Hi guys, we are live for the first Nebraska basketball chat of the season. Feel free to fire away at the new guy.
@MarqelWashington: I think it will be some combination of Michael Jacobson, Jack McVeigh, Ed Morrow and Jordy Tshimanga. Tim Miles really likes Tshimanga's potential, and he showed some good flashes in last night's scrimmage. No matter who starts, it's going to be a pretty young group.
@JasonO.: Thanks Jason. I'm excited to be here. I know Brian did a great job, and I'm just trying to continue what he did and put my own touch on things.
@DVC: Great question. I think right now the best options are Tai Webster and Glynn Watson, and I don't think Tim Miles would be uncomfortable with either of those two. In last night's scrimmage, they ran a lot of isolation stuff for both guys to kind of get a look at it. Miles has always loved Watson's creativity, and Webster's experience and toughness in those spots can't be overlooked.
@JasonO.: The sense I've gotten in talking to players and coaches is that this is a very tight-knit group, both in the locker room and on the court. They don't seem to be too concerned with who left the program and what that means for this year. They realize the challenges, obviously, but I think their motivation will come from wanting to prove those with low expectations wrong and from playing against what should be a very tough schedule.
@marcus: Jordy Tshimanga and Isaiah Roby will both be impact guys this year. There's a good chance Tshimanga starts right away, simply because he gives Nebraska something they haven't had under Tim Miles: a true back-to-the-basket post presence who can protect the rim and rebound. He's raw, having only played basketball for five years, but you can see the potential in him. Miles has said that Jordy will have to prove to him that he can't handle it.
@marcus: And I wouldn't be shocked to see Roby in the starting lineup before season's end. He might be the most skilled player on the roster - at 6-foot-8, he can handle the ball, is an excellent passer, and can stretch defenses with his jumper. He's still recovering from the stress reaction in his pelvis that was discovered this summer, but I think his minutes will only increase as he gets caught up both conditioning-wise and in learning NU's offensive and defensive systems.
@marcus: And let's not forget about Jeriah Horne either. He's maybe not as hyped as the other two freshmen, but he gives the Huskers another body in that 6-foot-7 to 6-foot-9 range who can rebound and shoot. He looked really good last night in the scrimmage taking the ball to the basket.
@Zadi: I'll say this: Miles has made no bones about playing the freshmen right away. He showed it last year with the four guys who are sophomores this season. The young guys will play. It's a matter of how quickly they adjust to Division I basketball. You're right: if they didn't have potential, they wouldn't be here. But the coaching staff brought them here because they think they can help this team right away.
I think he has. I agree that he's been overlooked a bit, and that's no fault of his own. He's one of Nebraska's toughest players, and from everything I've heard he's practiced very well this fall. At 6-7 he remains one of NU's best rebounders. He needs to expand his offensive game a bit, but he'll be right in the mix all season.
I think Anton Gill will play a big role for this team. He, like Roby, has been working his way back from an offseason injury, so I don't think he's quite where he wants to be yet health-wise. But he can shoot the lights out, and he gives Nebraska another ball handler. He's been frustrated in practice because he's still trying to get into game shape, but he's getting close. Miles and Co. are going to look to him to make some shots and fill the void left by Shavon Shields and Andrew White III. And we all know the history Tim Miles has with transfer guards (Petteway, White III). If he develops like those two, he'll give this team a huge boost.
@marcus: I think that's spot on. He needed to bring a couple transfers in to try and spark things (see the NCAA Tournament run in 2013-14), and had those guys completed their eligibility here instead of leaving early, you would have seen better records the last couple seasons. Miles has used the term "reset" to describe playing four freshmen last season, and I think that's accurate. It's that dreaded "P" word (potential) again, but if these last two classes stick together, there's certainly hope for better days down the road.
@marcus: Oooh, good question. I'm going to waffle and give you two: Isaiah Roby and Jordy Tshimanga. They're both just so intriguing, and for different reasons. Roby is really, really skilled, and when you talk to him it's like talking to a guy 15 years older. I love his game (what little of it I've seen), and he really blossomed going into his senior season of high school ball last year. If he makes another jump like that this year, look out. And Tshimanga is a little bit of an unknown with his lack of experience, but man, 6-foot-11 will allow Nebraska to do a lot of different things with its lineups. Even if he doesn't score much, he'll rebound and defend, and that opens up the floor for guys like Jack McVeigh, Anton Gill, Michael Jacobson, etc., offensively.
@Zadi: I agree with you there. This is nowhere near the last few years in Devaney, when a only few thousand were showing up, but at some point you gotta win some games to get butts in the seats. They will still draw well this season, but winning games cures a lot of those issues.
@marcus: Totally agree. You have guys on this team who can really get the ball moving and create shots for others. Another thing to keep in mind is that this team, at least right now, really doesn't have a go-to scorer. They're going to have to share the ball to score points. I think you'll see a lot of guys scoring between 10-15 points a game early on until roles are more clearly defined. There are a couple plays from last night that illustrate my point: Jack McVeigh got hot from 3-point range in the last period of the scrimmage, and Glynn Watson made a good move to get by his defender, get into the lane, and kick it out to McVeigh for a wide-open jumper. I think you'll see a lot of that this year.
@Bruce: I could see them playing 10 guys, especially early on. I think Evan Taylor, the 6-foot-5 junior transfer from Odessa Junior College, will see some time. He was on the Southern Conference all-freshman team in 2014-15 while playing at Samford, and gives the Huskers a little more size at the guard spot. And I think Freshman Jeriah Horne will get his shot too. He's 6-7 and can score inside and out.
@Zadi: That's the million-dollar question, isn't it? I'm going project each game early next week, but man, the B1G is gonna be brutal again this year. Wisconsin is loaded. Michigan State had the No. 3 recruiting class in the nation. Purdue and Indiana are both going to be really good. Ohio State will be better. Maryland is always solid and Northwestern and Penn State are trending up. Without studying it too closely I'll put the over-under at 7.5 wins.
@Trashman: I'm originally from Ravenna, Nebraska. Small town about 25 miles west of Grand Island on Highway 2. I've followed Nebraska sports since I was a kid, so I have some familiarity there. Still working to get up to speed on this year's team, but I'm certainly not coming in blind.
@L.B.: Haha he seems like an awesome guy. Really friendly in the couple of interactions I've had with him, and the players really seem to like him. And he's a good sport with all the social media stuff the hoops team does. Definitely a good dude.
@Bruce: I don't think so, and I say that because I think Miles needs to figure out who can play. He's not been shy about putting his younger players out there, and I haven't heard any rumblings about anyone sitting out this upcoming year. If someone does redshirt, I would be surprised.
@marcus: I really like him as a penetrator and facilitator as well. He did a lot of that last night. He really seems to have a knack for getting into the paint, and that only helps the guys around him. He only shot about 27 percent from 3-point range last season, so I would expect teams to play off him a bit. Although it certainly wouldn't hurt things if he can knock down a wide open 3 occasionally.
@Trashman: I think disjointed is a good word, and I think that's a big reason why Miles likes to have one closed scrimmage against another Division I team every season. You have to take as many opportunities to work the bugs out as you can get. We'll get a little better idea Monday night against Chadron State, but it might take a game or two before the rotation is settled down and guys learn to play together a little more.
@Zadi: I think a win over Creighton would do a lot for this team's confidence, and not just because Creighton is pretty good this year. The Bluejays have owned Nebraska for some time now, and a win over them, at home, might be a good way to get things jump started (especially with a road game at Kansas three days later). This is probably the toughest preseason schedule in Miles' tenure, so there are going to be some bumps in the road, but a win over Creighton would go a long way.