s huge news for the Huskers because they have a big need at point guard. Jamarques Lawrence is more of a combo guard and I would love to see him starting at the two.

Nebraska needs someone who can replace Griesel and while Kriisa is a much different player, he would be a good fit for Nebraska. The 93rd overall recruit in the 2020 class has averaged over 4.7 assists in each of the past two seasons, as well as making more than two 3-pointers per game in those two seasons as well.

Kriisa turns the ball over a little too much and he’s not an elite defender by any means, but he can shoot the ball and he’s a good facilitator. He’s also one of the top point guards in the transfer portal and Fred Hoiberg getting him on campus for a visit is huge.

Hopefully, things will keep moving in a positive direction.

Kadin Shedrick, Center

When it comes to the center position, the top of my list is Kadin Shedrick, a center from Virginia who just entered the transfer portal this week.

The Huskers need someone who can score down low. Derrick Walker was one of the best back-to-the-basket players in the Big Ten and Shedrick would be a great replacement in that regard as he is a career 63-percent shooter from the field and has made 64.7 percent of his career 2-point attempts.

Shedrick would also upgrade the defense. Walker was a solid rebounder but Nebraska basketball didn’t really have any rim protectors last season and Shedrick averaged 1.9 blockers per game for the Cavs last season. For his career, he averages 17 minutes and 1.5 blocks, so that’s elite in terms of rim protection.

Nebraska has reached out to Shedrick. Landing him won’t be easy and it sounds like Indiana is going to make a strong push but you never know.

Dalton Knecht, combo forward

Dalton Knecht is one of my favorite players in the portal and he would be a perfect fit for Nebraska basketball. The Huskers have also reached out here, yet the former Northern Colorado forward is going to be one of the hottest targets in the portal.

Knecht averaged 20.2 points per game last season and made 38 percent of his 3-pointers. He also shot more than six triples per game and made 2.4. He also shot 47.9 percent overall from the field and also dished out 1.7 assists per game, in addition to grabbing more than seven boards a night.

Now, the Big Ten is much different from the Big Sky. You wonder if the 6-foot-6 forward will have the same success in the Big Ten and in terms of finishing around the rim, he won’t.

However, I still think he has all the tools to be a really effective player and one that could easily average double figures. He would also be a great addition alongside Juwan Gary and would give the Huskers another versatile forward that can rebound.

Josiah Allick, power forward

Allick is a 6-foot-8 power forward that played for New Mexico last season but is from Lincoln, Nebraska. He played for Kansas City for three seasons in the Summit League before having a really good campaign with the Lobos last year. He’s undersized like Derrick Walker, but he made 64 percent of his 2-point attempts last season, grabbed more than seven rebounds per game, and blocked 0.8 shots.

While Allick might be a little undersized for the center position, he’s really not that different than Walker and his ability to score in the post is elite.

It will be interesting to see if the Huskers can lure him back to Nebraska, but they need low-post scoring and Allick woud be a great option, especially since he has ties to the state.

Chance McMillian, combo guard

The former Grand Canyon player put together three solid seasons and this past year, he averaged 10.9 points per game and 44 percent from 3-point range. McMillian is 6-foot-2 and was listed as a point guard by 247 sports coming out of high school.

He averaged 2.1 assists per game last season and there’s a chance he could start for Nebraska at point guard, or at least be a guy that could help handle those duties.

The Huskers have been in contact with him via 247 sports and whether they view him as a true combo guard or a point guard if Tominaga leaves, Nebraska basketball will need more 3-point shooting and McMillian provides that.

For More Nebraska content, follow us on Twitter, like our Facebook Page, and Subscribe to the Husker Big Red YouTube Channel. You can also find out podcast on Apple or Spotify

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Nebraska Basketball: Guard Denim Dawson enters transfer portal



Nebraska basketball redshirt freshman Denim Dawson entered the transfer portal on Wednesday, as more moves continue to be made within the basketball team. This was first reported by 247Sports’ Travis Branham.

Dawson had his moments for Nebraska basketball this season. He made his first start against Purdue back in December. He had three rebounds and two assists in 25 minutes of play. He then was able to continue his strong play in the second half of the season when he had seven points and eight rebounds in 30 minutes. Dawson was active on the glass against Penn State when he recorded nine rebounds.

It could be said that Dawson never had a fair chance to crack the rotation due to the players in front of him. Nevertheless, Dawson had raw athletic ability, and it was easy to see why he was recruited to the program.

Dawson was a three-star recruit and was the 32nd overall player in the state of California for the 2022 class.

What does this move mean for Nebraska basketball?

This move makes sense for Dawson, as Nebraska basketball has several guards on the roster already. Jamarques Lawrence is one of them, and he was able to take on a big role for the program. This is a case of there being too many mouths to feed on the roster. The emergence of Lawrence also probably played a bit of a role as the latter looks to be a staple for the program.

It will be interesting to see where Dawson ends up. He is certainly a talented player, but Nebraska basketball was not the right fit for him at this time.

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Podcast: What’s next for Nebraska Basketball after missing NIT?



Nebraska basketball
Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Our latest podcast discusses whether Nebraska Basketball should have missed the NIT, look at what’s next, and more.

It’s the start of another week, Husker fans, and in terms of the Nebraska basketball team, we got some disappointing news on Sunday night.

Nebraska was on the NIT bubble even before its loss to Minnesota last week in the Big Ten tournament. While some NIT projections had the Huskers barely making it in the field, Nebraska basketball was left on the outside looking in.

Chris Peterson and Danny Jaillet are each on the show in their usual spot and offer up their thoughts on whether Nebraska basketball was treated fairly. The loss to Minnesota was bad, but Nebraska also beat Maryland, Penn State, Creighton, and Iowa (twice) — all teams that made the NCAA tournament.

The Huskers also beat Wisconsin and Rutgers, two teams that made the NIT. The loss to Minnesota was bad but the Huskers had a quality resume. However, their 16-16 record wasn’t all that impressive and again, that’s where the loss to Minnesota hurt.

What’s next for Nebraska basketball?

Now that the season is officially over for the Huskers, we can look toward the future. The biggest question is what will Keisei Tominaga do? Will he return for another season, or go to Japan?

There is hope the Huskers can do some things with NIL, although Keisei is limited to earning “passive income” such as money from jersey sales. He can’t actively promote products. It’s always possible things could change with those NIL rules, but at the end of the day, if money is the driving factor, Japan is probably the best bet.

Tominaga has become a star over there. He’s also a star to Nebraska basketball fans and could have as big a following next season as any Husker — ever.

I’m not saying he would be the best player by any means, but social media didn’t exist when Tyronn Lue was around for instance. It would be fun regardless. Nebraska basketball also needs to add some transfers.

We talk about all that and more. We also touch on Nebraska football recruiting, so check out the full episode of the Husker Big Red Podcast below:

For More Nebraska content, follow us on Twitter, like our Facebook Page, and Subscribe to the Husker Big Red YouTube Channel. You can also find out podcast on Apple or Spotify


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