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3 thoughts on commitment of Rollie Worster to Nebraska basketball

Nebraska basketball needed a point guard and landed former Utah point guard Rollie Worster on Monday. Here are three thoughts.



Nebraska basketball
Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska basketball landed another player from the transfer portal on Monday and it was at a position of needed — point guard — as the Huskers earned a commitment from Rollie Worster.

As a long-time sports journalist from Montana, I have watched Worster dating back to his days playing for Missoula Hellgate High School. He spent a season at Utah State on a team that went to the NCAA tournament and has played the past three seasons for Utah.

Last season, he played just in 16 games but averaged 9.9 points, 5.5 assists, and 1.4 steals. He’s a pass-first, defensive point guard. He also shoots 27 percent from deep (that will improve under Fred Hoiberg) and here are three thoughts on what this commitment means for Nebraska basketball.

A true point guard

Nebraska basketball had Keisei Tominaga this past season, but one thing it never had was a point guard. Tominaga was a de facto point guard at the end of the season. Jamarques Lawrence played there too. Yet, the Huskers never truly replaced Sam Griesel.

Worster isn’t a shoot-first point guard, but he can score. He’s averaged just under nine points for his career. In two seasons, he has averaged more than five assists per game and that’s going to be a real asset.

In terms of replacing LawrenceLawrence, this is an upgrade in my opinion. Worster is a better defender and he’s a shot creator — something Nebraska missed last season at point guard.

A defensive stopper on the perimeter

If Nebraska had Worster this past season, there wouldn’t have been any doubt about who was going to guard Wade Taylor. Worster, when healthy, can be a top-notch defender. In 2022-23, he ranked in the top 13 in defensive win shares and defensive plus/minus in the Pac-12.

What’s even better is Worster is big enough to guard point guards and off-ball guards. If the Huskers are presented with a Terrence Shannon type, Worster would probably get the call.

Having a defensive stopper in the backcourt was one of the most glaring weaknesses on last season’s team and it’s good to see Hoiberg address that, and point guard, in one fell swoop.

Worster will improve as a 3-point shooter

One item on the scouting report about Worster is that he’s not a great 3-point shooter. He shot 27 percent last season and has shot 29 percent for his career. That doesn’t worry me at all and the biggest reason for that is Fred Hoiberg.

Hoiberg is one of the best shooters that has probably ever lived. If you’re just talking about shooting the basketball, few people do it as well as he does. Few people can coach it as well as Fred either. It’s not a coincidence that his teams are always good as shooting the ball.

Part of it is an emphasis on shooting. Part of it is teaching and coaching. Taking tough 3-pointers late in the clock comes with the territory at times for point guards. That could explain the low percentage a bit. But Worster probably had to consider Hoiberg when making his decision because if he wants to play professionally, the 3-point shooting needs to improve.

Fred Hoiberg can help with that, and in turn, Worster could be his best self at Nebraska.

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Chris has worked in sports journalism since 2005 writing for multiple newspapers and websites such as the Bleacher Report and Fansided before starting Husker Big Red, A fan site for hardcore followers of the #Huskers offering articles, podcasts, videos and more exclusive content on all things Nebraska